A man in a black jacket and cap fires a pistol outdoors

Firearm Rights Restoration: Washington State Rules for What to Do When You’ve Lost Your Firearm Rights

At Findley & Rogers, if you have an old criminal conviction on your record we can help you restore your firearm rights. While many people don’t realize they are eligible for firearm rights restoration, Washington state law specifically provides residents a way to reclaim their gun rights in most cases.

Today in the blog, we’re looking at gun rights restoration in Washington State, including what to do when you’ve lost your firearm rights and how to get gun rights restored in Washington State once they’re lost. Many things can cause you to lose your gun rights in the first place, including:

  • Any felony conviction
  • A domestic violence misdemeanor conviction
  • Drug addiction
  • Mental disability or incapacitation

The reason for this is that, when it comes to firearm rights restoration, Washington State’s restrictions are strongly built around risk, and all of those situations make an individual a much higher risk for becoming a gun offender.

Unlawful possession of a firearm is a felony by itself, so it’s very important that you obey the law and do not attempt to possess any guns if you are not legally eligible to do so.

Steps to restore your firearm rights in Washington State

How to Get Gun Rights Restored in Washington State If You’ve Lost Your Gun Rights Recently

Firearm rights restoration in Washington State is not a quick process. If you’re reading this because a court has recently taken away your gun rights due to a recent criminal conviction, and are wondering how to get gun rights restored in Washington State, then be aware that it is going to be a while before you are eligible for gun rights restoration. Washington State has a mandatory waiting period assigned to criminal cases from the moment of conviction, or the date of release from custody, whichever comes later. In most cases, you cannot restore your rights without first completing the waiting period.

But if you have already completed the waiting period, then you may be able to get a much faster firearm rights restoration! Washington counts the waiting period from the time you were convicted or released from prison (whichever is more recent). You don’t have to do anything to begin the clock: It starts automatically. If you had a domestic violence conviction, you do need to complete your sentence conditions as well.

If you weren’t convicted of any crime and have only lost your rights temporarily, you should also be able to restore your rights more quickly so long as things eventually settle in your favor.

Note that if you are found not guilty by reason of insanity, this also results in a loss of your gun rights. Probation, a deferred sentence, or a suspended sentence also count as a “conviction” for the purposes of gun rights restoration in Washington State