You must petition for relief from disability.
Since who you petition to depends on the date of conviction, I'm
quoting the entire section from the US Sentencing Commission
Guidelines here. While they refer to employment, the process also
covers federal licensing - as in professional licensing - as well as
other collateral consequences.
Now, if you are refering to licensing of firearms, I'm afraid you're
out of luck...more about that at the bottom.
[ Note: If the date of conviction were after November 1, 1987, the
petition for relief from disability would be made to a United States
District Court - to the sentencing judge if a federal conviction; if a
state conviction, to the US District court covering that state.
Here is a page with links to the various US District Courts so that
you can get their contact information as well as filing fee schedules.
< http://www.uscourts.gov/districtcourts.html > ]
"§5J1.1. Relief from Disability Pertaining to Convicted Persons
Prohibited from Holding Certain Positions (Policy Statement)
A collateral consequence of conviction of certain crimes described in
29 U.S.C. §§ 504 and 1111 is the prohibition of convicted persons from
service and employment with labor unions, employer associations,
employee pension and welfare benefit plans, and as labor relations
consultants in the private sector. A convicted persons prohibited
service or employment in such capacities without having been granted
one of the following three statutory procedures of administrative or
judicial relief is subject to criminal prosecution. First, a
disqualified person whose citizenship rights have been fully restored
to him or her in the jurisdiction of conviction, following the
revocation of such rights as a result of the disqualifying conviction,
is relieved of the disability. Second, a disqualified person convicted
after October 12, 1984, may petition the sentencing court to reduce
the statutory length of disability (thirteen years after date of
sentencing or release from imprisonment, whichever is later) to a
lesser period (not less than three years after date of conviction or
release from imprisonment, whichever is later). Third, a disqualified
person may petition either the United States Parole Commission or a
United States District Court judge to exempt his or her service or
employment in a particular prohibited capacity pursuant to the
procedures set forth in 29 U.S.C. §§ 504(a)(B) and 1111(a)(B). In the
case of a person convicted of a disqualifying crime committed before
November 1, 1987, the United States Parole Commission will continue to
process such exemption applications.
In the case of a person convicted of a disqualifying crime committed
on or after November 1, 1987, however, a petition for exemption from
disability must be directed to a United States District Court. If the
petitioner was convicted of a disqualifying federal offense, the
petition is directed to the sentencing judge. If the petitioner was
convicted of a disqualifying state or local offense, the petition is
directed to the United States District Court for the district in which
the offense was committed. In such cases, relief shall not be given to
aid rehabilitation, but may be granted only following a clear
demonstration by the convicted person that he or she has been
rehabilitated since commission of the disqualifying crime and can
therefore be trusted not to endanger the organization in the position
for which he or she seeks relief from disability.
Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective June
15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 56)."
< http://www.ussc.gov/2002guid/CHAP5.htm >
If I were petitioning, I would pay an attorney to help me because I
would want to make sure I did it right and have no confidence that I
would do it correctly all by myself :-) However, using an attorney is
not required. While I can find no examples of petitions online, you
can go to a local law library and find examples from case law to
Go here to find a law library in your area:
< http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/chapters.asp >
(Unfortunately, for $10, a trip on my part to my local law library
isn't possible. You may wish to post another Google Answers request
for examples of relief of disability petitions filed by others. I
recommend you place it under the Relationships and Society/Law
category as another researcher may have online access to
subscription-based legal databases or easier access to a law library.)
As I mentioned before, licensing of firearms isn't covered in the
If you read the ATF website FAQs
< http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm >, you'll learn that
the ATF "cannot act upon applications for relief".
(A10) Q. How can a person convicted of a felony apply for relief from
A. Under the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA),
convicted felons and certain other persons are prohibited from
possessing firearms. (See 18 U.S.C. section 922(g).) The GCA provides
the Secretary of the Treasury with the authority to grant relief from
this disability where the Secretary determines that the person is not
likely to act in a manner dangerous to the public safety. (See 18
U.S.C. section 925(c).) The Secretary delegated this authority to ATF.
Since October 1992, however, ATF's annual appropriation has
continuously prohibited the expending of any funds to investigate or
act upon applications for relief from Federal firearms disabilities.
This restriction is located in Pub. L. No. 107-67, 115 Stat. 514,
which contains ATF appropriations for fiscal year 2002. As long as
this provision is included in current ATF appropriations, the Bureau
cannot act upon applications for relief from Federal firearms
disabilities submitted by individuals. Consequently, we cannot
entertain any individual's request for firearms restoration while this
prohibition on the processing of such applications remains in place.
Furthermore, the restriction contained in Pub. L. No. 107-67 does not
change the status of prohibited persons. They are still prohibited
from possessing, receiving, transporting, or shipping firearms under
However there was significant case law on this and, indeed, the
Supreme Court agreed to a review.
Here's a succinct summary of the basis of various appeals from a news
< http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/1/24/202310.shtml >
"As a result, many of the individuals, who are now being denied
reviews by ATF, have turned their attention on the courts, utilizing
another part of Title 18 Section 925(c) of the U.S. Code.
"Any person whose application for relief from disabilities is denied
by [ATF] may file a petition with the United States district court for
the district in which he resides for a judicial review of such
denial," according to the original law. "The court may in its
discretion admit additional evidence where failure to do so would
result in a miscarriage of justice."
Applicants argued that, because ATF was no longer conducting the
legally required reviews of their applications, the secretary of the
treasury had, by default, denied their applications, making them
eligible for judicial review. "
However, on 12/10/02, the Supreme Court ruled for the federal
government and the ATF:
"In an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, the U.S. Supreme Court
today (Tuesday) ruled unanimously in United States v. Thomas Lamar
Bean that the federal "relief from disability" guns-for-felons
program, which was operated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms (ATF) until Congress defunded it in 1992, cannot be revived
by federal judges. The Court also refused any comment on Bean's claim
that he had a Second Amendment right to get his guns back. "
You can read more about it here:
Google search strategy:
Initially it was [ federal certificate for relief from disability ]
which I changed to [ certificate +"relief from disability" +federal ]
Also [ petitioning + "relief from disability" +federal ]
If you would like a clarification of any of this, please don't
hesitate to ask.
Thanks for using Google Answers!