On the Restoration of Felons’ Gun Rights

Before the NRA annual meeting in St. Louis this year the TTAG crew had a very nice dinner with Dick Heller at Dan’s place. The topic of discussion that night meandered from one thing to another, but the main discussion was on whether felons should have their firearm rights returned to them after serving their time. A couple of the writers were of the opinion that doing your time cleared all debts and your rights should be returned, but I had a slightly different opinion on the matter . . .

I just want to say before I get too far into this that there’s a reason I don’t usually post opinion pieces on this site, and that’s because I’m a card carrying Democrat. Some of my friends have placed me more accurately in the libertarian range of the political spectrum, but either way I tend to be more liberal on most of my views than most of our readers. But on this topic I only see one logical solution for our country to take.

Violent felons should not have their gun rights automatically returned.

I believe that the Bill of Rights guarantees our God given rights on this planet, and we are free to use those rights as we see fit. We were born with a clean slate, free to choose our own path through life using our free will. Most of us use those rights for good, but some people abuse their rights to the detriment of others. It’s at the point where one person’s exercise of their rights begins harming others that I see the need for some of those rights to be curtailed.

In my opinion, someone who willfully abuses their rights in order to injure another human being has proven that they are unable to be trusted with those rights. That’s the reason I don’t oppose the NICS check at gun stores, as it makes sure that those who have proven incapable of handling the responsibility of their rights aren’t allowed to legally purchase firearms.

Some argue that the prison sentence alone is sufficient, and afterwards they’ve “paid their debt” and can have their rights returned. But anyone who has been to an elementary school knows that giving the playground bully a time out doesn’t stop him from terrorizing the other children the next day. That child has proven they are incapable of controlling themselves and needs to have their recess privileges revoked until they have demonstrated that they have themselves under control. Adult offenders see prison sentences the same way, as a time out before they can get back out and continue their life of crime.

Dick Heller has worked in corrections for ages, and he sees criminals coming in and out of prisons on a regular basis. He’s seen more repeat offenders than people who quietly do their time and become a contributing member of society once more. Because of that observation he’s of the same mind, that felons shouldn’t get their gun rights automatically restored. I take that as evidence  (however anecdotal) that my theory is right, and once someone has abused their rights there’s no logical way to assume they won’t do it again.

Naturally there are exceptions to this assumption, as not every felon goes out and commits another crime. There are some people who truly have reformed their lives and deserve to have their rights restored. But it should be an active process that the felon has to go through to have their rights restored, not an automatic restoration. They should need to prove that they have been rehabilitated.

That’s my take: You should be able to exercise all of your rights to the fullest extent until you have proven that you are incapable of handling that responsibility.

FOR CLARIFICATION: I’m talking about VIOLENT felons having their 2A right revoked until they’ve proven their rehabilitation.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

195 Responses to On the Restoration of Felons’ Gun Rights

  1. avatarMichael B says:

    Are you for the instant restoration of non-violent felons’ second amendment rights once they have finished their sentences?

    • avatarTTACer says:

      I thought it was odd that Nick did not make the distinction. In the USA you can be felon for importing lobster in the wrong kind of bag.

    • avatarrosignol says:

      For non-violent felons?

      Once the sentence is finished and restitution is paid in full, yes. If the debt has been paid and the victim made whole, the matter should be considered settled.

    • avatarJ says:

      Do you want people to be bad there whole life ? You say cause they messes up once thats it !! They proved they cant have a gun without killing anyone. WTF ! Its people like you that are assholes, people make misstakes and if they didnt use a gun in the crimw and 10 yrs have passed with no other arrest WHY ARE THEY STILL BAD IN YOUR EYES ? They can get a gun anywhere if they want, its easier to get one off the street then in a store so if this guy is so bad why did he not kill yet ? You think “oh well now a store will sell him the gun so hw will deff go crazy all of a suden. YOUR a dirtbag, you have done something in your life you didnt get caught for and if you were you would bw considered a criminal your whole life, you can protect your familys all because you got a feloeny when
      you were a child. I say if the felon didnt use a illegal firearm or kill someone and has not been in trouble for 7-10yrs let them have there rights back like they should. Remember anybody can get a gun at any time no matter what the feds or state say so by ruining people lifes making them
      think “well i guess i have to be a criminal then cause they treat me as one 10yrs latter so fuck it” , If they want yo go kill people they will amd can with many legal weapons or illegal guns of the street.

      Try having respect for the felons who made misstakes at 20 and now are 31yrs old with a family he wants to protect, go hunting and rand like an american should be able to !!!!! Its sad people like you think uneducated

    • avatarRobert says:

      I have a felony non violent.I have not had any other troubles and will not have any other troubles.I do agree that some folks that have violent felony should not have a gun.However I do feel that if a person clears himself or herself should not be punished for there life and should have there rights restored.
      R.S
      Cleburne Tx

      • Non-violent and white-collar felonies should not affect gun rights. Plus, the guilty parties should not take up space in prison.

        • I partially disagree with the latter: Bernard Madoff & his ilk deserve every moment they spend behind bars. Less serious non violent crimes could indeed be in the main dealt with in a non custodial manner.
          Locking people up for possession of drugs intended for their own use is wasting a huge number of prison places that could be taken by violent criminals

      • avatarBenny Jack says:

        Thank you Robert. I agree that if an ex-felon has taken control of his/her life and has shown without a doubt that they no longer pose a threat to the public, then after a grace period of x-amount of years their 2nd amendment rights should be completely restored.

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Grace schmace. They served their time. Done.

        • avatarJer says:

          I also agree that if you show that you are no longer a threat to society that you should be able to get your gun rights back. I was convicted of felony assault. I was 20 years old and just dumb. It has been 10 yrs since then and I live a clean life, with the exception of a few traffic tickets. I have a family now and would like the right to protect them. I believe after 10 years if a person goes through some checks and they are found not to be a threat, then they should get there rights back. I strongly disagree with felons getting their rights back right after their sentence is complete. We wronged society and it is up to use to show society that we have changed for the better. With the exception of nonviolent crimes. They didn’t do anything violent so they should get their rights back right after sentencing.

      • avatarmike says:

        heres a kicker for you guys. i was convicted of a felony, i used a gun. the gun was used because i was being shot at with a .45 caliber. i did have a lawyer. why was i still convicted? wait till something like what happened to me and many other people in this same case happens to you and see how it feels. im not the only one out there who was convicted for defending myself and my family. the problem is people look at every felon the same. there should be a time limit however when they can get that back. after all there was murder,rape,etc. back when they made the constitution. the people who got out then got their guns back, why cant we? there are so many laws these days disobeying gods will. why is this? but they are laws they use to make more and more felons everyday. USA has the highest prison population in the world why? it is evidence that only 13% of felons who had their rights restored actually commited another crime but when it happens its all over ,but they never mention its only 13% why? now they are going after citizens guns,why? because people gave them that option when they did this to the felons. there is no prove when Lyndon Johnson made this order that a felon even killed those people. my two cents

    • avatarJohn says:

      I’m not sure I want to even comment on this. Whether a person has committed a violent crime or not is a much an issue as whether that person should have their 2nd amendment rights suspended or not. Many felons, who have committed violent crimes, are often not prosecuted for those crimes (due to plea bargains, insufficient evidence, etc.) and others who are found guilty of a crime may have not committed the crime to begin with. I am speaking from experience. I was 19 and had an incident happen where I was “there” at the scene but was not involved with any part of the actual crime. But because I had grown up religiously, and taught to always tell the truth, I came forward with information about the crime. Because of my coming forward I was framed by a detective who misused my information to further his own career. As a result of being so young and not having sufficient funds to afford my own attorney I used a “public defender (pretender)”. I went through 3-4 public defenders before my case went to trial. Under my attorneys counsel I went with a judge instead of a trial jury…because “this judge is really fair”. I have been told since by multiple attorneys…”you always take the jury”. PD’s don’t like juries because it is a drain on their time. As a result…the judge found me innocent of the charges that had been brought against me. BUT (if I’d had a jury that would be the end of it) because I had a judge she then could amend the charges, which she did. She found me guilty of a crime which I had never been charged (attempted assault). Because I had gone to the location with the intent of getting in a fight (even though no fight actually occurred). I was sentenced to 2 years of probation, 800 community service hours, restitution to the court and mandated anger management (which everyone who knew me thought was a joke because I was such an easy going guy). Result…I learned never to trust a police officer, that the “justice system” is a joke, and that crime often does pay (though I’m not a criminal). It has been 24 years and I have memories that will forever taint my view of the world. I am not a violent personal, criminal, or anything else but I have this permanent mark on my record for a system that is F’d up. As far as I’m concerned, YES, if someone pays for their mistakes then their rights should AUTOMATICALLY be reinstated. As far as additional information to bolster my point…the writer, himself, stated that these are “our God given right”. If they are given by God then who is he, or any person, or governmental agency to deny those rights set forth by God?

    • avatarMr. Liberty says:

      I am for violent, and non-violent felons getting their right to bear firearms once they are released from prison. It is a right, 2nd Amendment.

      You do not lose the 1st Amendment when released from prison, therefore you should not lose all the rest of your rights when out of prison.

      If we do not think they are safe in society, why are we releasing them ? Was that not the reason we put them in prison , the first time ?

      Do we not want them to rejoin society in every manner ? If they are labeled as outside our society, they will create a community of ex-convicts, which is not a good thing. Addicts of behavior need to be around people who are not addicts, and who have good habits.

      Being involved with a gun club is a healthy thing for ex-convicts, as opposed to be in a gang, isolated, or committing crimes , because society says they do not belong.

      Same thing with sex offenders. There are almost no jobs that do not get you in contact with adults of the opposite, same-sex, underage, etc. anyone you might have committed the sex act against. They need jobs too, and if they cannot fit in to society, we will see more problems come as a result.

  2. avatarSanchanim says:

    I would say felons should have their rights returned…. at some point.
    I know there are statistics that a high number commit another crime. I figure if they get released they usually are on probation for some time. I am sure that after a certain period the chances of them offending again drops. I don’t know what that time is, but I would say after that period passes if they are in on the straight and narrow then they should.
    One exception: If the felon committed a violent crime, or sexual crime like aggravated rape etc.. I think that is a small section that that shouldn’t get it back.
    I also think there should be an appeals process. I know not every crime fits a specific template so in some circumstances a person who has served their time might need to have real human eyes review the issue.

  3. avatarThomas Paine says:

    if you ever had a felony, you would have the opposite view.

  4. avatarWes says:

    If a man can’t be trusted with a firearm, then he shouldn’t be trusted to live among us. I know life isn’t exactly that easy, but in theory that is how it should work. Non-violent felonies like financial crimes should not keep someone from having a firearm. Men of a persistently violent nature belong in prison or in the ground and certainly have no business with weapons.

    • avatarMichael B says:

      Agreed.

    • avatarRalph says:

      If a man can’t be trusted with a firearm, then he shouldn’t be trusted to live among us.

      Agreed. And I don’t. But I’m stuck with them.

      • avatarsteve allen says:

        i have to agree with that, but i also have to ask this question , why is it that people that comment the mass shootings are not ex felons? i am a ex felon and i don’t agree with the laws about gun ownership ,and i also don’t agree with the back ground checks that makes it very hard to find work , i feel that there is alot of descrimination on ex felons.

        • avatarRandal says:

          erson. And do you really think changing the gun laws will make a difference? These people plan out very horrible crimes. They already know they are going to break the law. They would just break more laws to get what they want, to accomplish their mission. You can get ANYTHING on the black market. Laws don’t pertain to the black market. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
          They say, well, let’s ban the fully automatics, and the semi automatics, cause these weapons belong to the military, and law enforcement. Well, let me tell you, a militia is an army made of common citizens. And the constitution guarantees the individual right, to form militias. The average citizen is ALLOWED to form an army. The revolutionary army was made of nothing but average citizens. Just think how this country would be today, if they couldn’t have formed an army. And they realized that, so this is why they made the 2nd amendment.
          Death is horrible, but it’s an inevitable part of life. There will always be evil people who take the right to life away, regardless of ANY laws.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      Finally, someone who gets it!

    • avatar1freeman1951 says:

      agree +1

      In the early days of our country there were ONLY 2 ways government/society could deprive a person of the 2A rights, by imprisonment for criminal acts and by confinement to an asylum. Once released their 2A rights were reinstated. The fact of the actions of liberal bleeding hearts to minimize punishment or trivialize mental deficiencies of people resulting in little to no confinement for criminals/kooks does not change this.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Do you all not realize that prisons are over crowded, and that plenty of dirtbags get out early? Do you want to be shopping with them in your local gun store? Ever heard of, or met a career criminal?

