This post starts a new discussion on how criminal records can affect a person’s gun rights in Oklahoma.

Most people in Oklahoma are familiar with Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which protects the private citizen’s right to own fire arms. However, the right to own a gun is not without limitations and regulations.

This series of blog articles will focus on having a criminal record or a domestic restraining order or VPO can affect your right to own a gun, be around guns, live in a household with guns or obtain a permit to carry a gun.

We will begin by looking at how felony convictions restrict a person’s gun rights, and later we will examine how even misdemeanor convictions can have an affect. We will wrap up the series by explaining how expunging criminal records can protect your gun rights in Oklahoma.

How Felony Convictions affect a person’s gun rights

If you are a convicted felon, you cannot own a gun, possess a gun, ride in a car with a gun or live in a home with a gun.

And felony convictions cannot be expunged. A person with a felony conviction must first get a pardon from the governor and only then, once pardoned, can they expunge their felony conviction.

***[Update: effective 11/01/2018, non-violent felony convictions can be expunged without a pardon under the new law. Read more here].

Therefore, an expungement cannot restore gun rights that have been lost due to a felony conviction, but for everyone else, there are many benefits.

By expunging non-violent felonies, misdemeanors, and VPO’s off your record, you simply the application process for obtaining a conceal carry license. You also simply the process of purchasing a firearm, as the background check will come up empty and not reflect your expunged cases, charges, and arrests. When applying for these purchases and permits, you may honestly and legally answer that you have no charges or convictions and have never been arrested.

By having a clear record, it simplifies and streamlines the process in all of these situations, which saves you time and saves you from having to answer, explain and defend embarrassing past events.

Imagine being pulled over while a having ammunition or a firearm in the trunk of the car. Nothing wrong or illegal, but it will definitely raise the awareness and concern of the officer, slow the transaction of the stop, and lead to some additional questions. Now, the peace officer will be even more thorough in running your information. Having your records expunged will speed up this process, ease the officer’s concerns, and will make the traffic stop all the more smooth. This benefits all parties involved, including society at large.

To speak to an expungement lawyer, call Travis Charles Smith at (405) 724-8112 or complete this form.

In our next article, we will explain how certain misdemeanor charges can affect gun rights.