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Can I Own a Gun After Felony Expungement in Maryland?

Can I Own a Gun After Felony Expungement in Maryland?

criminal record with expungement written on it

An individual’s right to own a firearm as outlined in the US Constitution’s Second Amendment can be curtailed by a variety of criminal offenses. With the expansion of the state’s criminal record expungement process under the Justice Reinvestment Act in 2017 things changed significantly.

Below we examine some of these changes to the Maryland gun rights restoration process. We also provide an overview of what to expect if you are seeking to restore your rights.

How the Gun Rights Restoration Process Works in Maryland

The process of restoring an individual’s gun rights in Maryland involves multiple steps. Each part aims to demonstrate that a person has readjusted to society over a designated waiting period, which corresponds with their charge(s). Upon fulfilling this requirement and depending on their case type, they may pursue a criminal record expungement or request a Governor’s pardon. The former applies to misdemeanors; the latter applies to felonies.

The table here outlines the relationship between one’s criminal offense, whether an expungement or Governor’s pardon is an option and the required waiting period.

Case Type Eligible to Apply For Mandatory Waiting Period
Misdemeanor Expungement 10 Years
Felony (Non-violent) Pardon 10 Years
Felony (Violent) Pardon 20 Years

After obtaining either expungement or a pardon document, the individual’s gun rights are fully restored and they are qualified to purchase a gun in Maryland.

Get Expert Help from a Criminal Defense Attorney

Restoring gun rights is a lengthy process regardless of case type, but working with a qualified criminal defense attorney can help make it easier.

If you are seeking an experienced Baltimore area criminal defense law firm, feel free to contact one of our offices. Call (410) 870-9090 for our Downtown Baltimore location or (410) 284-6060 for our Dundalk location. Alternatively, you can submit a written request for consultation using our contact form.