      • avatarMichael B. says:

        Is anyone aware of any studies that determined where convicted felons that were caught with guns got them? Preferably a study done before the Brady law was passed.

        I think I’ve seen a DOJ study about it that was done in the 90s, but to have an idea how much of a problem convicted felons buying guns from gun stores would really be it’d be helpful to be able to look into the past. If such studies and data exist, anyway.

      • avatar521-199 says:

        Ohh your ignorance humors me, if you only knew how easy it is to land felony in some states. Like Ohio, get behind on your child support and end up in the pen. So I guess since people have hard times, are unemployed, and can’t pay their child support it makes them a criminal and they shouldn’t be permitted to own a firearm to hunt with, protect their loved ones, or for person protection? Try looking at things from the other side and FYI to everyone opposed to felons, I guarantee at least 50% of you have committed felonies in your life, some on accident some without even knowing it, but at the end of the day the only difference between you and me is…….I got caught….

        • avatarFounding Fathers says:

          Agreed. What about the non-felons, that a wife throws a dinner plate and hits you in the head but when the cops get there she says you started it and you get booked into jail for domestic violence and now you can’t own/Possess a firearm thanks to the Brady Act. I say that if you have ONE NON-VIOLENT Felony you should still be able to own firearm even while serving Probation as long as your Probation officer thinks that your Responsible enough too, if not, then after your sentence is served, then automatic reinstatement, just like most States do now with your voting right! Remember the 2nd Amendment is a RIGHT!! NOT A PRIVILEGE.

    • avatarShane says:

      Disagree…peaple change.

  5. avatarMichael B says:

    Furthermore, what do you think the punishment should be for a felon caught with a firearm?

    Do you think they should go back to prison, be fined, or face some other punishment?

    Do you think that a federal law banning felons from owning firearms is ideal or that it should be up to the states?

    Do you think a felon who legally defends himself with an illegally owned firearm should be punished?

    Do you agree that all humans have the right of self-defense? If so, what would you think about a felon, who hasn’t commited a crime since release, losing their lives because of their inability to legally own one of the best available tools for self-defense?

    • avatarRalph says:

      Do you agree that all humans have the right of self-defense?

      Yes. I also believe that all humans have to right to be secure in their person and possessions. Violent offenders believe otherwise. Too bad for them.

      Self defense is a right that works best when it isn’t needed.

  6. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    I gotta give you big props for posting this, Nick. It takes courage to post a controvertial opinion in such a public forum.

    [shitstorm = likely]

  7. avatarTim Harmsen says:

    This is something I’ve always felt pretty strongly about.

    I believe rights should be restored to those that serve their time. Violent felons, especially those that used firearms in the commission of their crimes, are another story. I don’t believe they should have their rights automatically restored.

    Many people with felonies on their records aren’t violent criminals. Once their debt is paid, their rights should be restored.

    • avatarMike OFWG says:

      Absolutely

    • avatarSkinnedknuckles says:

      I’m not sure how to make rules that would work fairly, but I agree with the concept given here. Maybe requiring a “rights restoration hearing” before a judge (NOT the Sheriff!) could be part of the process. But I do believe that there should be due process before rights are revoked permanently.

  8. avatar230therapy says:

    Where is the power in the Constitution (or state constitutions) to remove a right based upon a felony? I have not seen such and, as far as I know, the country didn’t have such laws until the 20th century. Doesn’t that mean the entire notion is a legal construct outside of the various constitutions?

    The revocation of rights has created a felon class in this country. I have seen it in action. People I have interviewed disclosed at the end of the interview that they had been convicted of an unrelated felony. The company would not hire them. Does this not create undo hardship on them? If their employment choices are severely limited, then what incentive do they have to change? What if the person was wrongly convicted of the crime, or worse, railroaded into prison? George Zimmerman’s situation is an excellent example.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Caron v. United States.

      Your single most important right is your right to life and liberty. The Bill of Rights is about nothing else. The state has the right to take away your life and liberty if you break the law. So other rights, such as the right to vote or own firearms, can likewise be taken from you.

    • avatartwency says:

      “Where is the power in the Constitution (or state constitutions) to remove a right based upon a felony?” -230therapy

      Section 2 of the 14th Amendment allows that the right to vote may be removed due to”participation of rebellion, or other crime”. Different right, but a partial answer to your question anyway.

      • avatarSean Waxen says:

        Case law does not trump the Constitution. This is why the Supreme Court exist, and the Supreme Court has over turned their own opinion many times.

    • avatarMike OFWG says:

      The Constitution defines the role and powers of the Federal government and it’s relationship to the States. I do not believe it was meant to be the be all and end all of laws or rights.

    • avatarRog says:

      George Zimmerman is a murdering peace of sh-t not an excellent example stupid a-s.

      • So you know the facts of the case & exactly what happened then?
        Why haven’t you come forward as an eye witness for the prosecution?
        Or perhaps you don’t know what you are talking about.

  9. avatarMichael B says:

    I’d also like to point out that we would probably have less of a problem with revolving door justice if our courts and prisons weren’t overloaded with drug cases and drug criminals. And we’d likely have less violence too. Prohibition doesn’t work.

    • avatarRambeast says:

      +1

    • avatarFounding Fathers says:

      You can thank the revolving door to prisons for drug users on Richard Nixons “WAR ON DRUGS” The most EXPENSIVE and WORTHLESS War in U.S. History. The 2011 Budget for “The War on Drugs” was $23.44 Billion Dollars and went over Budget. From January 1st 2012 to December 11th 2012 “The War On Drugs” Has wasted just about $52 Billion. Here’s what it looks like. 51,316,807,698 Tax Payer Dollars and rising by the Second. Thank you.

  10. avatarRalph says:

    Nick, I could not agree with you more. Violent felons lose a lot of rights, and one of them is the right to own firearms. Could a violent felon be rehabiliated to the point where their rights might be restored? Maybe, but I’d prefer that there were high barriers to gun ownership for violent felons.

  11. avatarFrank says:

    Some form of probation would seem reasonable. The more violent the crime or the greater the number of crimes, the longer the probation. If someone gets out of jail for crack dealing and doesn’t get arrested for 10 years, it’s a good indication that person has reformed himself.
    Non-violent felonies should not ban you from owning firearms.

    • avatarRalph says:

      If someone gets out of jail for crack dealing and doesn’t get arrested for 10 years, it’s a good indication that person has reformed himself.

      Maybe, or maybe it just means that the felon has become a better crack dealer and knows how not to get caught.

      • avatarSean Waxen says:

        It doesn’t matter. The Constitution guarantees the right.

        We live in a free country. Free does not mean safe, and safe does not mean free (except to the left).

        • avatarJosh says:

          You said it, unfortunately we do not live in a free country though, not if constitutional rights can be violated.

      • avatarKelly in GA says:

        Frank posted my thoughts exactly. But I think that five years after release/ end of parole of keeping your nose clean would prove you’ve reformed.

        @Ralph- that logic could also be used to take away your driver’s license for life for one DUI. (bad example, I know, but it’s easily tangible). Non violent offenders should be allowed their rights restored after a point. Violent offenders, on the other hand are out of luck.

        • avatarRalph says:

          Violent offenders, on the other hand are out of luck.

          That’s what I said. I never addressed nonviolent offenders. As far as crack dealers are concerned, I consider them to be violent offenders.

          One DUI usually results in a fine, mandatory classes, sometimes periodic alcohol monitoring and often a license suspension. Habitual drunken drivers should have their licenses revoked.

        • avatarRandal says:

          Really? How is just being a crack dealer “violent”. Remember, drug addiction is a disease, and they are finding that drugs, alcohol, smoking, has hereditary factors. So you punish someone for having a disease? Or being born the way they are?

        • avatarJosh says:

          So only Non violent people can become better people? Once violent always violent? Ever been in a fight? Wow, you must be a violent man, your never gonna change, the government should take away your constitutional rights.

  12. avatarSean Waxen says:

    Well, laws should only be written if they can effectively solve a problem. Does anyone disagree with this? I don’t even think our liberal friends on the anti-gun left would disagree with this.

    The issue with felons not being allowed to have guns, is the same problem with any gun law: Felons who want a gun will get a gun. The only felons who won’t are the ones who won’t be a threat. This will be true 90% of the time. There will be outliers (just like amongst all citizens) of people who legally obtain a gun and then one day go shoot someone, but the occurrence of this is statistically very low.

    A better solution might be to simply register felons who own guns, and track the gun they have. This would encourage even felons who will commit another violent crime to register, because they can avoid a charge on carrying a gun illegally.

    If everyone who wants gun-laws would simply support drug legalization, then you could decrease the amount of violent crime tremendously. Were are trying to keep people from dying, correct? But instead its more laws, not less. Because more laws
    “solve problems” right? … wrong.

    • avatarRalph says:

      While we’re at it, let’s repeal the laws against murder. Because we all know that if someone wants to kill someone, they will. Is that your argument?

      No, laws denying felons the right to firearms don’t stop felons from acquiring firearms. But it does make it easier to put them back in the joint for a long time.

  13. avatarCurzen says:

    without resocialization measures in place to make a convict a productive member of society after his release all you do is create repeat offenders. the ridiculous aspect is that society rather puts up with all those crimes and cost of repeated incarceration than pay for the required programs.

  14. avatarNate says:

    I was never a felon nor a misdemeanor-er* and I respect Leghorn’s viewpoint; however I disagree.

    I think a reasonable law would be that after you’ve served your prison and perhaps a probationary period (of 6 months to a year depending on the felony), I believe you have repaid your debt to society and you should have ALL inalienable rights returned to you. I would compromise that repeat offenders (counting felonies only) would have to wait longer than first timers for their rights to come back to full effect.

    Here is my reasoning:
    1. If we restore ANY of their rights, then we should restore ALL of their rights.
    2. Regardless of legally being able to purchase a weapon, if a felon wanted to get a firearm to commit another crime, he will find one. So removing their ability to become “legally” armed is moot.

    • avatarRalph says:

      So after a murderer does his twenty and waits a year, he should be able to get a gun?

      • avatarMichael B. says:

        If you were King Ralph the III of Hypothetical America, what would the high barriers you set to keep violent felons from owning guns consist of? And would there be a process they could go through to have their rights restored?

        Or would they be ****ed forever?

        • avatarRalph says:

          If their records are later expunged or they are pardoned, then they can have guns. Otherwise, f^ck ‘em.

      • avatarNate says:

        Yes, every citizen who does their time and probation, should be able to have ALL of their rights restored and not have their rights cherry picked.

        If that citizen decides to be a criminal again, (s)he is gonna get a gun either way; however if that citizen wants to purchase a firearm to protect his/her family and the life they may have turned around, he should be allowed to own a firearm legally to do so.

  15. avatarRobert says:

    I am of the opinion that loss of one’s rights comes with the punishment for committing a crime. If you want guns, then don’t commit a felony. It’s not that hard. Still, I would not have any problem with restoring rights to non-violent felons after a certain grace period. This issue is just not a priority compared to all the other ways that the government wrongly regulates firearms.

    • avatarRandal says:

      Don’t commit a felony? So then, all felons are bad people. So the guy who lives in Alabama, who happens to be distracted by his crying 2 year old son, drives by a school bus that has its stop sign showing instead of stopping. This, my friends, is a felony. So he should have his gun rights taken away? He got distracted for a second, like we all have at one time or another, and is now now labeled “felon” for the rest of his life. But it’s not like he “purposely” committed a felony. But then, how do you separate him, from the guy that PURPOSELY sped by the school bus, not caring if someone got hurt, but then just said he was distracted by his crying son.
      It’s not so cut and dry. But I do believe that something should be done. There are people out there, that have committed multiple crimes, and have never been, and never will be violent. And then there’s the 70 year old that has never done anything in their life, and then kills someone for the insurance money. It happens.

      • avatarRob says:

        Drunks kill more than guns,lets make a law of back ground checks for people to buy beer.If they have a DWI then no beer.Its a prison term if caught with beer.Oh those parting guys in Washington would not like that.

  16. avatarAnonymouse says:

    I agree that convicted felons shouldn’t be allowed guns unless their records are expunged. Felons have voluntarily placed themselves outside the protection of society because of their behavior.

