In Arizona, there are certain circumstances which will cause you to lose your right to own or possess a firearm. If you possess a firearm under these circumstances, you can be prosecuted for a felony offense.
- Anyone convicted of a felony;
- Anyone adjudicated delinquent;
- Anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense with a Domestic Violence designation;
- Anyone subject to a Domestic Violence restraining order;
- Anyone who has been found to constitute a danger to him/herself pursuant to Court order.
- There are several other more obscure categories involve dishonorable discharge and citizenship renunciation.
If your right to own/possess a firearm has been barred, under some circumstances you can get that right restored. In most instances, restoration in not automatic, but must be applied for.
If the reason you are barred is due to an Arizona State felony conviction, you can apply for restoration:
- After two years from discharge from probation;
- After ten years from discharge from probation if your conviction was for a “serious offense” which is defined in Arizona Statutes at ARS 13-604.
- If your offense was for a dangerous offense, you can never apply for restoration.
If you have been barred from gun ownership/possession by virtue of a Federal felony conviction, there is a Federal procedure which ultimately allows ATF to review petitions, but because there is no funding for ATF to perform this task, there is currently no practical way to regain your right to own a gun.
If you’ve been barred from firearm ownership/possession for a misdemeanor with a Domestic Violence designation, you must request the Court to set aside your conviction to lift the bar. Domestic Violence is a legal status defined under ARS 13-3601 which attaches to certain kinds of crimes. There is no time limit to request the offense be set aside, but you must have completed probation and all requirements of probation. Some Domestic Violence offenses cannot be set aside however. Those include offense involving serious physical injury, offenses in which a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was used, or when the victim was under the age of 15.
However, setting aside a misdemeanor Domestic Violence conviction does not always allow you to possess or own a gun. The 1968 Federal Gun Control Act provides that certain misdemeanor domestic violence convictions disqualify you from gun possession if the offense fits within the definition of the Federal Statute. This is a complex area of law and it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney for advice on whether and how to regain your rights to own a gun.