Those who have been banned from gun ownership due to a criminal conviction or other disqualifying event in Illinois or Iowa can seek a restoration of their gun rights. This is a somewhat involved process that must be handled properly in order to have the best chance of succeeding. My firm has represented many clients in Iowa and Illinois to seek such a restoration of their gun rights.
Gun ownership is one of the most cherished rights of American citizens. For some people, gun ownership is important for hunting. For others, self defense against robbers, home invaders, and even terrorism is the main focus. Still other people see guns mainly as collectible items. Regardless of the reason why, gun ownership is near and dear to many people.
In both Illinois and Iowa, the process of restoring a person’s gun ownership rights involves petitioning the governor of the state in which the conviction occurred. The exact procedure in each state varies, but in essence it consists of providing certain documentation about a person’s criminal history and law-abiding life after those conviction(s), along with well-drafted letters of reference. The goal is to produce an application that the governor will see as worthy of being granted, as it is up to the governor whether or not the request for a restoration of firearms rights is granted or denied.
The nature of a person’s criminal history will affect how likely it is that the governor will grant the requested restoration of firearm rights. Generally speaking, the longer that a person has lived a law-abiding life, the more likely the restoration. Those who have been convicted of less serious crimes are also more likely to see a restoration. For example, a person convicted of a felony theft 20 years ago is far more likely to have their gun rights restored than a person who was convicted of robbery 5 years ago.
In addition to the standard legal considerations, gun right restoration cases have a political component as well. Some governors are more or less likely to grant such requests, and all governors consider the potential political fallout if they grant a gun rights restoration only to have the person then commit a violent crime with a gun. A large part of the work that we do is in anticipation of those realities, so as to maximize the likelihood that the governor will restore our client’s gun rights.
As an attorney who is an avid firearms enthusiast, NRA-certified instructor, and supporter of concealed carry, I find cases where I can help clients defend their gun rights to be some of the most rewarding. I have represented clients in appeals of permit to carry denials, self defense shootings cases, felon in possession of a firearm cases, and many other type of gun-related legal matters. That experience and passion for gun cases is something that I bring to each gun-related case that I handle for my clients.