I wonder how the Supremes would feel about the Governor's power to issue pardons? An absolute pardon is not a restoration of rights in the sense that a general or conditional pardon are. An absolute pardon is essentially a declaration that you were not guilty when the court improperly convicted you, thus your 2A rights (and all other civil rights) were improperly forfieted under the Code of Virginia. I just do not see how they could structure an argument other than that.
Many of those who have been convicted of a felony offense seem aware that black powder rifles and pistols are not firearms under the law. They do have to petition for restoration of the right to hunt, but if they are satisfied with BP season only they may skip asking for the restoration of firearms rights. Many courts are of the opinion that felons should never have firearms rights restored, but seem to have no heartburn over them BP hunting.
If you have lost the right to vote as a result of a felony conviction in a Virginia court, a U.S. District or a military court, you must have your rights restored in order to qualify for voter registration. The restoration of rights restores the rights to vote, to run for and hold public office, to serve on juries and to serve as a notary public. It does not include the right to possess or transport any firearm or to carry a concealed weapon
There are three types of pardons:
1. A Simple Pardon is a statement of official forgiveness. While it does not expunge (remove the conviction from) the record, it often serves as a means for the petitioner to advance in employment, education, and self-esteem. Evidence of good citizenship is required, as are favorable recommendations from the officials involved in the case and from the Virginia Parole Board.
2. A Conditional Pardon is available only to people who are currently incarcerated. It is usually granted for early release and involves certain conditions; if you violate these conditions, you could be put back in prison. There must be extraordinary circumstances for an inmate to be considered for such a pardon.
3. An Asolute Pardon is rarely granted because it is based on the belief that the petitioner was unjustly convicted and is innocent. An absolute pardon is the only form of executive clemency that would allow you to petition the court to have that conviction removed from your criminal record.