Those who renounce their US Citizenship can never own guns again even if they regain citizenship

What happens to your gun rights after renouncing your citizenship?  Today’s post looks at this issue.

A few weeks ago I received a call from a woman who had renounced her citizenship in 2016.  I do not know if she made this decision for political or financial reasons but I do know that she had changed her mind and decided to undergo the naturalization process to try and regain her citizenship.

She was calling me because she wanted to know where she stood in regards to the right to purchase, possess, and transport firearms while she was awaiting the completion of the process.

She was making the assumption that she might not regain her firearm rights until she was once again a citizen.

She simply did not fully understand the significant, lifelong consequences of renouncing her citizenship.

Pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(7), “[i]t shall be unlawful for any person … who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship … to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

The ATF addressed the permanence of this ban in a 1997 regulatory rulemaking entitled Definitions for the Categories of Persons Prohibited From Receiving Firearms (95R-051P).

In the comments to that rule they note that “a person who has renounced his or her citizenship and has subsequently regained citizenship through naturalization would remain under firearms disabilities. Section 922(g)(7) of the Act makes it unlawful for any person who has renounced his citizenship to possess firearms and there is no exception for subsequent naturalization.

Therefore, she, and anyone else similarly situated, can never regain the gun rights lost as a result of renouncing their citizenship.


Disclaimer:  This information is presented for educational purposes only and does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship. Additionally, I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and this information may not be applicable for other states. If you have further questions about this topic or any other in my areas of practice, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

Posted in 922(g), ATF, ATF Ruling, BATFE, Federal Law, Immigrants, Purchasing Firearms | Comments Off on Those who renounce their US Citizenship can never own guns again even if they regain citizenship

I am NOT the ‘John Pierce’ who founded Pierce-Bainbridge and is representing Kyle Rittenhouse

I have received multiple emails and telephone calls over the last several days asking if I am the attorney named John Pierce who is representing, or fundraising on behalf of, Kyle Rittenhouse.

I am NOT that ‘John Pierce’.

A quick Google search reveals that the John Pierce in question is apparently the founder of the firm Pierce-Bainbridge.

I, on the other hand, am a solo-practitioner, practicing only in Virginia, far from Wisconsin.

So … whether you are a member of the media wishing an interview, someone wishing to support Mr. Rittenhouse, or someone who wants to yell at, and-or threaten, the attorney who is representing him, do not call me, for I am not him.

However, if you are a Virginia resident, or a member of the military stationed in Virginia, who needs an NFA Trust, wishes to petition for restoration of firearm rights, has been denied a concealed handgun permit, or who has been charged with a criminal matter in Virginia relating to firearms laws, then please feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

Posted in NFA Trusts | Comments Off on I am NOT the ‘John Pierce’ who founded Pierce-Bainbridge and is representing Kyle Rittenhouse

Virginia Supreme Court extends judicial emergency again

The Supreme Court of Virginia announced today that they were extending the judicial emergency yet again.

Judicial Emergency Timeline

  • First Order – The Supreme Court of Virginia first declared a judicial emergency on March 16th at the request of the Governor. The declaration was for a period of 21 days which was slated to end on April 6th.
  • Second Order – On March 27, the Supreme Court of Virginia extended the judicial emergency for a second 21-day period which would have ended next Sunday, April 26th.
  • Third Order – Today (April 22nd), the Supreme Court of Virginia extended the judicial emergency for a third 21-day period, extending the termination date to May 17th.

For those clients who are anxiously awaiting the ability to schedule (or reschedule) their matters, I would not put any confidence in May 17th being the actual end of the judicial emergency.    I think there is a very real chance that it will be extended yet again.

I base this belief on the fact that, in today’s order extending the emergency (see below), the Supreme Court of Virginia specifically noted that the Governor has issued a ‘stay at home‘ order that does not end until June 10th.  I do not think that the mention of June 10th in today’s order was mere happenstance.  A fourth 21-day period would effectively end with court restarting on Monday June 8th and that would roughly coincide with the end of the governor’s ‘stay at home‘ order.

I hope that I am wrong and the Commonwealth is able to safely resume the operation of our courts before June, but until we know more, we should prepare for that eventuality.  I will keep all my clients informed as the situation changes.

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Posted in Virginia Courts, Virginia Supreme Court | Comments Off on Virginia Supreme Court extends judicial emergency again