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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

After searching the web and the forum, I was not able to get a clear determination, so I'd figure that I ask. In 1994, I was convicted of "Theft by Deception" in New Jersey and an embezzlement conviction of the same crime in Rhode Island. Since then, I served my time (18 months on a 5 year stip) and have not been in any trouble with the law ever since. I also had both convictions expunged and have the copy of both expungement orders.

I plan on applying for my GWC in Cobb Co. and would like to know who to handle question #5, "Have you ever been convicted of or pled guilty to any felony offense or any offense punishable by a term of imprisonment over one year, including a conviction by a court-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for an offense which would constitute a felony?........"

In NJ, the question is clear on the application when applying because in parenthesis, it asks if you have been convicted of a felony, but in parenthesis, it says, "Except for pardoned and expunged records). So, in that state, one can answer, "No" in my case. In Rhode Island, the same applies. However, how would I handle that question here in GA? I'm all about limiting any difficulties in any filing, and I welcome any insight to this question.

Thanks!
 

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As far as I know, expunged records still show on the background check, so technically, "yes" would be the correct answer. You would likely be denied, but then you could show proof the convictions were expunged for the judge and have the GWCL issued.

I'm not a lawyer and don't have any direct experience in type of situation, but there have been a couple similar discussions here:
https://www.georgiapacking.org/threads/trying-to-reestablish-gun-rights.268708/

https://www.georgiapacking.org/threads/gwl-for-first-time-offenders.251956/
 
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I believe the instructions on the Georgia weapons permit application will tell you that if you have been pardoned for an offense, you do have to mention it, but explain that it was pardoned and attach certified copies (meaning official copies, stamped and initialed personally by a records custodian) of the record showing that disposition.

that's also what the Board of Pardons and Parole in Georgia will tell you to do if you successfully get a pardon from them-- they advise you to answer truthfully that you were arrested for the crime, but that it was pardoned.
 
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Doing the right thing!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I had time to think about it today and I now feel that even if I could answer, "No" for that question, I prefer to be straight-up and open with them. I don't know what system they look at for background checks, but because the Feds say that expunged records will NOT prohibit an applicant from obtaining a gun, then just stating it and providing the paperwork would probably be best.

One thing GS about certified copies; When the expungement order came, my attorneys simply sent me a scan with the court time stamp, judges' signature and court clerks' signature and stamp. Would I have to actually get an actual certified copy or would the copies I have be enough for them to look into it themselves to show that the convictions were in fact, expunged?
 

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Judges and law enforcement can still see it, so expect the judge will see the record. Most employers will not see it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I think that the best bet is the answer yes and supply the certified expungement docs. I don't see any harm in that. This will allow less explaining if it comes to that.
 

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There is a difference between a pardon and expungement. They are not the same thing and should not be intertwined.

in GA, a conviction can NOT, repeat NOT, be expunged.

A pardon or restoration of rights must be sought via the Board of Pardons an Paroles.

An expungement, now known as a records restriction, has two different processes depending upon the date of arrest. You can read about them here.

The records restriction process keeps records from being publicly accessible. It does not keep them from showing up on certain background checks such as for a GWCL.

As to what happens to the records in other states, I am not qualified to answer.

I suggest asking to speak with the actual Probate Judge and posing that question to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your input Legacy38. Let me just re-iterate that the convictions were NOT in Georgia, so, the expungement doesn't follow GA law when it comes to expungement. The question that I was originally asking is how do I answer question #5 on the application. In New Jersey where one of the expungement petitions was granted with full rights restored, one can answer, "No" on the application as that has already been verified by the statute as it is read. The other expungement was granted in Rhode Island where there is a similar statute. I also understand the Georgia Record Restriction statute since they even did-away with the term, "Expungement" in which and expungement does not exist in GA anymore.

I spoke with the Cobb Co Probate court and they follow whatever state issued the order and they take it from there. They do not apply GA law unless the conviction was in Georgia. So, I just wanted to clear up any confusion on where the expungements took place. Also, in the states that I mentioned, there is no rule, law or statute that states that a pardon must follow the expungement. As a matter of fact, in RI, your full rights are restored upon completion and disposition of your case, meaning completion of any incarceration, parole, probation, restitution, fees, etc. However, that doesn't "jive" well with the Feds, so the only remedy that will be recognized by the Feds is an expungement or a pardon. While both of them provides relief, the difference is that one issues forgiveness for the crime, but it won't be forgotten. The expungement, removes it from public view and deemed as it never happened.

All in all, I just want to know how I can answer question #5 on the application. Those two states allow you to list, "No" unless you are applying for a gov't job/post, or applying for a medical position. However, those are just being referred to those states.

Speaking to a Marietta attorney on another board, he suggested to just answer, "Yes" and provide the documentation.

Just to add some additional info for those that may be in the same situation and looking for answers, here's links to some info:
New Jersey:
Questions 19 and 20 on the New Jersey Firearms Application Form ask if you have ever been convicted of a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or crime (felony). Once your conviction is expunged, however, you do not need to disclose it in response to these questions. In fact, the questions themselves specifically exclude records that have been "expunged or sealed." Thus, expunged convictions will not be held against you. Additionally, your expungement will remove any federal firearms impediments resulting from the New Jersey conviction. This is because, pursuant to Title 18, Section 921(a)(2) of the United States Code, an expunged conviction is not considered a conviction for purposes of that section unless the expungement specifically mandated that the individual not possess firearms.

