With all the recent media attention on mass shootings throughout the United States and another impending gun rights debate, you may be wondering what your rights are with regards to becoming or staying armed. While the right to bear arms is a federally protected right, there are some situations in Arizona in which that right is no longer yours. While Arizona does rank 7th in the country for registered firearms, you may not be allowed to count yourself amongst those if you’ve got a felony on your record.
If you have a felony charge or conviction in Arizona, your right to bear arms is no longer protected. While gun laws in Arizona are relatively relaxed compared to national standards, the punishments for felons possessing a weapon are quite high. Any charged felon found in possession of a firearm, whether theirs or someone else’s, is looking at an additional Class 4 Felony charge, which carries a maximum term of 2.5 years imprisonment. If you are a convicted felon, the charge remains the same, but the term increases to 4.5 years imprisonment.
As a felon, your right to own a firearm isn’t completely lost: you can actually go through a process to restore these rights. This process is not a one-size-fits-all process, however. Anyone convicted of what’s considered a “serious offense,” including but not limited to murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, and robbery, cannot restore their gun rights. For everyone else, after a two-year waiting period, you can file a petition with the Superior Court of the county in which your felony conviction occurred to try to restore these rights. Obviously, the final decision rests with the court. If granted, a receipt of your successful petition will be filed with the state and you’ll be immediately ready to legally own or possess a firearm again.
Gun ownership is a federally protected right, but the thing about rights is that they can always be revoked with due process. Here at Palestini Law, we have the background necessary to answer all your questions regarding your own personal gun rights, and the skills necessary to help you get those rights back - if necessary. If you’re looking to keep your gun in the Valley of the Sun, call Palestini Law today!
Originally from Toronto, Canada, James Palestini relocated to Arizona where he received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies with a minor in Criminology from Arizona State University. James then attended law school at Phoenix School of Law where he earned a Juris Doctorate degree. While pursuing his doctorate, James interned at a criminal defense firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. James handled a multitude of criminal cases there, including felony, misdemeanor and criminal traffic matters.