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Restoration of the Right to Possess Firearms

There are several reasons why a person may have their gun rights taken away. In some circumstances, the right to possess firearms can be restored. For example, if the prohibition from possessing weapons or firearms is due to an involuntary commitment, placement or hospitalization such as an adjudication of incompetence to consent to treatment then, there is a process in Florida to have gun rights restored. When somebody has their right to possess guns taken away, the law describes that as having a disability from possessing firearms or weapons.

Until recently, the process for the restoration of firearm rights or removing the disability was automatic in Florida. By presenting a certificate from a psychiatrist that there was no mental infirmity or disability for the last 5 years, a person could simply request and have the prohibition from possessing firearms removed. Today, the law is more restrictive because it requires judicial oversight and a hearing. Furthermore, there is no longer a bright line rule for what must be proven in order to remove the prohibition

This means that now a judge has to decide whether a person gets their rights back by having a hearing. There are factors the court has to consider and every case is different. Some factors are the circumstances surrounding the involuntary placement, the mental health of the individual, criminal history, and of course the catch all whatever other evidence has been presented. Other evidence can be if the disability was just recently discovered or updated in the system. For example, if a concealed carry license had previously been issued or firearms had previously been purchased.

Even if a Petition to Remove Firearms Disability is denied then, under current Florida law, the petition can be brought again after one year. Therefore, even if there has been a denial in the past, there is a new shot that can be taken on a yearly basis. Just as every person is different, every case is different.

Cases dealing with mental health issues are generally closed to the public. Furthermore, this requirement to have a hearing is new law. There is no case law that I found over the last year interpreting or giving guidance to the courts. This makes the process more challenging. Please click, call or fill out the form to get help removing the ban on possessing firearms.

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Attorney Christian A. Straile, LLC
352.371.9141 Gainesville
352.694.4529 ocala