Case on restoration of rights
US v. Indelicato, 97 F.3d 627 (1st Cr. 1996). The Gun Control Act technically doesn't forbid felons to possess guns; it forbids those convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year's imprisonment, or of one expressly denominated a misdemeanor, and not punishable by more than two years' imprisonment, to do so. It also provides that a conviction does not count if the person has received a restoration of civil rights. In most States, a crime punishable by more than a year's imprisonment is a felony, so the difference is zero.
At issue in Indelicato was defendant's status when he had been convicted of a Massachusetts misdemeanor that was punishable by up to 2.5 years' imprisonment. Since that's more than two years, it brought him with the Federal ban. But since it was a misdemeanor, which loses no civil rights, there was no way for him to have obtained a restoration of civil rights.
The court decided to treat the matter as if Indelicato had had his rights restored, in the sense that he never lost them in the first place. It acknowledges that several other rulings have gone the other way: since the defendant never lost his rights, he cannot get them "restored" and is forever barred. I think it's a good approach (why would Congress have meant a misdemeanant to have a lifetime bar, when a felon would not), although it's not in accord with the language of the statute. This is one of the cases where statutory "interpretation" actually involves, not figuring out the legislative intent, but figuring out what would have been the legislative intent if the legislature had foreseen an obscure situation, which it didn't know existed.