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Thread: Need a good attorney!

  1. #1
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    First, a little background:

    For about the last 30 years, my dad has been unable to possess firearms because of a felony conviction for check forgery (back when he was young, reckless, and most importantly, very poor :P). At the time he owned a Colt Sporter AR-15, which he was obliged to give to his parents to sell, and in the three decades since, he hasn't so much as touched a gun.

    Well, finally, last month I told him that I wanted to buy him another AR-15 for Father's Day, and I did some poking around to see if there was a way to have his firearms disabilities removed.

    I'm sure most of you know that the federal petition process has been underhandedly blocked by congress since 1992, but the federal restriction (18 USC ยง922(g)) does not apply if the conviction has been expunged, or if the individual has had civil rights restored. We know that after my dad served a couple months in jail, and after he completed probation, the conviction was set aside, and he has been able to vote since then. He actually still has the original paperwork, though we're not legally knowledgeable enough to really know what any of it means.

    Now, Washington State has a similar restriction on possession, but after reading that law (RCW 9.41.040) it seems to me that felony forgery does not meet the statutory definition of a "serious crime".

    So, long story short, we think it might be the case that he's been legally able to possess firearms for a long time now (wouldn't it just figure? :P), but we will need a solid legal opinion on this before taking any action.

    So, I'm asking you guys: do any of you know of a good attorney, well-versed preferably in both Washington State and federal firearms law? We've decided it's well worth forking over an attorney's fees to finally learn the truth one way or another.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The only way he can own a gun again is to have his right toown a firearm re-instated. Rights can be re-instated one at a time. Typically he will have to file for expungment, if he has not already, and for his firearm rights restored. This is not normally giving back unless specifically requested during the expungment and rights restore process.

    I do not know of any good constitutional attorneys off hand.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    I personally don't know any, but last time I was in the Bullseye downtown, there is a flyer for an attorney that specifically deals in your kind of case, and gun rights in general. I gave one to my friend who is also a felon; he didn't do anything to hurt anyone, but grew pot once upon a time when he was young and stupid.

    I don't know the lawyer, but I know he deals in cases like yours. Next time I am in there I will have to pick another copy up and post the info here.

  5. #5
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    Thanks a bunch, Lonnie! That site is very informative. I'll have to drop this guy a line.

    compmanio365: thanks, I'd appreciate that. I wonder if it's the same guy whose website Lonnie posted. :P

  6. #6
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    David Newman is another attorney with whom you may wish to consult.

    http://www.washingtonceasefire.net/c...,16/Itemid,44/

  7. #7
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Here's the info I got for that gun rights lawyer:

    David M. Newman
    The Rainier Law Group
    425-748-5200
    www.rainierlaw.com

  8. #8
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    While forgery is not a serious or violent offense, it may still be a problem if the violation occurred prior to 1975 and he did not receive an order of dismissal.

    If your father received a deferred or suspended sentence and, after successfully completing probation, received a dismissal, he is not prohibited from possessing firearms.

    Your original post indicated your father was convicted over 30 years ago. Prior to 1975, forgery had a maximum penalty of 20 years (current maximum penalty is 5 years). Persons who have been convicted of a class A felony or a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years are ineligible to petition for restoration of firearm rights under RCW 9.41.04094). Thus, if he did not receive a dismissal, he has two options:

    1) File a petition and argue that although forgery was once a crime punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years, the legislature has reduced the seriousness level and the maximum penalty. His crime is no longer considered a serious offense.

    2) Pursue a pardon based upon rehabilitation or innocence. Note: According to one WSPCHIS representative, only one pardon in the last 20 years effectively restored the applicant's gun rights.



    P.S. DO NOT attempt to restore gun rights in Pierce County with this issue. I have never experienced as much trouble and misinterpretation of the law as I have encountered there.







  9. #9
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    GunAttorneyFerris wrote:
    P.S. DO NOT attempt to restore gun rights in Pierce County with this issue. I have never experienced as much trouble and misinterpretation of the law as I have encountered there.
    Based on my wife's experience with a DUI there I'd say don't do ANYTHING in Pierce County. She acknowledged her guilt, she tried to do everything right and they still screwed her over at least a half dozen times. This while we commuted from Blaine everytime we needed to talk to someone about her case.

  10. #10
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    I agree it was a long time ago and people make mistakes when they were young. Your dad should get his rights back as he made amends.

    However being very poor is never an excuse.

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