According to both state and federal law, if you’re convicted of a felony, you shall not be allowed to “possess, use, transport, sell, purchase, carry, ship, receive, or distribute a firearm in this state.” Michigan Penal Code Act 328, Section 750.224f. See also 18 U.S.C 922(g). Your rights can be restored, if certain conditions are met.
In addition, you may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged, though law enforcement agencies will still have access to see your prior convictions.
If you do have your record expunged, your rights will be restored, unless the expungement — or pardon if you received one — “expressly provides that the person shall not possess a firearm or ammunition.”
If you’re looking to restore your 2nd Amendment rights through expungement or through the provisions of Act 328, contact me at the Redmond Law Group. I am proud to serve clients in Troy, Michigan, and anywhere in Oakland, Wayne or Macomb counties. I am here to fight for your rights.
In April 2021, Michigan’s Clean Slate Law went into effect. The law aims to grant expungements to individuals with two or fewer felony convictions (with certain exceptions) and to individuals with four or fewer misdemeanors.
Specifically, the legislation allows for "automatic" expungement for individuals with two or fewer felonies 10 years after sentencing or release from custody. It further expunges the records of individuals with four or fewer misdemeanors seven years following sentencing. It makes exceptions and disallows expungement for:
Offenses punishable by 10 or more years in prison
Convictions that involve a minor, a vulnerable adult, injury or serious impairment, or death of a person
The process for expungements is under review and development by multiple state agencies, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s website. As of now, applications to expunge a criminal conviction still need to be filed in the court where the conviction occurred. I have successfully regained the firearm rights and/or expunged the records of dozens of clients and currently have over ten applications filed and awaiting court hearings.
Michigan Code Act 213 states that “a person convicted of one or more criminal offenses, but not more than a total of three felony offenses, in this state, may apply to have all of his or her convictions from this state set aside.”
As with the newer and not-yet-implemented Clean Slate Law, the code makes exceptions, stating that an applicant may not:
Have more than a total of two convictions for an assault crime set aside under this act during their lifetime
Have more than one felony conviction for the same offense set aside under this section if the offense is punishable by more than 10 years of imprisonment
Have been convicted of “life offense” crimes, such as murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, or domestic violence felonies
Have been convicted of drunk or drugged driving
If you qualify under Act 213, you can apply to the convicting court to have your criminal record expunged, or you can wait two years for automatic expungement to kick in. The problem is that no one has any idea how long it will take for the Clean Slate system to process everyone who qualifies, so why wait when your rights and freedoms are at stake? Further, it would be unwise to trust the government to get it right. Michigan currently claims that certain "non-specified" crimes are automatically expunged, but they remain on your record and appear on federal background checks when applying for a concealed carry license or to purchase a firearm.
One of the biggest benefits of having your criminal record expunged is that your conviction(s) is deleted on a state and federal level. Potential employers can no longer view the conviction on your public record, which will have been set aside and sealed from view. You will no longer have to check the box on your employment application asking if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime — you can say you have no criminal convictions.
If you’ve lost your voting or 2nd Amendment rights because of a felony conviction, you will regain those rights as well. You can apply for a concealed carry permit, or purchase a firearm without triggering federal restrictions.
Act 328 requires either a three-year or five-year waiting period to have your gun rights restored after being convicted of a felony. If you’re convicted of a non-specified felony (which is what most felonies are), your rights are supposedly restored automatically after three years under the following conditions:
You’ve paid all fines associated with the violation(s)
You’ve served all terms of imprisonment
You’ve completed all terms of probation or parole
However, many of my clients still see their convictions remaining after 15 years or more. Relying on the state to "automatically" restore your rights may result in a multiple-decade delay.
If you’ve been convicted of a specified felony, the waiting period is five years, but the process is not automatic. When you’ve completed all conditions listed above and five years have passed, you must apply for the reinstatement of your rights to the circuit court in the county where you live.
Remember, restoring your gun rights under this process applies only to gun possession and use in the state of Michigan. It does not clear you of federal restrictions. Accordingly, you will not be eligible to obtain a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) or purchase a firearm at a national chain store. You are, however, free to hunt, open carry, and otherwise exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in the state of Michigan.
You can obtain a copy of your criminal record online using the Internet Criminal Record Access Tool, or ICHAT. Email the results to me at the Redmond Law Group so we can get started restoring your rights and clearing your record.
If you’re seeking gun rights restoration or expungement of your criminal record, I am ready to help you pursue your rights through established legal processes. I will work with you and fight for your rights under the law. I am located in Troy, Michigan, but I serve clients through Oakland and Macomb counties. Call me at Redmond Law Group today.