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

Asked over 2 years ago - Central Islip, NY

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. Benjamin J Lieberman

    Contributor Level 20

    3

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    Best Answer
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    Answered . 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. Benjamin J Lieberman

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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. Joseph A Lo Piccolo

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  4. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . 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.... more

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