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Restoring Gun Rights in California

Criminal Conviction
Restraining Order
Mental Health Detention

Published by the Law Offices of Bruce Colodny 

By Bruce Colodny, The California Gun Attorney
Copyright © 2013



If you have lost your guns rights in California, you may be eligible to request a court order to restore them. To determine your status, please follow the guidelines in this article and then contact us at 800-560-8000

What you should do before you call for legal help

Gather every piece of paper concerning the case or event which resulted in the loss of your gun rights that you can. Copies of court documents and letters or bills from the attorney who previously represented you in court, are particularly useful.

If you lost your gun rights because you were detained for a mental health evaluation (also known as a “5150”), your discharge papers and bills from the hospital or mental health facility will also be of assistance in obtaining the medical records pertaining to your case.

If we ask you send us documents and papers for review before a consultation, please either scan and send them as a pdf file by email or fax them to us at 909-864-5243, or if you prefer to send them by mail, please send only copies, not the originals, as the United States Postal Service is reliable, but not perfect, and items do occasionally get lost in the mail. The original documents may be needed in future court proceedings.   

Prepare to be interviewed and asked for dates, names and locations of the attorney that represented you, the county courthouse where your case was filed, the hospital or mental health facility where you were held, etc.

Why do people lose their gun rights in California?

·        They were convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanor crimes.

·        They became the subject of a restraining order.

·        They were detained for a mental health evaluation & determined to be a danger to themselves or to others.

Restoring gun rights lost due to a criminal conviction

Many California crimes can be charged either as a felony or as a misdemeanor; this type of offense is often referred to in the California criminal justice system by the slang term “wobbler”. Some examples of “wobblers” include possessing or receiving stolen property, some insurance fraud offenses, grand theft, possession of methamphetamine (for personal use as opposed to possession for sale), second degree burglary, and many other common crimes. If you were convicted of a “wobbler” as a felony and the judge did not impose a state prison sentence (including a state prison sentence that was suspended) but instead granted you probation, you can later return to court to ask that your felony conviction be ordered reduced to a misdemeanor for all purposes; subject to a few exceptions, this type of court order will restore your gun rights, unless there is something else in your background which also resulted in the loss of your gun rights.

This type of court order will restore your gun rights under California and Federal law, unless there is something else in your background which also resulted in the loss of your gun rights.

Restoring guns rights lost due to restraining orders

If you lost your gun rights because you became subject to a civil harassment or domestic violence restraining order, which can last as long as three to five years, respectively, and then be renewed, consider having us file a motion for an order for the early termination of the restraining order against you.

These years-long restraining orders, which take away your gun rights while the order remains in effect, begin with the issuance of a temporary restraining order which will include notice of a hearing in just a few weeks to determine if a years-long restraining order should be issued against you.

If you become aware that you are the subject of any temporary restraining order proceedings, you should immediately consult our law office for assistance.

Restoring gun rights lost due to mental health detentions

If you were held at a facility against your will for a mental health evaluation, which resulted in a determination that you were a danger to yourself or to others, California law strips you of your gun rights for five years.

If your initial mental health detention was not involuntarily extended beyond the initial 72 hours, you can petition the Superior Court for an order for the early termination of the five year loss of your gun rights, however, the California Welfare & Institutions Code states that you can only petition once

For over 30 years, our firm has successfully handled numerous firearm rights restoration matters.  Please contact our law office to consult with Mr. Colodny about restoring your firearm rights or any other firearm legal issue or question that you might have. 

Disclaimer: The information contained within is subject to change as a result of future court decisions and/or new legislation. For advice concerning a specific situation you should
contact the Law Offices of Bruce Colodny at 800-560-8000


You may also want to read:

Denied a Gun Purchase?  Can Your Rights Be Restored?

Divorce, Restraining Orders & The California Gun Owner

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Friday, 25 April 2014

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