Virginia Gun Rights Restoration Process
What does the process look like? "Measure twice, so we only have to cut once."
Once you hire my office, we begin the prep work. When you call my I office I will tell you that I want to “measure twice so we only have to cut once.” Gun rights restoration is important. It is so important that we take the time to prepare your case the right way.
You and I will have a long conversation about your personal history, including your criminal history, employment history, and family life. I will give you very specific instructions on what I need you to do on your end. The prep work is NOT difficult, but it is important. It is our way to make sure that we have a solid foundation to move forward. I want to be certain that we have a complete understanding of the situation and that we do not encounter any surprises or mistakes. Also, I want to ensure that we have our “ducks in a row” before we file your petition.
Once the prep work is done, I will draft your petition. I draft your petition specific to your situation. Your case is not like anyone else’s case, and your petition should be appropriately tailored to fit you.
After we review and edit the petition, I will file it with the appropriate circuit court. At that point, I will coordinate with the court and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office (i.e., the prosecutor) to schedule your petition for a hearing.
Importantly, I will schedule the hearing so that it works with your schedule. If you have an important event on your calendar, we can work with that. For my out-of-town clients, this means that you will have plenty of advanced notice to make the appropriate travel arrangements.
Preparing for and attending the hearing in court: "Prepare for the worst. Hope for the best."
The hearing in court can unfold in many different ways. If everything goes our way, it could be fairly short and easy. If we encounter some obstacles, it could be long and difficult. Very often, it falls somewhere between the two.
Regardless of what happens in court, we will be prepared for it! A week or so before the hearing, you and I will have an extended appointment (either by phone or in the office) to prepare for court. We will discuss everything that might happen in court. We will go over all of the different ways the case might unfold. We will discuss any and all of your remaining questions. After your hearing prep, you will have a very, very good idea of what to expect in court.
On the day we go to court, I will probably ask that you meet me at the courthouse around 30 minutes early. That will give us plenty of time to meet face-to-face (if we have not yet met in person), and it will also give us plenty of time to go over any last minute questions or concerns.
When your case is called, it’s game time. All of our preparation gets put into action. I will navigate the hearing, whether it involves your testimony, the introduction of exhibits into evidence, legal arguments with the prosecutor and the judge, or the entry of the final order.
From your perspective, things will happen very quickly. You will probably have a bit of an adrenaline rush, and that is perfectly normal. If everything goes well, we will walk out of court with your gun rights restored!
After the hearing and beyond.
After the hearing, your job is done. My job is not. I will communicate with the Virginia State Police to ensure the proper records are updated. Most importantly, you and I will discuss all of the “dos and don’ts” for how you proceed in the future. We will review what happens when you try to buy a gun from an FFL dealer. We will discuss what happens when you carry or possess a gun. We will discuss possibly applying for your Concealed Handgun Permit. And we will discuss the potential problems you should watch out for if you try to possess a gun in a different state (other than Virginia).
From there, you get to enjoy the rest of your life with your gun rights restored. You get to go shooting with friends and family. You get to teach your kids the importance of firearms safety, and you get to see their faces light up with joy when you take them hunting and shooting. Most importantly, you and your family will have the ability to defend yourselves, God forbid the need arise.
For more information about the Virginia gun rights restoration process, please see the Gun Rights Restoration FAQ and my article series on the process, particularly Part II: Petition the Circuit Court. If you would like to discuss your options for gun rights restoration, call the office for a free consultation.
You have paid your debt to society. You have put your past behind you. There is no reason that your past mistakes should follow you around any longer. Restoring your gun rights is a wonderful way to close a door on the past and open a door to a future you deserve.