    As important, bans on felons possessing guns and ammunition is a very powerful tool of law enforcement. It doesn’t stop a felon from getting a gun (it does make it harder however), but it does allow police and probation officers to throw the scum back in jail when they are caught.

    These people, because they are forbidden from having a gun, are proven lawbreakers when the cops or a probation officer catches them dirty, and for every 70 year old ex-con who wants to defend himself, there are hundreds of gang-bangers who, the first thing out, are tooled up again.

    • avatarJimbo says:

      You who are without sin cast the first stone fits you well Anonymouse! I was invited to someones house for beer and a BBQ when the house was raided, I had NO idea they were dealers but was convicted of a felony possesion cause I was there. This was 17 years ago! Im a married law abiding citizen and YOU think I shouldn’t be able to own a gun? Lets see, have you ever went to dinner had a couple drinks and drove? Have you ever got a speeding ticket? A “proven lawbreaker” wow dude!

  17. avatarJason D says:

    I consider myself a very conservative Republican and I think Nick should know that I share his views in this post entirely. I believe that the average person does also.

    • avatarBob says:

      +1

      I am also a conservative republican with some libertarian mixed in, and I agree with Nick on this issue. Except I would only take away the 2A rights of violent offenders, and it would be a lifetime ban. If you have demonstrated before that you couldn’t properly handle the responsibility associated with a Right, by committing a violent crime, then we need to keep you away from guns.

      The security of society must override the rights of a violent offender. One of the proper roles of government is to protect us from the violence and usurpations of criminals. Without a minumum of safety, you have no liberty. Taking rights away from criminals has been a given since long before the Framers wrote the Constitution. If you go to jail, you have lost your liberty, for example. If you get executed, you have lost your right to be alive, etc., etc.

      We should also take away several of the rights from people with certain types of mental illness, for the same reason – because they are not capable of properly exercising the responsibility that those rights require. Except that your right could be returned if a court review determined that you were no longer mentally ill. I’m not talking about a paranoid schitzophrenic (spelling) that is controlling the disease with meds either.

      • avatarPunk says:

        Our founding fathers disagreed with that statement wholeheartedly, I believe George Washington said ” A person that will give liberty for safety deserves neither”. That is not the exact quote but the sentiment rings true.

  18. avatarMatt in MT says:

    I share Nick’s opinion.
    We are born with certain inalienable rights. A violent felon (I will focus my comments on the violent felon) has violently infringed upon the rights of another. By so doing, HE forfeits HIS own rights. Society does not take them away. Society enforces the natural consequence of a choice he made.
    I don’t believe he should be able to carry a firearm until he has demonstrated that he can again respect the inalienable rights of others.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      I don’t believe he should be able to carry a firearm until he has demonstrated that he can again respect the inalienable rights of others.

      How do we determine that? Or, as Nick puts it in his post, how do we determine that they have been “rehabilitated” and are lawful enough to own firearms again? Would a judge determine it? A bureaucrat? What?

      • avatarBenAGoodYear says:

        For violent offenders I think there should be not just a grace period before they can apply for firearm rights restoration, but they should also be required to satisfy certain accomplishments or public duties (like obtaining a college degree or performing a minimum amount of hours of volunteer service per year) throughout that grace period that demonstrate or directly reflect their desire to change. Whether we like it or not, the fact is that most violent felons return to the street at some point and we must live with them, so there has to be some level of trust on society’s part in order for them to feel some level of incentive to change. There should be something in place for them to prove to society that they are no longer a threat and are capable of handling the type of responsibility that accompanies legally owning a firearm. Of course, they gave up most of their rights when they committed their offense but are you guys saying that they have renounced their U.S. citizenship when they committed a crime? Are they not still required to pay taxes, obtain a driver’s license, etc.?

        • avatarBenAGoodYear says:

          The states require felons to immediately begin fulfilling these roles upon release but deny them the right to possess a firearm forever. If the states trust them enough to release them back into society, then they should also trust them enough to restore their firearm rights at some point.

        • White collar offenders should not lose their gun rights. Everybody else gets the one-strike-you’re-out rule.

  19. avatarTim says:

    I would make a clarification between violent and non-violent felonies.

    Non-violent felons should have full rights restored after serving their sentence.

    If they were violent felons, so violent and evil to their fellow man that we cannot trust them with a weapon, then why are we even thinking of releasing them to the public? I don’t want anyone we can’t trust because they attacked another human anywhere near my family. I am more worried about violent offenders in society than I am about the “sex offender” guy who slept with a girl who was just a year or two too young (of course if it wasn’t consensual, that’s violent too, and get him out of society too).

    • avatarRalph says:

      If they were violent felons, so violent and evil to their fellow man that we cannot trust them with a weapon, then why are we even thinking of releasing them to the public?

      We release them because we can’t keep them lockied up forever, not because we trust them. A life sentence for assault and robbery is kinda impractical.

    • avatarBob says:

      “If they were violent felons, so violent and evil to their fellow man that we cannot trust them with a weapon, then why are we even thinking of releasing them to the public? I don’t want anyone we can’t trust because they attacked another human anywhere near my family.”

      The way our current system is set up, you generally can not sentence someone to remain in prison forever or until they are rehabilitated. (Except in the case of Life Sentences, and most life sentences have the possibility of parole after a certain number of years.) Thank God we don’t have that kind of system, because judges need some limitations on their sentencing power. The current system, whether you agree with it or not, is not about rehabilitating the criminal. I’ll admit that we do need some rehabilitation occurring in our prisons, but not as their primary purpose. The primary purpose of our prison system is to prevent crime by making the consequences of criminal activity unacceptable to a potential criminal. (In other words, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”)

      Gulags and “re-education camps” are about rehabilitation, and I don’t want anything like them in my USA.

      On the other hand, I do believe that there are certain crimes that are so heinous, that we just can’t allow the possibility that that criminal will ever have the chance to commit another similar crime. For those special crimes, we have “Life with no possibility for parole”. We need to be very careful about throwing someone in jail and throwing away the key though, because everyone’s right to liberty would be effected if we should start over-using that sentence.

  20. avatarFrank says:

    I have a simple answer to this issue. Show me where in the constitution it says felons loose their second amendment rights. If not there (which it isn’t) then I would say they do not loose them. However until or unless that happens I say felons have the right. Just me 2 cents worth.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Show me where in the constitution it says felons loose their second amendment rights.

      It says so in the same clause that provides that felons go to prison.

      The Constitution provides that people cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. A trial is a whole lot of due process, and a gun is either property or part of liberty.

  21. avatarMatt G. says:

    “because I’m a card carrying Democrat. ”

    That explains so much.

    • avatarMichael B says:

      Not at all. Nick is a knowledgable guy who’s on the right side of the gun control issue. We all have our minor differences of opinion on things.

      • avatarHal says:

        [I’m a card carrying Democrat.]

        [Some of my friends have placed me more accurately in the libertarian range of the political spectrum]

        I just don’t get how these two ideas can coincide. I’m a libertarian conservative myself, but I find they’re like matter and anti-matter. To many libertarians both parties are wrong, but by FAR the majority of us would agree that the Dems are TREMENDOUSLY more evil by a HUGE margin. Now, this is not to say all, but I feel comfortable saying most.

        The libertarian ideal is to have a land where people may live the way they want to live. You have the freedom to be you and I have the freedom to be free from you. You are restricted only within your abilities and within the confines of the social contracts that are the US Constitution and State Constitutions, respectively. That also means that you have the freedom to be you until you force others to live on your behalf. You are NOT free to do that, unless your State puts up with such nonsense.

        As such they also strive to counteract statism. The top tier democrats figure that the only thing more awesome and wonderful than statism is more statism. What’s the solution to too much regulation? Regulate it. Too much control? Add more control. Disagree with how another portion of the population lives even though it doesn’t affect us at all? Ban it then criminalize it baby. Central planning and command economics failing miserably? We just need more central planning and command. In short, the answer when a ton of government fails is… more government.

        Don’t get me wrong… I too would be considered quite liberal about a couple of things, at least in comparison to the mainstream right. Maybe that is what ol’ foghorn is talking about here. But the cool thing is that libertarianism would solve a lot of these issues because it would rightly return power to the States and get the government to BUTT OUT of our lives.
        1) Gay marriage
        2) Abortion
        3) Healthcare
        4) Black boxes mandatorily installed in new automobiles (can you believe that shit?)
        5) Social safety nets
        6) Retirement
        7) Housing and Urban Development
        8) Dept of Energy that produces no energy
        9) A wildly over-powered EPA
        10) Command Economics and centrally controlled banks
        Etc etc etc etc

        Why is the Federal government involved in these aspects of the law? AT MOST these are States’ rights issues. BUTT OUT and let each State figure out what works for them. Vote in legislators that fuck these issues up (among others) and your State is going to go down like the Titanic. Vote in legislators that get these issues right and not only will your State prosper but other States will learn from their examples. The States are laboratories for ideas. Let’s use them. Those who wish to live a certain way can choose the State that works best for them.

        That libertarian recruitment rant complete, you can see why an actual libertarian might be confused. The root word is liberty, and the root of liberty is small, balanced government. This is the core belief that binds libertarians together, and the roadmap to success is the Constitution. Republicans may be bad at following it. However it seems democrats are on a mission to destroy it, to “progress” past it, to annihilate it. And anyone who would stand in their way. Mark my words, whatever form of government they “deem” to put in its place, let’s just say that the bill of rights is getting defenestrated my friends.

        Jump ship foghorn! Jump ship before it is too late for us all!

        BTW the FN SCAR17s is an awesome rifle. Swing and a miss… way off the mark. Boom.

      • avatarSteven says:

        I agree. I look a too am a democrat on most subjects, but I still firmly believe in my second amendment right and the flexing of such. If you want to see it another way, I’m a catholic who thinks gay marriage is fine. I don’t give a rats ass whether someone is gay or the marriage of such. But that’s another subject for another discussion. The point is, I believe one way with exceptions.

        But I personally agree with the writers idea. It’s not about having or not having your rights, it’s proving you can be trusted with them. Such is the same with owning a gun. Doing the time doesn’t set everything right. I feel like you need to earn your stripes to own a gun once again

    • avatarMark Smith says:

      A low blow sir.

  22. avatarTom says:

    Get rid of victimless crime laws.
    Punish people hard who commit serious crimes.
    Erase criminal records of non-violent and more minor offences.
    Let non-violent ex-cons have gun rights restored.
    Violent criminals would not get a pass of restoring firearms rights.

    • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Well, if a felon is truly irredeemable, then no prison sentence short of life without parole or death is adequate. Otherwise they should get their rights back after paying their debt to society.

  23. avatarTom says:

    That’s the reason I don’t oppose the NICS check at gun stores, as it makes sure that those who have proven incapable of handling the responsibility of their rights aren’t allowed to legally purchase firearms.

    I am hardly a gun control enthusiast, but actually I really think there is something positive about people taking a Hunter-Gun-Safety Course such as Indiana offers. I would really not kick too hard if a gun license was required to have a gun, provided the State would be reasonable such as Indiana is with the Hunter Training Certificate. Sadly, I would never trust big liberal cities who are part of MAIG to ever administer such a program. Maybe we should just put NRA enthusiasts in charge of such a program?

    • avatarBob says:

      I don’t think a Hunter-Gun-Safety Course should be required. I think you should be required to pass a written Hunter-Gun-Safety Test. The Course would be available to teach you what you need to pass the Test. If you can pass the Test without taking the Course, then you don’t need to waste your time taking the Course.

      California does it this way for all handgun buyers. I disagree with almost all the rest of California’s stupid gun laws, but this one works. The California Handgun Safety Test contains 25 multiple choice questions, and requires 20 correct answers to pass. Most of the questions are on common sense gun safety, but a few are on parts of CA gun laws (e.g., When are you allowed to use deadly force in self defense?). They also provide a short written course to prepare you to take the test (and a few regulations about how to give the test honestly). When you pass the test, you pay a small administrative fee to pay for the cost of giving the test, and you receive a Handgun Safety Card. You can’t purchase a handgun in CA without a Handgun Safety Card, but you could actually take the test and get the Card at the guns store if necessary.

    • avatarTom says:

      Well, they call it a Hunter Safety Course, but my Oldest Daughter took it and really it was more of a Gun Handling and Shooting Safety Course.

    • avatarAnonymouse says:

      “Proven competence not to be a total idiot before owning a gun” is one of those ideas that I agree with in theory but it can’t be done in practice.

