Can Federal explosives disabilities resulting from a conviction of a crime be removed if the conviction is expunged or set aside or the convicted person has received a pardon for the offense?

Can Federal explosives disabilities resulting from a conviction of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year be removed if the conviction is expunged or set aside or the convicted person has received a pardon for the offense or has had his or her civil rights restored?

A person convicted of, or under indictment for, a "crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" may not lawfully receive or possess explosive materials or be issued a Federal explosives license or permit. The term "crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" does not include offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or any State offense (other than one involving a firearm or explosive) classified as a misdemeanor and punishable by imprisonment for 2 years or less. There are only 3 means by which Federal explosives disabilities resulting from a conviction of, or indictment for, a "crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" can be removed:

(a) A decision of a court invalidating a conviction on the basis that the conviction was unconstitutional;

(b) In the case of a Federal conviction, a presidential pardon; and

(c) The granting of relief from Federal explosives disabilities by ATF pursuant to the filing of a relief application with the Director. Information on how to apply for relief and contact information for the Relief of Disabilities Section is available on the ATF website. [18 U.S.C. 841(l), 842(d),(i), 845(b); 27 CFR 555.11: definition of "crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year", 555.26(c), 555.142]

Last Reviewed September 15, 2015