Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyer
Call Today 877.378.6140
Aggressive Former Prosecutor James A. Bullard Jr.'s Next Big Case Is Yours.

New VA Law Establishes Gun Rights for Some Felons

New Virginia Law Establishes Gun Rights for Some Felons

Some convicted felons in Virginia will now be able to own guns due to a new bill signed by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe earlier this month. House Bill 2286 — sponsored by Del. Michael Webert (R-Marshall) — allows felons whose gun rights have been restored in other states to own firearms in Virginia.

Attorney James A. Bullard, Jr. recently spoke on this subject at the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation (VCBR), as we covered in a recent blog post. He supported the bill as a method of helping those who have repaid their debt to society to regain their rights and a valuable place in their communities.

"This measure is a positive step to help persons who have repair their debt to society," Del. Webert said, likening the restoration of gun rights in Virginia to the state's longstanding policy of restoring voting rights for out-of-state felons. "George Washington once said, 'To err is natural, but to rectify error is glory.' I believe this legislation lives up to that principle."

Not everyone stood in support of the bill. Michael McClary, representing the Culpeper County Democratic Committee, called the move "silly" and an "easy lift" on Webert's part, due to what he called the attitude of "NRA hysteria" behind many politicians' reluctance to oppose pro-gun legislation in Virginia.

"The argument that if we are going to give felons their voting rights then we should give them their guns is pretty undeniable. Hence, the governor's signature," Mr. McClary was quoted as saying in The Star-Exponent. "What is a shame in the commonwealth and in the country is that very few politicians are willing to work to try to bring down all the widespread killing, maiming, and suicides being perpetrated by our well-armed and mostly unregulated citizens, and of course, the criminals."

But Culpeper Town Councilman and Public Safety Committee Chairman Jon Russell called the bill an important bi-partisan effort.

"Just like restored voting rights, felons who have worked hard to be on the right side of the law should have their 2nd Amendment rights returned. It's refreshing to see there is still some common sense bi-partisanship in the commonwealth."

Committed to Our Clients & Our Community

Our firm views this move as a positive direction step in helping individuals who have paid their debt to safely and effectively re-enter society. Helping our clients pursue positive futures through skilled and effective representation is our goal. James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. is an experienced and hardworking criminal defense attorney in Richmond with years of experience and a reputation for excellence in advocacy.

Contact our office today to set up a free case review if you or someone you love has been arrested, or if you have questions about pursuing expungement.