      Either you get something like the european system where it is insanely costly, or you get something like the California handgun safety card, which basically means you have to be able to breath through your nose to pass the test. People do fail the test (how? don’t know), but they can just take it again and again…

      The one good thing about the California system is when the gun is delivered, the buyer has to show they can actually load and unload it.

  24. avatarreoiv says:

    If you’ve done your time, and are off probation you should have your rights restored.

    Rights are rights. There aren’t lesser or major rights. They are equal. (Unless you really want to argue that the right to bear arms is less important that the right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, privacy, etc. )

    Should violent felons, who served their time, be allowed free speech?
    Freedom of religion?
    Freedom to vote?
    Freedom to travel? (Cars kill more people in the USA than firearms)
    4th Amendment rights?
    Right to privacy?
    Right to a speedy trial?

    Any right can be abused, that is the price of freedom. If we are going to let prisoners go we need to treat them like members of society again instead of second class citizens.

    Case in point: a violent felon does his time in his 20s for burglary. He gets out, gets married lives a long productive life and is now an old man living in a bad part of town because not many companies want to hire ex-cons. Should this person be denied the right to self defense for a transgression 30-40 years ago? A crime he did his time for, and went through probation and parole?

    How about a vet that comes home from Iraq and has too much to drink and gets in a bar fight and gets a felony conviction for assault and battery from the fight, but never serves time instead it is a suspended sentence and is on probation the whole time. He does his probation, yet is denied from ever using firearms ever again, for what reason?

    Not making the process automatic just creates a layer of red tape that costs money, wastes time and adds extra work, that ultimately makes it the perfect place to remove later when a politician wants to trim the budget and look hard on crime.

    • avatarBob says:

      Maybe the best way to handle this issue is to give the criminal courts judge discretion about suspending or even revoking your 2A rights. The judge’s decision would be handed down as part of your sentence when you are found guilty of a certain set of violent felonies.

      If you received a 2A suspension, then you would get all of your 2A rights again automatically at the end of the suspension period. If you received a 2A revocation, then you still could request a hearing to regain your 2A rights. That hearing would look at your record (number and type of crimes committed, how long since the last crime, any other violence-related issues, etc.), and make a determination on whether you could be trusted again to exercise your 2A rights responsibly. The law would give the judges very specific guidelines to use when making this decision. “Shall Issue” if certain criteria are met. Don’t even bother submitting the request, if you just got out of jail for a violent felony.

      I could accept this process as a reasonable infringement, because it still would provide a significant increase in the security of society. I strongly believe that automatically returning 2A rights to every violent felon is a VERY VERY BAD idea.

      • avatarEdward Teach says:

        It’s been proven TIME AND AGAIN that criminals bent on violent crime will acquire weapons anyway. If you think that any sort of sanction by the courts will somehow prevent them from doing so, I have a rusty bridge to sell you.

        There should be NO criminalization of the mere possession of objects, BY ANYONE, period. But if you want to throw the book at them for engaging in criminal actions with said objects, then go right ahead.

        • avatarMark Smith says:

          There’s a difference in criminals – not all of them have zero respect for the law. In fact, I would argue that most have some level of respect for the law and go out of their way to avoid breaking laws that would greatly increase the penalty they’d pay.

          You should take that into account in your decision there.

        • avatarAnonymouse says:

          Actually, criminalization of possession is why these laws are necessary. Said felonious scumbag is knowingly violating the law by tooling up again. The law doesn’t make it TOO much harder for the scumbag felon to get a gun, but it now gives a very powerful law enforcement tool when law enforcement next encounters said scumbag felon.

          Because it is illegal, if he is caught in a traffic stop, its back to the big house. Looking at the crime reported in the local paper (small safe city, they report shoplifting arrests at Wal Mart, but there are some meth-heads), ‘felon in posession of a firearm’ is a quite popular way of getting proven scum back off the street, but an honest rehabilitated felon wouldn’t HAVE a gun, so it only targets those felons who need to go back inside.

        • Whilst fine in theory, real life shows this course of events is honoured more in the breach & quite possibly deliberately.
          There are numerous examples of violent felons found in possession of firearms & subsequently given probation, or other non custodial sentences. Sometimes within hours of their court appearance, they once more obtain a firearm & this time, kill someone.
          Part of the problem is prisons full of those convicted of “victimless” crimes taking up space that should hold those too dangerous to be outside.
          Perhaps violent crimes should ALL carry a life sentence, with release being on a revocable license requiring nothing more than a further conviction to see the felon returned behind bars.

        • avatarRJD says:

          Very well written Mike the Limey . Might very well be the best I’ve read on this subject thus far.

  25. avatarSanchanim says:

    Well not as much back lash as I would expect. I think most of us feel that non violent offenders who serve their time deserve to have their rights restored. Violent offenders are sort of where the crux of the issue lies.
    Then again most folks are trying to clarify the issue as apposed to an out cry of evil and contempt!

  26. avatarElliotte says:

    I believe that probation should be longer for most criminals, and should be (if it’s not already) proportional to their sentence (25%, 50%, something like that). While the prison sentence is supposed to rehabilitate the offender, it doesn’t always. If a criminal can complete their prison sentence and their probation, they should have all their rights restored.

  27. avatarMichael B. says:

    People keep mentioning rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is a failed concept that’s been tried time and time again. It doesn’t work.

    People don’t change unless they want to change.

    That being said, some do eventually change because they want to. I don’t think they should be screwed out of voting and owning firearms forever.

    • avatarBob says:

      I think voting is a lesser right than self-defense. We do not (should not ) grant illegal aliens or even legal resident aliens the right to vote, but we do grant them their 2A rights.

      I would not return the right to vote to any felon. You commit a felony (even just once) and it will have a little effect on all the rest of your life. Consider it part of the punishment.

      I am living now in Nicaragua, but I’m still a US citizen. I will vote in the November elections, just like every other US citizen. However, I agree with the Nicaraguan government that I (and all the other foreigners here) should not be allowed to vote in Nicaraguan elections. I can live with that, because I know that I do not have ‘any skin in the game’ here in Nicaragua.

    • avatarMark garcia says:

      I was convicted and sentenced to prison at the age of 18 one of my biggest regrets of life I’m 31 and ashamed of my actions. Today I have a buetiful family a home I’ve been players with the same company for 9 years I’m blessed but I feel left out all my buddy’s go to the shooting range and I can’t go Ive paid my time to society and sometimes I still feel like I’m in prison it’s rough but all I can do is okay the law.

  28. avatarDaveL says:

    Two problems with your argument:

    First, being convicted of a felony is not the same thing as being convicted of a violent felony. The War on Drugs in particular has caused an explosion of felony convictions in recent decades. There’s also been a “bracket creep” effectfor property crimes as inflation makes monetary demarcations between misdemeanors and felonies effectively smaller.

    Second, this expansion of felony status, combined with differential enforcement and sentencing, represents one of the hidden forms of racism in gun control laws. source

  29. avatarLow Budget Dave says:

    In the United States, about 60% of felons will be rearrested, reconvicted, and returned to prison within three years of getting out. For armed robbers, the number is about 70%.

    If we are allowing people to buy guns who have a .700 batting average of using them against us, then we are basically saying that the rights of criminals are more important to us than the rights of victims.

    Most people on this board are conservatives, regardless of political party. I just always assumed defending the rights of criminals is a job for the ACLU.

    • avatarHal says:

      Great points as always Dave! In addition to my post below, a fast track to status #2 for recidivists.

    • avatarChris Mallory says:

      Every one of us is just a trial away from being a felon. People more knowledgeable than myself say the average person commits 3 felonies a day. I defend the rights of “criminals” because I never know when I will need those rights myself.

    • avatarDaveL says:

      …And the ones who don’t reoffend within 3 years? or 5 year? or 10? Is there no point at which you might be willing to accept that a person has successfully re-integrated themselves into mainstream society?

      • No, no point. All right, that’s a bit harsh, let’s say squeaky clean for 20 years. Same for gun negligence. Don’t forget I’d take their gun rights away too.

        Before you start screaming about how unreasonable that is and how it shows my real intent is the disarm everybody, just stop and take a breath.

        Have you had a negligent discharge or been convicted of a felony in the last 20 years? No, then you’re good to go.

    • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Then use that evidence to push for more life-without-parole or death sentences. Deprivation of rights to freed felons is just a symptom of inadequate penalties for violent crimes and repeat offenders.

  30. avatarHal says:

    As a LEO, most criminals are recidivistic monsters. That having been said, I’m not knowledgeable on the corrections side of LE, I just put the bad guys away. Does our CJ system rehabilitate them or even give bad guys the opportunity to do so? Or does it just breed super criminals? Once you’re a convict you carry the mark of a felon forever… is that part of the problem? I throw my opinion around a lot on this site, but I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have answers to these questions… I suspect they are not easy ones. One thing that I do believe is that it is FAR too easy to criminalize a person in the Land of the Free these days.

    It seems to me that for the few folks who turn themselves around there is too little reconciliation. If the penalty for offense X is 10 years, it is pretty hard to justify continued punishment and reduced liberty beyond 10 years for offense X. Otherwise what you owe society for offense X should be longer than 10 years, right? If someone has done something heinous enough that we as a society agree they are no longer entitled to civil rights, ever, then the only option is to imprison them for life. If it’s TRULY an offense for which they cannot be trusted with the natural human right to take up arms in defense of their lives or their liberty, then isn’t it serious enough for us to throw away the key?

    So I guess what I’m saying is that:

    1) Crimes committed in Category #1 are punishable by X number of years based on the individual law that was breached. Afterwards the parolee is eligible to apply for full reinstatement of rights (perhaps different rules/phases for different types of offenders based on their crimes and whether or not they were violent)

    2) Crimes committed in Category #2 have been determined by the people to disqualify the criminal from civil rights and as such they are never eligible for release except for in extreme old age or terminal illness.

    Also it seems logical that if you misbehave in prison and/or commit any crime that falls under category #2 while you’re there, you will similarly never see the light of day again. I mean… why are we EVER releasing 1st degree murders, rapists, human traffickers, etc? Hell, Category #1 and Category #2 prisoners shouldn’t even be kept in the same facility. If we keep the #1s away from the #2s I bet we would see a sharp drop in recidivism.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Hal, this is wisdom. Well said.

    • avatarMark Smith says:

      Well said indeed.

      • avatarHal says:

        Thanks guys. I guess I’ve just always felt that if a person can’t be trusted with a gun they can’t be trusted to be free.
        If course this excluded “negligence” charges Mikey rails about. He, as usual, is far to quick to reduce the liberties of others.

    • avatarRandy says:

      Hal, I feel you are one of the finest of the finest. I served as a LEO for almost 16 years and believe the same as you do. I also believe that the vast majority of LEO’s have like beliefs. I cringe every time I read someones post saying that even though a person has fully paid his debt to society he has no right to bear arms.
      Our Lord and our founding Fathers say different. As a current law abiding citizen, he must be allowed to bear arms. He must be able to defend himself, his loved ones and any other person that may be in danger of great bodily harm or death..it’ just as simple as that IMHO.

  31. avatarDontAskHowIKnow says:

    Posted this in the Homer Wright story and Dick Heller on Restoring Ex-Cons’ Right to Keep and Bear Arms story, I’ll cross post it here as well…

    For those who don’t know. Any man who’s made a mistake and has spent a length of time in a institution to be punished, will not come out the same. That is not to say they don’t desire to and cannot change. There is so much stacked against them in the outside world, being a ex-con, never mind that to survive in a place like that, you have to become something less than civilized. It really takes a herculean effort of friends and family to help get some of these guys back on there feet and a productive member of society.

    Now, after pointing out the above for those who will never know, the old adage, “time heals” is very true in many respects. The young man (20s) who made the stupid mistake is not the same guy he was now that he’s in his forties, with wife, children, home, and church, on and on..

    Hate to us the U.K. as an example, considering their gun laws in general, I think they got it right as far as rehabilitation. As I’m aware, in the U.K., depending on the crime, after a amount of time has passed, they consider you rehabilitated, able to go on with your life without HAVING TO bring up your criminal past. Mind you it’s still there if needed to be looked up, i.e. child crimes, violent crimes, sexual crimes etc.

