Oklahoma gun rights are fairly straightforward: concealed carry application laws and Oklahoma hunting licenses are mostly just a matter of paperwork, unless you find yourself with a felony conviction on your record. In that case, Oklahoma carry laws become prohibitive, and the need for an Oklahoma expungement lawyer becomes potentially necessary to lead you through the various steps required to reacquire your carry permit or deer hunting license.
There is a common misconception that an expungement of a person’s criminal record is the way one goes about reacquiring their Oklahoma gun license. An expungement effectively seals a person’s record, and in the case of Section 18/19 expungement, also their arrest record. While this is ideal for someone looking to distance themselves from their criminal past, and certainly beneficial with regards to rental and employment background checks, an expungement alone cannot help someone get their Oklahoma gun license back. The following is a step-by-step guide to reacquiring your gun license:
Step 1: Pardon
The first step in reacquiring a gun license in Oklahoma post-felony conviction is through a pardon granted by the Governor of Oklahoma. A pardon provides official recognition that the felony offense has been forgiven by the State, acknowledging the person has turned their life around for the better since their conviction. A pardon not only allows the restoration of gun rights in Oklahoma (carrying a firearm, obtaining a concealed carry license, becoming a gunsmith), but can also facilitate record expungement of both an Oklahoma felony and misdemeanor.
Step 2: Background check
If a pardon from the Governor of Oklahoma is secured, Oklahoma law states that private sales of firearms are legal, at which point a federal background check must be completed. The actual process typically only takes a few minutes, but the government has up to three days to complete the check. After these three days, the dealer then has the right to proceed with or deny the sale of the firearm. Under state law, once a background check is completed and approved, there is no limit to the number of firearms a person can own.
Step 3: License
Lastly, it remains unlawful for any person, save for on duty peace officers, to carry a firearm on their person, or in any container, except for purposes of hunting in Oklahoma, fishing, education or recreation or with a valid CCL (Concealed Carry License). The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is authorized to issue a CCL. To apply for such a license, a person must be a U.S. citizen, an Oklahoma resident, at least 21 year of age, have completed a firearms safety and training course and submit all necessary forms and fees.
Again, while the process is fairly straightforward, it would still be helpful to contact an Oklahoma expungement attorney to assist in the process, to ensure each step is completed to the satisfaction of the state.