The FLRB and Federal Law

The Firearms License Review Board has the legal authority to restore your firearms rights if you have been convicted of certain misdemeanors such as Assault and Battery or Operating Under the Influence. A restoration from the Massachusetts FLRB would previously restore your rights on both the state and federal levels. Now, based on an opinion from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, BATFE, FLRB restorations of rights only remove state prohibitions.

At a meeting of the Massachusetts Firearms License Review Board, the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services Manager of Law Enforcement & Justice Services, Michaela Dunne, reported that BATFE has indicated that the agency will no longer recognize FLRB decisions as removing federal firearms prohibitions or disqualifications. Therefore, even if you receive or have received relief from the Mass. FLRB, and were issued a License to Carry Firearms, you will still be considered a “prohibited person” pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(g). The rationale for this decision is the United Supreme Court’s ruling in Logan v. US, 552 US 23 (2007). In this case, the court found that an individual whose civil rights were never lost they cannot be restored.

Given the number of individuals potentially impacted by this situation, there is likely to be further litigation in this area.