I routinely help many NH citizens annul felony convictions thereby restoring their right to bear arms. The process is relatively simple and includes a review by a Judge to determine if a person qualifies, then a background check by the Department of Corrections including a criminal records check and finally input from the county attorney. NH law requires a period of 10 years with no conviction of any kind for a class A felony, 5 years for a B felony, and 7 years for any drug offense or special felony.
NH permits annulments pursuant to RSA 651:5 for most felons after a requisite time period of being conviction free. The NH statute excludes certain violent crimes: (a) capital murder, first or second degree murder, manslaughter, or class A felony negligent homicide under RSA 630, (b) First degree assault under RSA 631:1, (c) Aggravated felonious sexual assault or felonious sexual assault under RSA 632-A, (d) Kidnapping or criminal restraint under RSA 633, (e) Class A felony arson under RSA 634:1, (f) Robbery under RSA 636, (g) Incest under RSA 639:2, III or endangering the welfare of a child by solicitation under RSA 639:3, III; or (h) Any felonious child pornography offense under RSA 649-A.. The link to the full NH Statute for annulment is http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/lxii/651/651-5.htm.
Anecdotally, in contrast to the examples in the Times article the last person I sought an annulment on was convicted upon a plea of receiving stolen property in 1986 and had no subsequent convictions including any motor vehicle offenses. He wanted the annulment so that he could go hunting with his son and grandson. He was 22 years old when he made a poor decision and was truly embarrassed that he had been a felon. Another person wanted to annul his record so that he could apply for a better job with his current employer that involved towing vehicles and required that he be bonded. These stories are more typical of the types of people who seek annulments with my office. I am confident that they and the other clients that I have helped restore their constitutional rights will be responsible gun owners and productive members of our community.
In Northern NH gun ownership and gun rights are a very important part of life. Hunting is still very much an activity that is enjoyed across generations and provides some of the most cherished memories for many citizens. A young person who makes a mistake should not be banned for life from an activity after having served their sentence.
The United States currently has the highest rate of incarceration rate in the world. At year-end 2009 it was 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population.According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009 — about 1% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or on parole. In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2009 — about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population. In addition, there were 86,927 juveniles in juvenile detention in 2007. Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States
The NY Times perspective on restoring gun rights to felons is biased and misrepresents the vast majority of cases where citizen’s constitutional right to bear arms is restored.