    I think there should be a time, beyond probation, as that seems that is a tool used in lieu to longer incarceration, that a ex-con should have to take, to gain their inalienable right(s) back. Give them time to decompress, get in the groove of life ( no, we don’t shank people for cutting in line at the Walmart like we did in the chow line).
    Given a length of time, lack of recidivism, and general showing good behavior, regaining your right to have firearms would be one of many reasons to keep ones nose on the straight and narrow (besides just desiring being a honest good natured person), on the march to being a good citizen. And no longer a subject, which is the reason I believe this rule even exist in the first place, considering the number of non-violent criminals behind bars.

  32. avatarHenry Bowman says:

    I came into the topic too late (already 66 comments posted). I only skimmed the comments so please excuse me if I repeat other’s sentiments.

    If rights are inherent (or God-given), then no human has the authority to deprive another of those rights. An individuals actions, if contrary to another’s rights, may be justification to punish that person or demand restitution to the injured party. However, his actions do not diminish his inherent rights. Assigning responsibility for the crime to the tool which was used is how anti-gun folks justify gun control. A person’s right to own property has absolutely nothing to do with his criminal use of that property. Additionally, a person’s increased potential to do harm is not a rational justification to deprive that person of certain tools he might use to cause that harm.

  33. avatarKirk says:

    I used to be in the “No way” camp. But then I started observing how easy it is to become a felon in our increasingly hyper-regulated society, and I wonder. Once a society of laws, we’re fast becoming a society of legalities.

    Did you break a law today? Chanes are very good that you have. Was your possibly unwitting transgression a felony? we’ll get back to you on that.

    Now how do you feel on the subject?

  34. avatarOztotl says:

    2A rights should be restored to non violent felons as a matter of course, for violent felons there should at least be a restoration process with SPECIFIC guidelines on what is necessary to further withhold this right. Its too easy for political winds to change and people to be “made an example of”. Consider sex offenders. Get on the registry and for all effective purposes you are on it forever. Period. Same after-prison treatment for a guy in high school caught receiving a nude pic from his girlfriend as there is for a 50 year old who has been groping the neighborhood kids. Same 2A restrictions on a guy who punched someone during a drunken argument as on someone who shot up a store during a robbery.
    You hear zero tolerance, zero tolerance. Should be known as “zero thought”.
    No such thing as justice when political whims enter into the punishment/restitution/recovery process for any criminal, for any offence.

  35. avatarMark Smith says:

    Non-violent felons should not be barred from owning firearms after they’ve done their time.

    Violent felons? Minimum ten year span with no arrests before they’re not barred from owning a firearm.

  36. Violent felons never get their gun rights back.

    White collar criminals do.

    That’s my idea.

  37. avatarRich says:

    If you vote for enough Democrats your are voting your second amendment rights away. Can we start at the top with Barry and Holder. What party are they from?

  38. avatarDerek says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    This is the same emotional, irrational, devoid of logic response that anti’s have. If we ban guns, then all guns will magically vanish. If we ban drugs, then all drugs will magically vanish. If we ban convicts from buying/having guns, then all convicts will be magically disarmed.

    If all felons are already barred from purchasing/owning firearms but a percentage are illegally acquiring them and using them in crimes, then WTF do you think is being achieved by disarming the percentage that aren’t commiting crimes? The very same recidivism rate that people like to throw around as “proof” that criminals can’t be trusted with firearms is also proof that barring them from legally owning firearms isn’t accomplishing a thing. They’re still getting guns. They’re still commiting crimes.

    You talk about barring felons from owning firearms as though it’s a proposition, as though we aren’t doing it yet. We are. We are already doing it, felons are (and have been for some time) not allowed to legally purchase or own firearms.
    It. Doesn’t. Work.

    Anyway, Guns and Custodians.

    • avatarIdaho Bob says:

      Laws barring convicts from buying firearms only keeps them out of gun shops. In other words, it keeps the fron buying NEW guns and all the accessories. The violent black market flourishes and the legit economy suffers. Same with every other gov’t mandated prohibition.

  39. avatarRich7553 says:

    I have two comments:

    1. Non-violent felony offenders should lose no rights, especially gun rights. A person can be convicted of a felony for as little as kiting a check over a certain amount. A friend of mine wrote a large check for a purchase immediately before losing his job. The check didn’t clear the bank and he came very close to being prosecuted for a felony despite having paid cash to the merchant as soon as he found out his check had bounced. There is no justifiable reason a person should lose the right of self-defense because of a non-violent felony conviction.

    2. If a person cannot be trusted with a firearm in public, that person cannot be trusted unsupervised in public at all. Any violent felon who poses a danger to the public should be kept off the streets to begin with. Truly violent felons should be offered no parole or plea bargains which reduce their crimes to misdemeanors. If the sentence is 10 years, then 10 full years should elapse before they are let out. At that point, they have served their time and should be permitted to rejoin society with full rights afforded them. To do otherwise in my opinion is unconstitutional.

  40. avatarJason M says:

    So when I was 18 I was arrested for entering an unlocked car and taking a radar detector. I also had a bag of weed on me at the time. Went to court and got PBJ, but being pretty stupid at the time I thought I could skirt the rules of my probation. Yeah the judge took no pity on me and convicted me of the theft charge (at the time it was grand theft – more than $500). Never served any time, but my sentence was suspended. That was my only brush with the law (besides speeding) EVER. So now 18 years later I am a convicted felon.

    I have been married 11 years with 2 daughters 7 & 5, have worked in the same field for 17 years with only 2 companies, and pay my taxes, good credit and so on. And I can’t legally own a gun. I had only recently tried a few years ago to buy an over under shotgun to shoot some clays with, just to be denied. My wife is very sympathetic to my situation and enjoys shooting herself, so she pretty much puts herself at risk as far as the law is concerned so we can enjoy the sport together. We have 8 guns in our household all “owned” by her. My oldest daughter fired her 1st .22 on her 7th birthday, yet I can’t take her shooting by myself due to my record. The shooting community is very friendly and I have law enforcement associates. They all want me to take and try one of their guns because we share the same interests. Yet I have to politely decline with out elaborating (it is embarrassing) on my situation. It is total BS.

    As far as I’m concerned people like me should be able to own a firearm. Am I wrong?

    • In my opinion you’re not wrong.

      • avatarBob says:

        In this ONE CASE, I agree with MikeB302000. (I can’t tell you how painful it was to say that!)

        You were a non-violent felon, and you have stayed out of trouble since. Your 2A rights should be restored.

    • Am I right in thinking that in theory you can petition for your Right to be restored but the government refuses to allocate the funds necessary to process such petitions?

      If so, it’s a damn’ shame & unconstitutional.

  41. avatarBHirsh says:

    Leghorn, you mix-and-match “felons” with “violent felons”.

    There aren’t many who would disagree with you on “violent felons”, but “felons” constitutes a broad variety of infractions. First, recreational drugs should not be illegal, and a significant percentage of those incarcerated for “felonies” are non-violent drug users. Since society has bought into that propaganda-induced blind spot and intends to continue to incarcerate people who shouldn’t BE incarcerated, that segment of “felons” must have ALL their rights restored upon completion of their sentences, automatically.

  42. avatarBambiB says:

    Well, if the schoolyard bullies don’t learn from a “timeout”, shouldn’t they logically be in “timeout” forever?

    For that matter, shouldn’t every criminal be sentenced to life in prison, no parole on their first conviction? After all they can’t learn to be any different, can they? Environment and specific circumstances never play a part, do they? Once a violent felon, always a violent felon. Their first taste of blood always creates a permanent longing to repeat the violence, doesn’t it?

    What constitutes a “violent” felon? Is he the guy who, when the cop pushes him, he pushes back? Is it the guy who, when hit by his wife, strikes back (but because he’s bigger and stronger, he gets the jail term)? Or do we just trust the government fusion centers on who domestic terrorists might be: NRA members, dissidents, Ron Paul supporters, Fair Tax Advocates?

    A sentence ought to be just that. A sentence. When it’s up, the debt to society is paid. (The debt to the victim may still be open.)

  43. avatarJames St. John says:

    If you can vote, you can own a gun. It’s that simple.

  44. avatarJohn says:

    I bought my first home at only 19. Full time college & married. My neighbor planted some pot plants amongst the blackberry bushes in the back corner of my property, that I didn’t know about. I spent 90 days in prison.

    I’m a CPA. President of a computer networking company. Flight Instructor. Father of 3 daughters. I’m trusted with the keys to many big businesses. The most trusted person they know. More honest than any policeman I’ve met.

    All my friends have guns. Every time I step foot into their homes, enter some of their businesses or cars, I risk going to prison for many years.

    I will never be able to take my grandchildren to a gun range, buy them a gun for a birthday present or go hunting with them. All the things I always did as a kid.

    A hundred years ago, such laws as these didn’t exist in America.
    No, I can’t “get my rights restored”. That is a fallacy.
    I’m a felon…

  45. There are studies that show convicted felons that have had their rights restored, including firearm rights, are less likely to commit a crime than the general population that is without a criminal conviction. What is a felon anyway…the one that got caught? Or is a felon any person that commits an act which could carry a sentence to incarceration of more than one year. Clearly most people believe a felon is the one that got caught and convicted. Who is less of a felon…Martha Stewart, she was convicted in federal court of perjury, or Bill Clinton that committed numerous acts of perjury in a federal deposition, suborned perjury, committed the rape of Juanita Broderick, sexually assaulted Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey, and threatened the witnesses against him in his Paula Jones lawsuit case. Those are just the ones we know about. He was never taken to trial therefore he must not be a “felon”. Is that the line of distinction? What about you, the reader? Did you ever pass the joint to someone sitting next to you at the college parties. You are a felon no less than the one who got caught and convicted of passing the joint to the person sitting next to them. Oh…pot should be legalized…that is your reasoning. Hey what other felonies do you want to decriminalize. There are plenty of items in the criminal code that do not hurt people. Is it okay to drive as drunk as you want to be as long as no one gets hurt? Can you fire a gun off in a shopping mall as long as no one gets hit? Lets legalize everything unless someone gets harmed by the action. Only when someone gets harmed by the action should it arise to criminal conduct. How about arson as long as no one gets burned. Pot is far more dangerous than alcohol…I am in my 60′s…that means I grew up in the 60′s…that means I used to smoke all kinds of stuff and that means I know what the psycho-active effects of pot are like! I frankly ain’t interested in your shrieks of denial with my statement…just go light up a bowl and think about what I said, that is if you can think while you are stoned. Someone you know ever share the coke mirror or give someone one of their prescription anti anxiety pills to help them deal with a rough situation. The point is, none of us are without sin. Check the number of times you may have drank too many beers and drove without incident. Most of us are in a state of denial and many of you will remain there. If you cannot accept your own shortcomings or sinful nature and take corrective measures to become a better person, please do not buy a firearm, you are far more dangerous with a weapon than Martha Stewart would be!

    • I agree a felon is one who got caught and CONVICTED of committing a felony. The others are what I call “hidden criminals,” but since we have that thing called “innocent until proven guilty,” we can’t call them felons.

      However, in my opinion there should be a difference between white-collar felons and the violent kind. The former should not lose their gun rights, the latter should.

  46. avatarJohn Merco says:

    Now I’m classified as a violent felon for a D felony attempted possession of a weapon, weapon type not specified. My initial charge was a C felony possession of a fully loaded operable handgun in place other than home or business I am 24 years old now and I was arrested on 7/17/2008. Now I’m classIfied as a violent felon even though I was granted a VFO which is a violent felony override which states no violence took place in my crime an was granted a certificate of relief which opens up any bars I had on career opertunities except to hold political office, Now the reason for me obtaining my pistol in the first place was I lived in a bad area full of drug addicts an gang members an I had been robbed, stabbed, my jaw fractured and numerous other incidents an I got tired of being take advantage of so I decided no more an started to carry a fire arm in my car where ever I went, I have hospital bills an police reports to back up my story which ment shit in New York court unfortunately. Now the cop who arrested me said he saw the handgun in plane site but stated he took my keys off my persons an opened my glovebox an secured the firearm an won in court go figure scumbag, which is violation of illegal search an seizure. I have his statements which have plenty of contradictions So long story short I spent two years in prison for my first offense and lost all my constitutional rights which by the way is considered a treasonable act or at least considered by our founding fathers to be, now your telling me that it’s rite that I never have my constitutional rights restored completely an you say you believe in the bill of rights and the united states constitution but you believe in  gun controle and that violent felons should not never regain there constitutional rights then you a playing both sides of the fence which is your trying to be a master of two houses, you cannot advocate gun controle and support the constitution an bill of rights. If your in political office you should be impeached thrown in prison or worse  because you are in treasonous territory my friend. I will being going on a crusade to make sure all excons regardless of there past if deemed eligible to return home from prison, which means your rehabilitated or you should not have been let out in the first place that after x many years of obeying the laws your rights be restored fully. Point blank people scew up an 99% of people have committed felonys or at least misdemeanors in there lifetime at least once if there either awair of it or not everyone deserves a second chance that’s what makes this country different an the greatest in this world Freedom. I am a patriot I love my country an would die for it but some serious change has to take place or if rights keep getting taken away one at a time then there is no reason for the constitution or bill or rights. it’s time to have a nother revolution, I don’t believe it’s come to that extreme yet but if we keep heading in this direction it will be. By the way I’m a tax paying citizen I’ve always had a job since 14 years of age expect my time spent in prison which I tutored convicted felons to get there GED, I graduated high school with a regents diploma. I know I have bad grammar skills an punctuation it is my weakness but I’m considered a genius or test scores show at least in math, history, science so I don’t care about your comments on my grammar an punctuation. It’s my points that count.

