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Can people restore gun rights after losing them in Philadelphia?

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution protects one’s right to own firearms. While gun possession is a protected right, there are still many laws restricting their ownership and use. There are laws on where a person can possess them, and permits are required in certain situations. People in Philadelphia can also lose their right to possess a firearm altogether. If a person has committed certain crimes, then he or she may not be allowed to possess a gun again and if they do, they could be charged with an additional crime.

People in this situation can attempt to restore their gun rights, though. There are very specific circumstances that must be met first. The conviction for the criminal offense, which led to the person losing his or her gun rights, must be vacated, the governor must pardon the person, or the federal government must remove the prohibition against the person owning a gun. Additionally, at least 10 years must pass since the time the person finished serving a jail sentence.

If one of these conditions has been met, then an individual may petition the court to restore their gun rights. There must be a hearing and the victim of the initial crime must be notified and allowed to attend the hearing.

These are very specific requirements that must be met, and it is not easy to restore one’s gun rights. It is therefore important that an accused individual avoids conviction for a crime that would result in losing his or her gun rights. When an individual is charged with a crime, there may be defenses available to him or her, which may allow them to avoid a conviction.

Yet, mounting a strong criminal defense can be difficult depending on the circumstances. Thus, accused individuals need to know the law, how it applies to their situation, and how to make compelling legal arguments that support their position. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help create a legal strategy that furthers the goal of avoiding conviction and the harsh penalties that may accompany it.

Source: Pennsylvania State Legislature, “Title 18 section 6105” accessed on Jan. 3, 2017

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