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Once a felon in NYS receives a certificate of relief from disabilities can he purchase firearms for in home protection?

Central Islip, NY |
Filed under: Criminal defense

I've been working on a pardon for almost a year now but it appears as if all I'm gonna get is these certificates, I already have an excellent career so that's not really a concern but I have been wondering if these certificates will reinstate my right to bare arms? I've never been in prison, I just plead guilty to a stupid drug charge and that's my only conviction, I had multiple charges when I was arrested most of which were bogus but as previously stated I only have one actual conviction. If it makes a difference I was charged with some kind of knife but like I said not convicted, I've never understood the specifics of the knife charge because in all actuality it wasn't mine. These arrests were in 2003, I've been an upstanding citizen and a substance abuse therapist since.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    A certificate of relief from civil disabilities is not the same as a pardon. Generally it is a crime for someone who has been convicted of a felony to have a gun. An exception to this would be if you did indeed get such a certificate. This would allow you to posses the weapon without being in violation of NYS law but you would still need a license. It is more than likely that the licensing authority will deny you the license based on your felony conviction (especially if it is was a weapons possession). I would also point out that whether or not the certificate of relief allows you to get a weapon the Feds won't let you have one. There are federal laws barring convicted felons from possession a weapon unless all their rights have been fully restored (ie pardon) whether or not the state lets you have the weapon.


  2. A certificate of relief from civil disabilities is not the same as a pardon. Generally it is a crime for someone who has been convicted of a felony to have a gun. An exception to this would be if you did indeed get such a certificate. This would allow you to posses the weapon without being in violation of NYS law but you would still need a license. It is more than likely that the licensing authority will deny you the license based on your felony conviction (especially if it is was a weapons possession). I would also point out that whether or not the certificate of relief allows you to get a weapon the Feds won't let you have one. There are federal laws barring convicted felons from possession a weapon unless all their rights have been fully restored (ie pardon) whether or not the state lets you have the weapon.


  3. The certificates are not likely enough but the only way to ultimately find out is to apply.

    Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
    President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
    Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
    1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
    Garden City, NY 11530
    516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
    Jlopiccolo@hbclaw.net

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


  4. A certificate of relief from civil disabilities does not remove the conviction itself so I don't think you can possess a firearm. I suggest you call the licensing unit of your police department and ask. Even if you can do so legally, I believe the decision on whether to grant a license is discretionary and I doubt the police department would license someone with a felony conviction.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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