    • avatarJohn Merco says:

      Really no replies huh ?

      • avatarJohn Merco says:

        Still waiting on my feedback guys ?. It would be greatly apriciated.

      • avatarJohn Merco says:

        Still waiting on my feedback guys ?. It would be greatly apriciated

        • avatarAlex O says:

          You were convicted under an unjust law, in an unjust legal system, by unjust people, and only unjust people would hold it against you.

          The problem is, a hell of a lot of people are unjust, cowardly, and prefer to indulge in prejudice against the weak rather than offend the strong. They despise the victim and hold the defiant victim in contempt, so most of the gun owners reading your story from states where their ownership of their guns is legal would rather just try to catch you breaking some sort of law so they have an excuse to shoot you, and thus gain more favor with the government. Remember only about 5% of actual gun owners belong to the NRA, and an even smaller percentage belong to the more serious gun rights advocacy organizations like JPFO and GOA.

          The rest would rather comply and collaborate with those they figure are the strong and have no interest in restoring the recognition of any civil rights for the disenfranchised, especially not gun rights. It could really upset their idea of how the food chain is supposed to work.

          Alexander T Osinski, former publisher Savvysurvivor.com

  47. avatarRandal says:

    Try this one on:

    Criminologists studying recidivism have found that felons usually have to stay out of trouble for about a decade before their risk of committing a crime equals that of people with no records. According to Alfred Blumstein, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, for violent offenders, that period is 11 to 15 years; for drug offenders, 10 to 14 years; and for those who have committed property crimes, 8 to 11 years. An important caveat: Professor Blumstein did not look at what happens when felons are given guns.

    Taken from: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/us/felons-finding-it-easy-to-regain-gun-rights.html?pagewanted=all

  48. avatarJJ says:

    I find it funny how most of you are so high and mighty about this and have never really experienced the affects of it first hand. I was arrested for domestic violence charges 9 years ago. 1 misdemeanor assault, 1 terroristic threats (felony), and 1 false imprisonment (felony). The lady involved did not call the police, one of her friends did a day later. The whole incident involved her physically assaulting me by kicking me in the face, field goal style while I was picking up a piece of paper. Yes I do accept responsibility for my part, which yes, I pushed her out side of my house and locked the door. Although I never threatened her, nor did I imprison her in any way, I was still charged with the crimes. She came to court with me and testified that I did neither, but her testimony was not allowed because she was the “victim”. She didn’t press charges the state did. Long story short, I didn’t even get convicted, took a plea, but I can’t own a gun, lost a great job and have since been kept from getting a good job because my background check says I was arrested on felony domestic violence charges. Even though it says I was not convicted. I’m not a violent person, I even was awarded full custody of my daughter. I’m not saying that all situations are the same, but mine has been very negatively affected by the ultra strict laws. I am a gun enthusiast, going out to the gun range and shooting competitively is something I’m very passionate about, but can no longer enjoy.. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe if you’ve committed a crime involving the use of a firearm, your right to own one should be revoked, but otherwise absolutely not…

    • avatarRandal says:

      Obviously, you don’t know law very well, but accepting a plea deal IS A CONVICTION.

      Here, this is from the dictionary:

      Conviction (Noun)
      1. A formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offense, made by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court…

      In your case, you pled guilty, so the judge then formally declared your guilt, and sentenced you. So, yes, you are a CONVICTED felon, for all intents and purposes.

  49. avatarkp says:

    I am a non violent felon that served his 18 months for writing a check that he shouldnt have and then cooperated fully to make the company whole. I have done my time and returned all the money plus interest. I could care about the right to vote, right to hold office and right to sit on a jury. I have never hurt anyone and have been out of prison for 13 years. I made a horribly stupid decision and paid the price. I handled it like a man. Now I am restricted from protecting my family or teaching my boys how to hunt or defend their family. Is this punishment just? I grew up hunting and shooting for sport. I have lost a my family heritage to a terrible lack of judgement when I was 24 years old.

  50. avatarkp says:

    feel free to respond. I would like to hear opinions.

  51. avatarRandal says:

    Here’s a question. Why is it, that every time there is a mass shooting, people blame the gun laws and the criminals? Every mass shooting is not done by a criminal, but a supposedly “morally right” person. And do you really think changing the gun laws will make a difference? These people plan out very horrible crimes. They already know they are going to break the law. They would just break more laws to get what they want, to accomplish their mission. You can get ANYTHING on the black market. Laws don’t pertain to the black market. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
    They say, well, let’s ban the fully automatics, and the semi automatics, cause these weapons belong to the military, and law enforcement. Well, let me tell you, a militia is an army made of common citizens. And the constitution guarantees the individual right, to form militias. The average citizen is ALLOWED to form an army. The revolutionary army was made of nothing but average citizens. Just think how this country would be today, if they couldn’t have formed an army. And they realized that, so this is why they made the 2nd amendment.
    Death is horrible, but it’s an inevitable part of life. There will always be evil people who take the right to life away, regardless of ANY laws.

    • The demands for more laws & ever more restrictions that come after every mass shooting actually have little, if anything, to do with preventing another incident, nor are the.y intended to.
      Those who advocate such laws are really after one thing only: social control & a citizenry without the means to remove the kind of government these people intend to introduce.
      The shootings are merely a vehicle for their agenda & one that hides the true intent from the uneducated populace.
      Look here in the UK & you will see how few Rights protected by the US constitution are still given more than lip service once the RKBA covered by the 2nd was trampled on.
      The 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th 7th, 8th & 14th are severely curtailed gone for a start.

  52. avatarMark garcia says:

    I’ve been looking into getting our state to allow a 1st time felon violent or non violent to be able to have a gun in there home for protection. I’m a felon, today I’m a good member of society I will never attempt life that way again. I’m looking for any info as far as to try and change the law any ideas? Or maybe info on what I need to do please let me know if you are in the same situation I am email me
    markgarcia16450@ gmail.com thanks for your time.

  53. avatarTommieS says:

    I have a question. How many of you that support the loss of rights for felons are felons? How many of you felons that support the rights being taken away from violent felons are actually violent felons? I would guess that whatever you support doesn’t include yourself – am I correct? To be honest, I am not a felon, but I believe felons – both non-violent and violent should have their rights restored at some point in time – based on the circumstances of their convictions.
    I’ve read here that over something like 70% of felons re-offend. Does anyone here actually stop and wonder why that is? For all you non-felons out there what keeps you from breaking the law? Maybe one of the reasons you don’t is because you know of the life long sentence attached to all felons. And many of you pat yourself on your backs because you don’t have a record – good for you. Can you say with certainty that, given the same circumstance, you wouldn’t have done the same? Here are a few scenarios: Let’s say a rival gang was out to kill you and probably your wife and child too. What would you do? (If you had no one to turn too) How about this (I actually did this one)? I was out with some friends and we went to the local grocery store. I stole two boxes of hamburger helper, another friend stole the hamburger meat, and two others stole some bread and sandwich meat. We were caught and if I wasn’t a minor, it would have probably been a felony. Instead we went to the juvenile center and were released. How many here would have elected to starve over stealing?
    My point is this. Felons repeat because we (as none offenders) reduce their options. You got convicted for stealing – I’m not going to hire you. What options are left? See, it’s easy to say that they’re just bad people. Truthfully, it’s sad. Second chances are given in every other aspect of life. Heck, if you talk to a psychologist they will tell you to put your past behind you or you’ll never live a happy life. That is – unless you commit a crime – right?
    Obviously, not all criminals either deserve or want a second chance, but the second we support them being stripped of their rights we in essence are CRIMINALS TOO. Then the only thing we do is CAUSE them to re-offend by not honesty giving them incentive to do better. (What’s the point of stopping if the best I can get is minimum wage at the local McDonalds.)
    It’s so easy to condemn people as long as you’re not in the group that’s being condemned isn’t it? Think of the worst thing you ever did in your life. Is that how you would like to be measured for the rest of your existence?
    I think we should look for ways to support each other instead tearing each other down.

    Just a thought – God Bless

    • Tommy S, you could not have said it any better. Give those who are making an honest effort to change a chance. I am a violent offender (armed robbery) and in light of that there is one thing that you mentioned that I disagree with. I understand that every ex-offender’s support structure is different once they return to society but they have resources available to them in addition to a McDonald’s job like receiving financial aid to attend college. It’s just a matter of whether or not they want to receive the financial support in order to learn and thus truly take a positive step to turn their lives around. Opportunities may be in shorter supply for ex-criminals, but they are out here. They always have a choice. Also, I am heavily in favor of a reasonable grace period (not permanent loss) before firearm rights can be restored simply because everyone simply doesn’t have the best of intentions upon release. Moreover, that grace period should include a requirement for the ex-offender, violent or non-violent, to perform noteworthy deeds that directly reflect upstanding qualities like earning a college degree, volunteering, donating to a local charity, etc. I committed this foolish, violent, and embarrassing crime at the age of 21 and there is not a day that passes that I don’t feel remorse for it. Yes, I do think about my victims and place my self in their position (thank God no one was physically harmed) and it is a horrible feeling. I spent much of my youth making absolutely STUPID decisions and I will no doubt spend the rest of it rectify what I can. I am 37 years old now. I have always been a gun lover and would do anything to have my gun rights restored. I know that it will be virtually impossible here in Georgia but if there is a one percent chance of restoration then I will attempt it. In my case, I always disregarded the long-term effect of my actions, and, boy, does it hurt now. You truly do not appreciate certain freedoms in life until they are stripped from you. In any case, I am now in my sophomore year in college, I volunteer helping middle school kids remain encouraged to succeed and will continue to do so, and I have begun my own online business. I want to be one of the exceptions to the societal notion that people convicted of violent crimes are animals or untrustworthy or naturally violent. No matter what you have gone through, as long as you are still breathing, you have the ability to change. It then becomes a matter of whether or not society cares enough to give you another chance, and it typically doesn’t. The crime that I committed does not define the kind of person I am nor my ability to progress. I have three more years before I am able to apply for firearm rights restoration and will be doing so. I will exhaust every avenue to regain my 2nd Amendment right, and if I am still unsuccessful, then I will always feel as if I am either part of a subclass of citizens or no longer a citizen of the U.S.

  54. avatarTommieS says:

    Benjamin,

    I apologize, I should have explained a little more on my comment. My point was even though a felony may try very hard their past is still treated as a barracade. In your case, for instance (and I applaud you on your efforts), even if you recieve a bachelor’s or master’s you will still have to check that box and say you’re a violent offender. In most cases that may result in you not getting a call back. See society does often take its cues from the government that oversees it and our government in many cases is very candid in stating that felons need not apply. I was in the military and currently work for the government – both require a security clearance. If I were a felon, or ever become one, it will be very unlikely for me to work for the government – atleast in my current career field. If a felon is lucky – they may get hired on the low end – income based – position. Most companies require a “clean” record for promotion into management – even fast food. Sadly, because no matter what you’ve done to rehabilitate yourself – you are still a felon (and yes there are exceptions, but there are few and far between). I know this from experience, because I know people who have honestly tried to turn their life around but continue to be met with no callbacks or “sorry, I wish I could hire you.” Someone somewhere long ago decided that “felons” are unable to change that (This is proven by our laws – that many here support.) Either you believe a person CAN change or you don’t. We should support the idea that you may or may not change, but we support giving you the chance to change. This could easily be done by removing that check box from the application. Non-felons are just as capable as felons in committing crimes. You’ll actually find the main difference in retaining a felony conviction is based more on financial statis than the person. How many people have met someone with a record that “somehow” got it expunged – and you know – it was because they hired an expensive attorney – I know a few.

