Wyoming suit vs. BATF shot down
Gist of the suit: Wyoming had a statute allowing persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to get their convictions "enpunged." As in a lot of states, that didn't mean the Court ordered the file shredded. It remained on the books, and could be used to enhance sentencing in a second offense. The 1986 amendment to the Gun Control Act said that a conviction for purposes of GCA did not include a conviction which the court had expunged. ATF said the state statute did not qualify, since the records were not really destroyed and the conviction had continuing legal effect. Wyoming said the statute said they were "expunged" (or set aside, now I forget the language) and that should suffice. The court of appeals agreed with BATF.
Not to ramble, but I had a hand in drafting the 1986 amendments. Maybe I'll tell the story someday. It was pretty wild at times. I recall there was then a movement to have states adopt procedures so that people could get rid of misdemeanors and even felonies to a greater or lesser degree, but still keep them around just in case they erred again. I think it hadn't caught hold quite yet, but there was the federal Youth Corrections Act. Unfortunately, I can't just now recall whether under the YCA the records were actually destroyed, and the legal effect vacated, or not.