In order to actually get your firearm rights restored, the involuntary commitment must have occurred in a state which has a law outlining the path to restoration. And that state law must conform to federal requirements.1
In a state restoration hearing, the judge must consider the following factors:
(1) the circumstances regarding the involuntary commitment,
(2) the petitioner’s record and
(3) the petitioner’s reputation in the community of residence.
The court must find that the petitioner “will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety,” and that “the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest,” in order to restore firearm rights.
The law in North Carolina requires that the court consider:
(1) the petitioner’s mental health and criminal history records,
(2) the petitioner’s reputation, developed at a minimum through character witness statements, testimony, or other character evidence, and
(3) any changes in the petitioner’s condition or circumstances since the original determination or finding relevant to the relief sought i.e. the involuntary commitment.
If the state where the involuntary commitment occurred does not have a law which includes the federally mandated factors, that court’s findings will be subject to a federal bar. Additionally, since the NICS Improvements Amendment Act (NIAA) was passed in 2008, if your state’s restoration statute predates 2008, it may be inadequate. If the federally required factors and findings are not part of the state’s restoration statute, it would be fruitless to make this motion until the state’s law is changed.
1. 18 U.S.C. § 925(c)