    That brings up a question:

    What message does a government send when “they” say “God-given” rights and still proceed to take them away? Are they saying, “hey, God made a mistake with you so we need to correct it.” Or maybe, “you’re rights are God-given but we have authority over God to take them away?”

    What does God-given mean if man can take them away? It seems to me that only God would have the authority to take them away – does that make sense to anyone?

    By the way I’m not Anti-America. I love my country and that’s why I served PROUDLY in the Marine Corps. I just believe some things need to be changed and I served to maintain that right for others as well as myself.

  55. avatarTommieS says:

    Forgot this info:

    Here’s a few statistics:
    Average Police response time to a 911 call = 11 minutes (some as low as 9min)
    Average time for burglar to get into a home = 57 seconds
    Average time a burglar is in your home = <8 minutes

    Burglars – less than 15% are ever arrested (8,000 burglaries a day)
    38% when someone is home
    8% are violent or become violent

    Few Extra Facts:
    U.S. pop – 307 million (2009)
    In 2008 – 5,340,000 violent crimes committed (436,000 with gun)

    Effects of Gun Ownership: (male felons said in 11 state prisons)
    34% – "scared off, shot, wounded, or captured by armed victim"
    40% – decided NOT TO commit crime because they knew or believed victim had gun.
    69% – knew of other crimals who had been "scared off, shot at, etc. by armed victim"

    Only 1 in 12 violent offenders are caught
    You can find more here: http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

    For those of you who believe non-felons are "better" or "safer" – think again. You could be working next to one that hasn't gotten caught!

    I wonder how many "ex-felons" were targeted because criminals knew they couldn't own a gun?

    In short *FACT* most offenders are not caught! Honestly, being a "felon" or "non-felon" doesn't hold as much weight as you think it does. (Atleast as far as the "keeping the dangerous people away"

    Final Note: Laws (Gun Laws) govern only the people that follow the law.

  56. avatarCppThis says:

    I don’t really have a problem with not letting murder-and-rape felons not have guns, but just about every crime that’s not trivial is a felony anymore and it seems unfair that a reformed thief or drug user is permanently screwed for life–especially since our glorious leaders are so desperately trying to felonize as much of the population as possible.

    • avatarMark garcia says:

      Question? I know there is people that disagree with felons owning a gun but is there anything that we can do ? Maybe a law that we could try and change?

      • avatarStatus in Limbo says:

        Hi Mark, I’m with you all the way on that. My name is Benjamin Jackson and my email address is bjackson38@gmail.com. Unfortunately I have a violent felony on my record and although I have read many different things regarding the gun restoration topic, i would like to look deeper into the possibility of getting my gun rights restored. Many of us have done bad things in our youth but we never realize how much it has hurt us until later on, and by that time it’s usually a boy-who-cried-wolf case where society or the state is never convinced that you’ve truly changed or don’t care enough to support you having, of all things, a gun. If you would like you can email me at my above address to share research information. I don’t know which state you live and what the laws are regarding 2A restoration but let’s go for it. Garcia, I think the two most important things we should keep in mind are showing to the Board of Pardons significant changes we have made in our lives and being able to garner support from pillars of our communities. If we can convince people in our communities of why we should have our 2A right restored then I think that may weigh more heavily in our favor upon the Boards review. Let me know what you think.

  57. avatarDale Worthington says:

    Some may say that what I am posting is just semantic, but I am wholly horrified by the fact that so many have given in to the notion of losing rights.

    Rights are the basic tenant that you are born and exist with them throughout your life, if you have committed a crime your rights do not magically go away, nor can any force, government or otherwise take them away.

    I will illustrate this point, if someone steals from you, did they take away your right to possess what they took? Well the answer is simply NO! They only violated your right, it didn’t go away, it is still your right. Did they deprive you of the ability to exercise the right to possess the stolen item? Again, simply the answer is YES!

    The same holds true for someone who commits a crime. Their right to live, be free, or any other sentence imposed does not “take away” their rights, it only prevents them from exercising those rights fully. A prisoner on death row still has the right to life and he can exercise it to the limit of his execution date and circumstance. It is the whole reason we can’t beat crap out of him and not feed him while he is under our care. If you lock someone up, they still possess the right to be free, they just cannot exercise that right. If you fine someone restitution you have not taken there rights to the money they have to pay, you are forcing them to pay the money via threat of force to pay it.

    Once again you may just think that this is a semantic arguement but it really is not, it is the entire reason that we, as Americans, have allowed so many of our rights to be restricted/violated to such a degree as they have been by the powers that be. If we just took a step back and accepted the idea that our rights are inalienable as our founding government, declaration, and constitution states, the arguement becomes very clear, 2a rights are yours, you may just not be able to lawfully exercise them. And if you realize this then you will realize that having served the terms of your sentence, the federal government is violating your right to own firearms and defend your person. Whether this is appropriate or not is up to us to decide.

    Personally I do not believe it is, felon or otherwise. Just because it is “a powerful tool for law enforcement” to throw criminals back in jail makes zero sense to me, I say that lawfully obtained weapons are much more safe than those obtained unlawfully and that ballistic tests should have to be put into a database for all newly constructed, or newly registered weapons, it then become a lot easier for law enforcement to track a crime where a gun is involved and a far more powerful tool than just saying “you can’t own a gun, here’s another 15 years”. Unless of course you are broad stroking felons like so many other posters have done in this thread and accepting that those who have not continued in a life of crime should have their right to liberty, 2a, and property violated.

  58. avatarJosh says:

    Fact is everyone can change, once someone is released from prison doesn’t mean they have changed; however they have served their punishment, does this mean felons should automatically get their gun rights back, I don’t believe so, and I’m a convicted felon, I believe once a prison sentence is served and a probation term is served without incident a man has paid his debt and has shown he can live a law abiding life; however, the way the second amendment is, I believe the government is violating this constitutional right to bear arms. If a criminal wants to commit a crime, do you think he or she cares if the gun they have is legally theirs or not? Do you think that a felon is somehow completely unable to get a firearm, if he or she wants to? I truly believe that this law does not make people feel safer, it just makes them feel better about themselves, just because one has never been convicted of a felony, does not make them a good person.

  59. avatarMelvin says:

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that our system of “Justice” doesn’t have nearly enough “credibility” to regulate much of anything. The current laws just aren’t effective and they place much too much of a penalty on someone that has SERVED THEIR TIME AND PAID THEIR DEBT TO SOCIETY.
    Gun control laws only hurt law abiding people. Criminals IGNORE the law. I don’t see why this is so difficult for people to understand.
    You people place too much trust on a corrupt and broken Justice system, and you seem to enjoy the illusion that you’re somehow “better” than everyone that has committed a felony. The FACT of the matter is that NEARLY EVERYONE has committed a felony but just wasn’t CAUGHT at it. This includes “all of you”

    Our prison system cannot control the numerous instances of RAPE WITHIN THE PRISON WALLS, not can it control PRISON GANGS WITHIN THE PRISON WALLS, yet so many people place so much trust in it.

    Ignorant people make me sick.

  60. avatarmike says:

    i believe an ex-felony should have the right to a firearm permit ,because people change and become more responsible in life.

  61. IMO you should never have been convicted in the first place.
    Ignoring that: There should NOT be an automatic revocation of ANY Rights following conviction for ANY kind of crime.
    Doing so ought to be a part of the sentencing decision, based on the facts of individual cases.
    But what do I know seeing as our laws here in the UK are different (yet still wrong IMO).

  62. avatarKoda Wolf says:

    I believe that when someone is convicted of a felony, any felony, and has either served their prison time or completed their probation should have their constitutional rights as a US citizen fully restored, unimpaired, automatically.

    One night in October 1988, when I was thirty I committed a violent felony with a handgun while drunk involving a not so committed girlfriend and her new lover. I was given a seven year probation sentence (almost went to prison), $17,800 restitution to the injured lover to be paid at $200 per month via money order through the district attorney’s office and $2,000 in fines and court costs. Probation supervision fees were at that time $20.00 each month and paid to my probation officer. I was released early from probation after five of the seven years once the restitution had been paid in full. It’s a money game.

    As I am no longer on probation and haven’t been since 1994, I can legally go into bars and get drunk if I have a mind to (I don’t drink anymore and haven’t for almost twenty years). However, I will never again be eligible to own a firearm, purchase ammo, etc… since the felony conviction stays with you for the remainder of your life.

    Being a felon on probation back then didn’t prohibit me from getting a job, an apartment or a car as that question never came up. Today it’s nearly impossible to get a job with a felony on your record and it’s the same with renting an apartment. My wife rents an apartment in Tulsa to be close to her work and commutes home to NW Arkansas on weekends. She was nearly refused a lease last year since they ran a background check on her and me as well and found my felony conviction from 1988 which did not pertain to her, yet she is deemed guilty by association. Same goes with her owning a firearm; since she’s married to a felon the prohibition applies to her the same as if she had committed a violent felony in her past. The governmental restrictions and prohibitions have only gotten tighter with the passage of time.

    Anyone who has a mind to habitually commit crimes won’t be deterred by gun laws and never have. Gun laws have leverage only on law abiding folks who want to play by the rules of society and still be able to pursue a sport, hobby or just defend their family and home from intrusion.

    Not such a free country anymore in my opinion.

    • avatarJohn Merco says:

      I completely understand and agree with your statement. The problem is that there are not enough exfelons an non exfelons living by the rules of society that ban together to start peacefully protesting and getting signatures on noterized documents to force the government to change the laws or at least consider the issue.

  63. avatarRobert says:

    I got a felony over 10 years ago.I have no other troubles,BUT this always follows me.I dont mind that the state keeps my record but please stop the life time punishment.Can not get some jobs,housing,on and on.I am not nor was the felony violent.It seems te law wants you to fail again and again one yoyr down.Well I am not going to let the law win this one.However some folks have anger problems and should not have guns.I hope the laws will change some day.BUT IOT WANT.

  64. avatarLarry says:

    The way the law is now all Felonies are judged the same. And we are talking a life sentence. I am 42 and was arrested and charged with a felony. 10 years ago. No one will hire you most places won’t rent to you and you have no way at surviving unless you start your own business. I feel after your sentence you should get all of your rights back. Only a felon wanting to obey the law wants his rights back a career criminal is going to carry a gun anyways.

    • avatarRob says:

      I understand your pain.I am n the same boat.Nobody will go and help change that law for us and nobody will listen.Even the NRA is against us,and they say the United States is equal for all.Rob

  65. avatarDavid says:

    I agree Larry,
    The way our system is designed is to create a revolving door for the prison system, to continually be provided with funding to grow and evolve into the monstrosities they have become. The politicians use statistics to generate fear in the communities, thus forming political strong holds, enuring us a safer invironment in which to reside. After completing the mandatory sentence imposed by the courts a man or woman returns to an unfamiliar life of existing in the free world with a new strand of rules “generated by elected/appointed officials” to ensure the public the individul is complying with rules far more stringent than before. The person is required to find employment (most will not hire an ex-felon on parole or probation based on recividism statistics providied by elected officials). Find a suitable place to reside, again “we cannot rent to an ex-felon oooh!. Now with the stigma provided and labeling attached a person struggles to find self worth in society. When I would disciplin my children for a “known wrong” upon completion of said punishment all prevelidgedes within the family would be reinstated. If we are to stand as a free nation we need to inforce laws that do not conflict with the Constitution Of The United States, by denying the right to keep and bear arms is a direct violation of the constitution. Congress “shall not allow any of it’s states to pass any law that abridges the rights of it’s citizens. And ” upon completion of servitude all rights shall be restored”. I’m not an expert just a concerned citizen who feels our elected officials are intentionally trying to desolve the soverngty of our nation, taking a bite off the rights of our people one law at a time. On violent crimes involving a fire arm a more simple approach, “Three strikes your out”. Three crimes committed with a fire arm go to prison for 75 years. All american citizens have the same rights as gauranteed by the Constitution Of The United State Of America.

