Allen Park man sues ATF for confiscating firearms despite clean record after expungement

The way Jeramy Wilburn sees it, he only messed up once. The poor decision-making of a child shouldn't determine one's freedoms for the rest of their life, he argues. 

The 34-year-old Allen Park resident was known for making YouTube videos about gun safety. He's also a fan of sport shooting and until this past November was free to partake. 

Then the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency took away his firearms because of a past domestic violence conviction which happened years ago. This, despite having the conviction expunged in 2022. 

Wilburn's conviction was a misdemeanor in 2008. As punishment, the judge put him on probation and ordered him to take a domestic violence class - no jail time. And in February 2022, that one mistake was wiped from his record.

"Expungement is the process by which we file with the court to remove that conviction from their record," said Barton Morris, an attorney.

The state has hosted several expungement fairs to help people like Wilburn who have lived their life cleanly since their conviction.

MORE: Expungement in Michigan: How to clear your criminal record

But, in a federal lawsuit brought by Wilburn and Morris, the two argue that isn't the case. They argue Wilburn should be allowed to possess a firearm. But the feds say Wilburn could still be convicted of domestic violence again.

"It’s unfair for them to say he should be forever barred, forever prohibited from carrying a firearm just because he potentially could get a second offense," said Morris.

Wilburn falls in the camp of people who believe repeat offenders have lost their right to own a weapon. But that's not him, he says.

"I could see if I was an ongoing violent offender or somebody who broke the law constantly. Maybe that may be true," he said. "But for somebody who messed up as a kid and got their life straight and going straight now, I wouldn’t see why not."


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The ATF has not formally responded to the complaint and there’s no court date yet for the lawsuit.