Sealing a Felony Conviction Does NOT Restore Gun Rights

Only a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities will restore your Second Amendment rights.

A man who recently had a felony conviction sealed through the State’s ‘expungement’ law (Penal Law 160.59) wondered if the Sealing Order was sufficient to restore his 2A rights.

A fingerprint run through the FBI and DCJS revealed that, despite the Sealing Order, he was still prohibited from lawfully possessing firearms.

A 160.59 Sealing Order only hides a felony conviction from public view, e.g., potential employers, credit agencies performing a ‘background check’.

Law enforcement agencies will always see the ‘unsuppressed’ record – every arrest, Order of Protection, conviction – even charges that are dismissed and sealed.

The attempt to secure a Certificate of Relief from the judge who issued the Sealing Order could not get past the court clerk’s office who cannot access to the [now] sealed record.

Resolving this issue will likely be costly and time consuming.

Bottom line, obtain a Certificate of Relief before having your conviction sealed.