Rhode Island:
§ 12-1.3-4. Effect of expungement of records - Access to expunged records - Wrongful disclosure

(a) Any person having his or her record expunged shall be released from all penalties and
disabilities resulting from the crime of which he or she had been convicted, except, upon
conviction of any subsequent crime, the expunged conviction may be considered as a prior
conviction in determining the sentence to be imposed.

(b) In any application for employment, license, or other civil right or privilege, or any
appearance as a witness, a person whose conviction of a crime has been expunged pursuant to this chapter may state that he or she has never been convicted of the crime; provided, that if the person is an applicant for a law enforcement agency position, for admission to the bar of any court, an applicant for a teaching certificate, under chapter 11 of title 16, a coaching certificate under §16-11.1-1, or the operator or employee of an early childhood education facility pursuant to chapter 48.1 of title 16, the person shall disclose the fact of a conviction.

Thanks for all the responses.
 

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I'm clear on where each expungement took place as you clearly stated such in the OP. I posted what I did because of some the responses you were receiving.
 

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Take that to the clerk and ask if the judge would accept it or not. If yes, file it. If not, get the other needed stuff.

Nemo
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Take that to the clerk and ask if the judge would accept it or not. If yes, file it. If not, get the other needed stuff.

NEmo
I applied for my GWCL last week. I conducted extensive research on the matter and the conclusion was to answer, "No." So, now i'm just waiting for a response. I already received certified copies of the expungement orders from my attorneys. In addition, they sent me copies their respective State statutes on expungement disclosure and that it restored all civil rights including firearms.

I filed on August 31st in Cobb Co. around 8:30am. The process took 6 minutes since I already had my application prepared. I was then sent downstairs for fingerprinting.

I'll keep this thread informed of the progress.
 
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I applied for my GWCL last week. I conducted extensive research on the matter and the conclusion was to answer, "No." So, now i'm just waiting for a response. I already received certified copies of the expungement orders from my attorneys. In addition, they sent me copies their respective State statutes on expungement disclosure and that it restored all civil rights including firearms.

I filed on August 31st in Cobb Co. around 8:30am. The process took 6 minutes since I already had my application prepared. I was then sent downstairs for fingerprinting.

I'll keep this thread informed of the progress.
Somewhat along those lines, I applied for a renewal in Cobb about 6 years ago, and was very worried about being denied. Nothing criminal, but a couple of years before that, when I was coming off of an antidepressant for PTSD (but still under its influence) and I happened to drink about 4 beers, I went off into another dimension and the cops were called. I was required to go somewhere for a couple of days. That's all I will say on that. When I applied for my renewal after that, I kind of expected a letter, but my card came instead, and I was elated.

I would guess there is a pretty good chance you will be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello Everyone,

Just a quick update on my application. I received a letter from the probate court today with an order of denial. I was kind of expecting that due to the fact that would have my time to present documents for reconsideration. However, the issue is that the NJ State Police have not updated their system yet, which according to my attorney, would be received by the Feds so they will update their records.

The probate clerk in Cobb County was very pleasant and gave me information on what I need to do next. Unfortunately, they cannot go by the expungement order / documents that I have from the NJ courts. She said that they have to go by what is reflected on the NICS system. Her example to me is that if the county issued me a license and I just so happened to be pulled over and the officer found that I have a GWCP and run a background check on me, then it will be on the court as to why I was issued one when I have a conviction with no record or note on the system reflecting that expungement. I understood where she was coming from, but it still seemed odd to me that even though I have a certified copy of the expungement order pertaining to that case, that they still want to see it reflected on the NICS.

So, my attorney will reach out to the NJ State Police where he said that he already sent the order to and see what's going on. Once I get that cleared up, the Cobb Co. Clerk said that she can re-run the check and if it's gone or at least marked as expunged, then i'll be good-to-go for my permit.

Being that I called the probate court asking for reconsideration, the clock started ticking, so I have 6 months to resolve this. I am a patient guy, so "no biggie"

My own confusion was that I have the expungement order where the court is saying I am being denied because of it. I thought that I can just show that to the judge and that will prove that the conviction was taken care of. If this should have been the case and there's a resident attorney here that feel they can remedy this quickly, i'll hire them to do so, else, i'll try to wait patiently until the NICS is updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good day GP,

And a good day it is! I just received word that my reconsideration for my GWCP has been approved.

So, let me complete my story ...

After the denial and speaking with the clerk, I contacted the attorney that handled my expungement. To his surprise that it wasn't cleared, he contacted the NJ State Police Expungement Unit to find out what was going on. Within two days, I received a call from his office letting me know that it has been cleared and the FBI system will reflect the update. On September 24th, I received a letter from the NJ State Police letting me know that it has been corrected. So, I called the county clerk and said that It is now cleared and that they can re-run the background check again. This was on September 20th. On September 24th, I was told that it no longer appears on the background check. They didn't say that it was, "noted" or "marked." they said it no longer appeared. So, they will resend it to the judge for reconsideration by September 28th.

At 9:30am this morning, I received a call from the county to let me know that my application has been approved and it will be ready by next week. They asked if I would like to have it mailed. I decided to wait for the phone call so I can personally pick it up. One thing that I forgot to ask (which I will do when I pick it up) is when the time comes for renewal in 5 years, do I have to state on the renewal app if I was ever denied. I would think that because the application was still the same one for the denial and reconsideration, that the answer would be "no." So, that's all I need to know.

Thanks to everyone that participated in this thread that provided advice. It was much appreciated.
 
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Sirplaya goes into his happy dance................. :woohoo: :applause:
 
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Search around this place for info on a wally world walk as initiation into the carry life.

I am pretty sure it was discussed here.

Nemo
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hahaha ... will do.
 
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