Relief from Disabilities

Relief from disabilites is a federal remedy. The specific statute that establishes relief from disabilities is 18 U.S.C. § 925(c). The disabilities at issue in the relief from disabilities statute are disabilities relating to purchase, possession, and use of firearms.

Under federal law, any person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year cannot legally purchase, possess, or use any firearm. Relief from disabilities under 18 U.S.C. § 925(c), when granted, restores the person's right under federal law to again purchase, possess, or use a firearm.

18 U.S.C. § 925(c) specifies that application for relief is made to the United States Attorney General. Thereafter, authority to review these applications was transferred to the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (“ATF”). But for many years, Congress, through the appropriations process, has specifically barred ATF from using any appropriated funds to review these applications. As a result, no processing of these applications takes place, and no relief is granted.

Applicants have sought judicial review from the refusal of ATF to consider applications. In almost every instance, the courts have ruled that they lack jurisdiction to provide such review. In essence, their reasoning is that the refusal of Congress to appropriate funds for review constitutes a legislative decision to not permit the relief that 18 U.S.C. § 925(c) would appear to provide.

One case held otherwise. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the courts do have jurisdiction to consider appeals from the refusal of ATF to act on the applications. Included within the Third Circuit are federal court actions arising in the State of New Jersey. Thus the door for New Jersey residents seeking relief from disabilities may be not completely shut.

The case where the Third Circuit allowed judicial review from the ATF refusal to act is Palma v. United States Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 228 F.3d 323 (3rd Cir., 2000). Note, however, that even though the Palma court did provide judicial review, it ultimately denied relief from disabilities on the merits of that case. Thus, to date, Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ are unaware of anyone who has succeeded in obtaining relief from disabilities since Congressional appropriations were discontinued.

Changes in the law since the year 2000 lead Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ to believe that this issue, if presented in a new case, could receive more favorable consideration. Note, though, that if the Third Circuit (or any other circuit) did grant such relief, there is a considerable likelihood that the United States Supreme Court would grant review of that decision in order to resolve the conflicting rulings between the various circuits.

 A New Beginning     Eligibility Review     FAQ     Difficult Cases     Our Guarantee     Your Arrest History 

 Testimonials     “Plan B”     Recent Developments     Unreasonable Delays     Court Decisions 

 After the Expungement     DNA     Mental Health Records     Child Abuse Registry     Identity Theft 

 Traffic Offenses     Skills and Methods     Radio Promo     How Did We Do?     Retiring!     Contact Us!   

Law Offices of Allan MarainNJ and New Jersey arrested can expunge criminal records and convictions for crimes and dismissed.
Attorney and Counsellor at Law
100 Bayard Street
P.O. Box 1030
New Brunswick NJ 08903


Former client J.A.C. (file 7171) wrote: “Mr. Marain,

“I really appreciate your professionalism! And thank you for your constant contact and for keeping me in the loop throughout the process.

“Thanks a lot.

“J[remainder of name redacted]”

Refresh this page for a testimonial from another random client.
Click for a tsunami of testimonials from other former clients.

Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ and
“Expungements with Dignity”
Copyright © 2003-2023, Allan Marain, New Brunswick, New Jersey, all rights reserved.
For information, questions, or suggestions about our site, please email our webmaster.

Our privacy policy is available for your review on a separate page on this site.
Search engine optimization by Rank Magic.
Disputes arbitrated by New Jersey Arbitrations, Inc. »Keeping You Out of Court.
Hosted by Westhost »When you expect more from your Web host.
Page last updated August 14, 2017, and displayed Monday 4 December 2023, at 03:50:12 MST.

  Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!   [ Powered by Apache ]   Dynamic Drive provides much-valued technical assistance for attorneys at law in New Jersey court defense