10th Circuit rules against Wyoming
Reduced to a nutshell: federal law says a conviction does not count if it has been "expunged," or firearm rights have been restored. Under Wyoming law (and that of a lot of other States), a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can be "expunged," with a ruling say that it is so, even tho the record is not physically destroyed and can be used, if the person offends again, to enhance the sentence.
Is that "expunged" or not? Wyoming argues it is -- the purpose was to let state law control the question of whether a person is convicted, and here's a state court order saying the record is "expunged," using the very word of the statute. ATF argued, and the 10th Circuit agreed, that something isn't "expunged" if it's still sitting in court or government files and has future legal effect.
I wasn't involved in the case, but thought the key would be to look at what expungement schemes looked like in 1986, when the Firearm Owners' Protection Act, which inserted the expungement language, was adopted. My memory is foggy, but as I recall there was the federal Youth Corrections Act, which I think did destroy records, and some early State laws. Congress was acting against the background of that legislation ... what did it provide?
Hat tips to Jim Kindred and Dan Gifford...