February 2004

 

RESTORATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS

FOLLOWING FELONY CONVICTION

 

An individual convicted of a Federal felony, if the offense would be a felony in the State of Washington, loses certain civil rights.  The rights lost include the right to vote, hold public office, hold certain jobs, and serve on jury (Article 6, Section 3 of the State Constitution).  Federal Law also precludes a convicted felon from bearing arms; that is, possessing, receiving, shipping, or transporting firearms or ammunition (Title 18, United States Code, Section 922, and Title 18, United States Code Appendix, Section 1202).  Upon completion of probation, supervised release, parole, or a prison sentence without parole, a convicted felon can apply for restoration of these rights as follow:

 

I.  RESTORATION OF RIGHTS BY GOVERNOR OF STATE OF

                WASHINGTON

 

The Governor of the State of Washington has the authority to restore those civil rights abrogated by state law.  In order to apply for restoration of rights upon completion of probation, supervised release, or parole, you may get specific instructions and forms to apply for clemency as follows:

 

Washington State Clemency and Pardons Board

c/o Terri Gottberg

Office of the Attorney General

PO Box 40116

Olympia, WA  98504-0116

You may also contact the board by email at CPBoard@atg.wa.gov

You will find specific instructions and forms at http://www.governor.wa.gov/clemency/default.asp

 

        II. RESTORATION OF RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is authorized to restore Federal firearm privileges

to convicted felons under 18 U.S.C.925(c), but has not been permitted since fiscal year 1992 to

expend funds for this purpose.  The only other provision in Federal law which explicitly relieves

persons of the Federal firearms disability is a Presidential Pardon, authorized under the United

States Constitution, Article II, Section 2; C.F.R. 1.1 et seq; and 28 C.F.R. 0.35 and 0.36.

 

Additionally, it is noted that Title 9, Section 41.040 of the Revised Code of Washington (state

law) forbids ownership or possession of any firearm (including a concealed weapons permit) by

an individual convicted of a crime of violence, serious drug offenses, or qualifying misdemeanor

offenses.

 

III. EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY

 

Section 1.1-1.9 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations set forth the procedure for

applying for Executive Clemency by means of a Presidential Pardon.  In order to be eligible for

consideration, a convicted felon must have complied with the rules published in the Code of

Federal Regulations, and must have completed at least five years (and in some cases seven years)

of arrest-free existence from the date of release from supervision.  Additionally, he/she must

have demonstrated good citizenship and complete rehabilitation.

 

A Petition for Pardon After Completion of Sentence can be obtained from the Office of the

Pardon Attorney, United States Department of Justice, 500 First Street, N.W., Suite 400,

Washington, DC 20530.  This form may be obtained from their internet website:

www.usdoj.gov/pardon/pardon_petition.htm