Firearm Rights Reinstatement

Gun in Pants
This week in our local Courthouse an individual was in front of the Judge asking that his right to own a firearm be reinstated. About eight years ago he was involved in a drunken driving accident where someone was hurt. He told the Judge that he had not had a single sip of alcohol since the accident. He had since retired and he currently runs a small machine shop out of his garage. He wanted his gun rights back because he was a passionate hunter.

While this drunken driving accident made the individual a felon, he did not appear to have any other criminal convictions and there wasn’t any evidence of him being a violent individual. Despite this, the Chief of Police came and objected to the Judge granting this guy’s request. I was glad to hear that the Judge sided with the citizen and granted his reinstatement of his right to own a gun.

There are many restrictions that one may face with their right to own a firearm in Oregon. If you have been convicted of any felony in the last 15 years, if you have been convicted of a domestic violence crime, or even if there is a restraining order in place against you, then it is illegal for you to own a firearm. However, there is some relief from this under Oregon law.

ORS 166.274 is where you can find the process and procedure for getting your firearm rights reinstated. Below are some sections of the Reinstatement Law that an individual needs to know if they plan on applying for reinstatement of their firearm rights.

  • You have to file a “Petition for Relief” at the Courthouse in the County in which you live.
  • You may apply for reinstatement once a year.
  • You have to serve a copy of the application with the chief of police in the city in which the Courthouse is located.
  • You have to show by “Clear and Convincing Evidence” that you do not pose a threat to the safety of the public.

You should also know that it is likely that the Chief of Police or a representative from the police department WILL come to this hearing and object to your rights being reinstated, regardless of your criminal record.

There are some crimes that will prevent you from reinstatement under this section. If you have been convicted of a “person felony” in Oregon then you are not eligible for reinstatement of your rights. If you have been convicted of any Measure 11 crime under ORS 137.700 then you are also not eligible for reinstatement. Unfortunately, if you have been convicted of a person felony or a Measure 11 crime then you are not eligible for reinstatement under this statute.


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