As stated above (Section 1.1), felony convictions and convictions of certain misdemeanors result in a person losing his/her right to:
- own a gun,
- buy a gun, and
- possess a gun.
These people must relinquish their gun(s) following a conviction.
A felony conviction means a person will lose his/her gun rights for life.
Similarly, a few weapon-related misdemeanor convictions can subject a person to a lifetime ban on guns.
In addition, about 40 misdemeanors carry a 10-year firearms ban. Some of these include:
- stalking, per Penal Code 646.9 PC,
- battery, per Penal Code 242 PC,
- brandishing a weapon, per Penal Code 417, and
- making criminal threats, per Penal Code 422 PC.
Despite these rules, many people convicted of a crime can try to restore his/her gun rights. This can be done by:
- having a “wobbler” felony reduced to a misdemeanor, or
- receiving a pardon from the California governor.
Reducing a felony to a misdemeanor means that a person will not face a lifetime ban on guns (because the felony conviction is reduced).
As to a pardon, a person must apply directly to the governor for a pardon if:
- he/she lives outside California, or
- he/she was convicted of certain misdemeanor sex offenses.
Otherwise, obtaining a pardon is a two-step process. A person must:
- petition the superior court for a California Certificate of Rehabilitation, and
- if the petition is granted, it automatically becomes a petition for a pardon from the California Governor.
Note that California’s Governor has complete discretion to grant or deny pardon requests.
M., D. (2022, March 27). California gun laws 2022 – your top 12 questions answered. Shouse Law Group. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/defense/gun-laws/