Posted by on November 13, 2023

A Guide to Restoring Firearm Rights After a Felony Conviction in Texas


In Texas, a state renowned for its strong gun culture, losing the right to bear arms due to a felony conviction can feel particularly disenfranchising. However, there are legal avenues available for individuals seeking to restore their firearm rights. This guide provides an overview of the process, highlighting the key steps and considerations for those embarking on this journey.

Navigating Texas Law:

Under Texas law, individuals convicted of a felony face a significant restriction on their firearm rights. Specifically, they are prohibited from possessing firearms for a period of five years following the completion of their sentence, including any probation or parole. After this period, their right to possess a firearm is reinstated, but only within the confines of their own home.  However, it is important to note that your right to own and possess a firearm remains prohibited pursuant to federal law, even in your home.  In order to fully restore firearm privileges, further legal action, typically involving a Texas pardon, is required if the conviction was a Texas state conviction.  If you have a federal conviction, then you would need to seek a federal pardon or presidential pardon.  Likewise, if you have a state conviction outside of the State of Texas, you would need a pardon from that state.

Eligibility Criteria:

To start the process of restoring firearm rights, one must first fulfill all sentencing conditions, which include serving any prison time, completing probation or parole, and paying all fines and restitution. After these obligations are met, individuals can begin the process of seeking broader restoration of their firearm rights.

The Pardon Route:

The most comprehensive way to restore firearm rights in Texas is through obtaining a pardon. A pardon is an official forgiveness for the crime, which can lift the federal restrictions on firearm possession. To apply for a pardon, one must submit a petition to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. This petition should be detailed, providing a thorough account of the crime, the applicant’s life and behavior since the conviction, and strong reasons for seeking the restoration of firearm rights.

The board reviews each petition on a case-by-case basis, evaluating the severity of the offense, the time that has passed since the conviction, the applicant’s post-conviction conduct, and their reasons for needing a firearm. If the board recommends a pardon, the final decision rests with the Governor.

Seeking Professional Help:

Due to the complexities involved in the process, consulting with a lawyer who specializes in firearm rights restoration is highly recommended. An experienced attorney can navigate the legal intricacies, help prepare a compelling petition, and advocate effectively on the applicant’s behalf.

Support and Advocacy:

Engaging with advocacy groups focused on Second Amendment rights or criminal justice reform can also be beneficial. These organizations often provide additional resources, guidance, and support to individuals seeking to restore their rights.


Restoring firearm rights in Texas after a felony conviction is a demanding process that requires perseverance, strict adherence to legal protocols, and a comprehensive understanding of the law. By meeting all legal requirements, carefully navigating the pardon process, and utilizing professional and advocacy support, individuals can work towards regaining this fundamental right. This pathway not only highlights the value of responsible gun ownership but also demonstrates the potential for redemption and the restoration of rights in the criminal justice system.

Posted in: Pardon