  66. avatarrich says:

    This is nasty business, I have a felony from d.w.i conviction twelve years ago. I’ve been sober ever since oh wait a speeding ticket. It almost impossible to find a decent. Job to this day, this nonsense of not voting and no firearms is terrible. When a person is twenty three they usually have a different thought process later in life. So to all of the self-righteous high and mighty. PISS OFF!!!
    A felon can’t vote can’t own a gun or a license for a professional purpose but we can take jobs you don’t want. Oh yeah pay our share in taxes, all of the self important people who think that this is good. You are a bunch of hypocrites self righteous clowns! It must be awesome to be in your life in your highness and stature,with all of your glory and prestige. Maybe you should consider making new laws so all felons fall down in your presence and be your slave’s? People have paid the price for our actions and contrary to your judgment we should be free again.
    have a nice day

  67. avatargralphr says:

    This is pretty stupid. I’ve been to prison and have a felony. Years later, I’m married with children, have graduated from college and probably make more money than a lot of the people responding in this discussion. The funny thing is I’m still looked at as dangerous to society because of something from almost thirteen years ago. In no way am I the same person I was then but is doesn’t matter. As far am I’m concerned, I hope Obama is successful in taking away peoples guns because the minute the NRA and the others decided the 2nd Amendment was something people could lose for life, I feel they should lose that right as well. No one should be a partial citizen. Either I’m a full American with FULL rights, or nowadays we can make someone half an American.

    • avatarjosh says:

      back in 1997 i got a second degree assault with a pistol on a minor. now here is the story. when me and my ex girlfriend was at this trailer park with a friend ,we had about 7 people come up threatening us one with a base ball bat, one with trowing knifes and one with a golf club. and by the way the only one who pressed charges was a 17 years old ” a minor” . so anyways they came up yelling and saying crude stuff .well it got to the point of the 17 year old kid said to ” shut up or i will kill the baby inside her ” so i pulled my pistol and put it to his head and said ” back off ” and then we all got in the truck and left to home. the next day i turned my self in and after it was all said and done i did two years in MN. prison and got out and now i am clean of crime and i cant get my rights back. and all i got to say is if a man does his time then he or she should get there rights back cause the 2nd amendment says “shall not be taking away.” i would rater have all the felons register there gun so that the law knows where they are at all times. and besides if everyone who wants to carry a gun did we would have less crime and the ones that get frogy and do crimes would be dealt with the old school way called” self defense”. but i will never lay my arms down i believe in freedom and liberty and they cant take that away from none of us.

  68. avatarDarren says:

    Interesting points. I have a similar story to many of you. Convicted of a 2 non-violent felonies 16 and 21 years ago. No contact with police outside of a traffic ticket in 16 years. I’ve since earned a degree, got married, have 3 children, own a home, etc. The irony is I have never owned NOR fired a gun in my life, yet I lost my guns rights foreever?

    Ask yourself this; how is it someone who is convicted of 1, 2, 3, maybe 7 DUI’s eventually can have a drivers license and legally own a car, yet someone convicted of a felony who’s never even fired a gun is his life can never legally own a gun?

    I fully agree that if you act irresponsibly with a firearm, there should be many hoops you need to jump through to get that right back. It would be a case by case basis. But a blanket revocation of gun rights for convicted felons is like saying if you’re convicted of ANY felony, you can no longer own a car. I just lacks rationale.

  69. avatarbrian says:

    im a convicted fellon from missouri i have 2 class c fellonies for burglary no wepons were used or stolen and nobody was hurt i was convicted in 2005 for both did my time and got off parole in 2005 i have had only 3 minor traffic tickets in that time and cant even petition the govoner to get my hunting rights bak because missouri dont want fellons armed our constitution says that when u have served your time for crimes commited they CAN NOT be held aginst u from that point on also i do believe that violent crimes need x amount of years to get rights bak but for nonviolent crimes like theft and childsupport or dwi should get rights back even if they have to wait seven years my family of me my wife and three kids live off 340 dollars a month and i cant even hunt to feed them let alone proect em if someone comes into our house with a gun thats not right hell we cant even own a bow or black powder without worring about going to jail cause anything that shoots a projectile is banned so this even includes a sling shot come on ppl wtf is wrong with seciety today guns dont kill ppl stupid ppl with guns kill ppl i cant even teach my boys how to handle and respect a firearm this is wrong i wish the government would show a little trust to some of us we all make mistakes i mean hell our government has more crooks and criminals in it than most prison systems and they tote guns every day all i want to do is hunt to feed my family and the only way i can do that i by buying elegal guns off the street which is breaking the law nd hunt elegaly which once again is breaking the law when did providing and feeding your family become a fellony in this country? anyone no?

  70. avatarbrian says:

    i got offole in parole in 2009

  71. avatarCesare says:

    How can a felon ever “repay their debt to society” when society never wants to
    fully return their rights once their time is done ? It isn’t about justice or protecting
    the public as much as it has to do with feeding the prison industry. Out of prison
    and nowhere to go. It’s okay for employers, landlords, and Government to treat one
    as third class. Also, it has more to do with the gun control agenda than the felon
    hiding with a gun behind every bush hysteria of society and the media. Prior to the
    1968 Gun Control Act, firearms could be bought no questions asked by mail, and
    yes, felons were permitted to own them. Yet ironically, there were never any of
    the problems seen today. I guess that in America, the so-called land of freedom,
    where one is able to get a second chance and reinvent themselves, is a myth. It
    appears that some are more equal than others, and some lives matter more than
    others. EVERY LIVING BEING HAS A RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE !

  72. avatarAlex O says:

    Several issues come in to play with how “felons” are treated, even the nature of “violent felonies”, especially when may such crimes are conflict related and not traditional victim/predator role related. I could have a felony assault conviction for attacking someone who assaulted my mother in one state, where in another state someone would just give me a pat on the back for it. It is a felony to use force to recover your own property in some states, while entirely justified in others. For example, what OJ Simpson got convicted of in Nevada was allowable under California law because he was recovering his own property from a stolen goods broker. The flip side, is when punishments are handed down for something that someone was not convicted of, but is used against them in a court of law, such as the sentence against OJ Simpson for “kidnapping” was mainly due to someone not wanting him to “get away with murder’ in the case of his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman.

    In the cases of repeat offenders, it already separates those felons who have reformed and stayed out of trouble for some period of time from those who actually are repeat offenders and on the revolving door of the system, which means they are unlikely to finish probation ever, and unlikely to be entirely out of the system, and unlikely to get any rights restoration anyway, even if it is automatic after say X years after completing a sentence.

    Another factor which does not change under a rights restoration model is any possible sentence enhancements which might apply to a repeat offender. Even if a repeat bank robber were not breaking a law under the rights restoration model while owning and or carrying a firearm, the repeat offender robbing a bank for the third time would still be getting a “three strikes” type of sentence when caught, so it would be argued that the sane repeat offender would not want the risk of an unusually harsh sentence based on prior criminal behavior, whether or not he had the opportunity to obtain a gun without government oversight. We also need to understand that quite often, the “law of the street” deals with these very issues and that an overburdened justice system is more likely to only prosecute those felons who are involved in significant additional crime apart from simply owning illegal firearms, or retaining firearms they may have owned prior to having a felony conviction. That is one issue that is being dealt with in California, where numerous felons have firearms registered to them through the states DROS system, and there is no way of verifying whether or not those guns were confiscated, sold, discarded or retained by the individuals once they became convicted felons or otherwise declared ineligible to own firearms after having legally purchased and registered those firearms, an issue made even more difficult by a defective registration system when people are mandated to turn in or dispose of any guns they may have owned as a condition of even bail or pretrial release while under indictment.

    Even early common law did not directly address the issue, since it was assumed that most people had access to most common weapons, even upon immediate release from prison or jail, but “felony status” did confer a lower level of citizenship with regards to holding office, testimony in court, signing contracts, engaging in financial activity, or voting. Imagine if you will, felons having a right to own guns immediately upon release from prison, but no right to sign any binding agreement, no right to vote, no credibility in any legal procedure at all (even automatic at-fault status in traffic disputes with no recourse or credibility to testify otherwise at any legal hearing). A felon would have the basic right to self defense, but no right to state to a court the circumstances of the shooting. That was America of the early 1800s.

    Early felons then, were effectively sentenced to exile in the West. Often assuming new identities on the frontier, many did become politicians, bankers, lawyers, judges and of course outlaws and revolutionaries, especially in the case of the Texas independence from Mexico, brought about largely by the fact that the central Mexican government knew that many of the “Americans” in Texas had been sent to settle in Texas because they were no longer full citizens in the US, and the Mexican government declared what was the actual impetus of the Texas Revolution – A law forbidding the immigrants from America to own or possess firearms.

  73. avatarRob says:

    I was convicted of a shooting death at age 20 (fight between two boys). Did 10 years and now 10 years later I am a family man and business owner with over 30 employees. I personally don’t want a gun. I don’t hunt and of course I’ll do whatever it takes to protect my family but see no need for a gun.

    However I will note that this is my personal preference and don’t know if it should be legal or illegal for me to have one. Like someone said above, if I ever wanted one I’m sure I could buy one off the street. Probably is better that I could by one that could be traced back to me. Mosts killings are done out of passion anyway.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Except the ones that aren’t, such as gang bangers banging. Which is, in fact, the leading demo for firearms-related homicides, both giving and receiving. FYI.

      • avatarRob says:

        I don’t know if that’s true that gang bangers do most of the killing, not saying it isn’t true, just don’t have the facts. However if it is true, well most people really don’t care about criminals killing criminals anyway unless an innocent bystander gets caught in the middle.

  74. avatarJimbo says:

    I believe in the restoration of our 2nd Amendment, I was convicted of a possession charge of less than .25 of a gram 17 years ago. Texas Penal Code 46.04 states I can possess a gun in my home. Im a married law abiding citizen that hasn’t even had a traffic violation since 2005. I have a group of guys from my Sunday school class at church that like to goto the shooting range. One who is a good friend that is active military! Federal law prohibits me to do so. All my rights with the exception of serving on a jury and my 2nd were automatically restored when I served my time. I can vote, I passed a background check when I went to work for the Cable Company. But I can’t goto the shooting range with my church buddies, or go hunting with my wife, who by the way is getting her CCW this summer. So to say “once a felon always a felon” like some on here are stereotypes with discrimination issues!

  75. avatarJoe says:

    Let me tell you this. The term felon used to hold weight in old english law now its an excuse to take rights and have a new group of people to discriminate against since you cant the blacks anymore. A felony was originally a crime punishable by death or life in prison, then a person forfeited their property now its anything over a year. Pathetic. Certain people find it reasonable like “yeah criminals cant have guns yay!” the other half just like being able to have a gun while someone else cant, it makes them feel tough. Well, check this out felons since you cant vote, hold office, have a gun, have no rights under law why pay taxes to a gov you have no say in? Why do you, seriously? Real criminals dont fill out forms anyway and tagging “felon in posession” to a murder charge isnt gonna mean a damn anyway after the fact someone is dead. so take your stupid ass laws and fuck off.

  76. avatarShane says:

    The comments are more arguable than the point the author makes. I AM A CONVICTED FELON. Convicted of Criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell (class B) and possession of a weapon in the 3rd degree (class D non-violent). I was convicted and still live in New York State. State law and federal law both prohibit me from owning ANY weapons, including a pocket knife. According to New York state if i obtain a “certificate of relief from disabilities” I can once again have weapons including firearms. My local Sheriffs office told me they would even issue me a Concealed carry license if I applied. They said the problem is that the federal government will deny me when a background check is ran. Congress has banned the ATF from using their appropriations to decide which felons should be able to own a firearm. This was brought to court and the court denied issuing a ruling because the ATF is supposed to make a decision. But federal law also states that ” WHEN A PERSONS CIVIL RIGHTS ARE RESTORED THEY ARE TREATED AS IF THEY WERE NEVER CONVICTED”(paraphrasing) civil rights are 1. the right to vote 2. the right to serve on a jury 3. the right to hold public office. once the state issues me my certificate of relief i am able to once again hold public office.upon release from prison I am allowed to vote. Serving on a jury can also be restored if one specifically asks.
    This being said. the 2nd amendment up until about 100 years ago didn’t apply to ONLY “law abiding” citizens. It applied to EVERYONE, felon or non felon. You as a citizen of the united states of america are entitled to the bill of rights. Do i lose my freedom of speech because I sold some drugs? Do i lose the right to not quarter troops in my home? So then why do i lose my right to own a gun?
    I can very easily go get a gun any time i choose. I don’t need a store, I have the black market. yeah banning felons from having guns works as well as banning regular people from owning cocaine.

  77. avatartim says:

    I think it’s jacked up………beat a guy breaking in my home and I go to jail for no saying I know self difference……if I had a gun I would be a freaking hero….ill protect me and mine how I see fit now.

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