Question of the Day: Should Felons be Able to Keep and Bear Arms?

 Jail (courtesy wikimedia.org)

We’ve done this before but . . . “A federal judge has tossed out the loaded gun seized from a motorist in Brooklyn, ruling that the cop falsely testified as to why he had pulled over the vehicle, nydailynews.com reports. “The decision — which will likely result in the defendant, Raymond Jones, walking away from the felony rap — is the fourth illegal gun suppressed by a judge in Brooklyn Federal Court in the past 12 months over concerns about the credibility of testimony by cops.” Who saw that one coming? Be that as it is, the interesting bit here is Mr. Jones’ rationale for having a gat on his person . . .

Jones was arrested Nov. 13, 2013 for packing a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. Jones admitted to anticrime cops from the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville that he had purchased the gun for protection because he had been shot earlier in the year and his assailant was still on the street, according to court papers.

The feds were prosecuting Jones because he had prior felony convictions for narcotics and assault and a felon in possession of a handgun faces more jail time as a federal crime than under state law.

Now I know that some of you make distinctions in these matters. A felony narcotics beef? Restore his gun rights. A violent offense? Not on your Nelly! But on the face of it, Mr. Jones had good reason to pack heat. If you think about it, released felons are at more risk of a violent assault than the general population. I mean suffering a violent assault.

Live by the gun, die by the gun? Create a federal system for the restoration of felons’ gun rights? Or full rights restoration for felons upon release? Where do you stand on gun rights restoration?

comments

  1. avatar JayJay says:

    If they’re too dangerous to get their gun rights back when they’re released, they shouldn’t get out in the first place.

    1. avatar Steve in MD says:

      +1

      1. avatar TheBear says:

        +2

        1. avatar Daniel Knight says:

          +3 Also, some states do have procedures for convicted felons to restore firearm rights, depending on the crime they were convicted of, how long it’s been, what they’ve done with their lives since then, etc.

        2. avatar LongPurple says:

          @ Daniel Knight
          That’s the only rational approach. Stealing a car is not the same as car-jacking. Burglary is not the same as home invasion.
          Armed robbery should place a greater burden on the individual to prove he is reformed than a drug possession conviction.

    2. avatar Yossarian says:

      <—- THIS, is what I've been arguing. We are awash in a sea of guns (thank god!). If you can't be trusted with one, then you need to be under supervision of some sort (loony bin or prison). Otherwise, if you get your right to freedom back, then you get it back all the way.

      1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        Nope, sorry, felons knew the score up front. The punishment for the crimes they committed includes losing firearms rights. Yet, they committed their crimes anyway. Why should we cut them any slack on the deal they willfully agreed to?

        1. avatar Salty Bear says:

          Because the alleged purpose of releasing someone from prison is that he/she is ready to reintegrate into society. Their rights ought to be restored.

          And if you don’t buy that, then just look up all the stupid little things that are felonies nowadays.

        2. avatar James Navy Vet says:

          Willfully agreed to? When did they agree to it? And before you say if they didn’t like the laws they should move somewhere else:
          1. They may not may not have the means to move to a new country, how many people, especially those who most often end up being felons, the poor, can just pick up and move to a new country.
          2. Other countries have immigration laws too. They don’t just let anybody in, in fact the US admits more immigrants than any other country and people bitch it is near impossible to legally move here. Moving to another country if you don’t have a valuable skill set may not be an option.
          3. Other countries have laws too. Suppose the felon got arrested for using and selling cocaine, there is simply nowhere that cocaine is legal to use and sell, so saying you can choose to abide by the rules of the country you choose to live in implies that there is another country that has the laws that you would wish to agree to.

          Laws aren’t really a contract they are constraints placed upon you by the accident of birth. There is no “deal” you get to disagree with and reject or alter, there is only decree forced upon you.

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “Laws aren’t really a contract they are constraints placed upon you by the accident of birth.”

          No, they’re constraints placed upon you by people who believe that they are so superior to you that they have the Divine Right of Kings to send men with guns to make you do what they want you to do or to keep you from doing what you want to do that they don’t like.

          All government is a crime against Nature. One of the crazy voices in my head, who claims that he can talk to God, says that anarchy is the next stage in human evolution, and might very will be the secret to immortality. There used to be “safety in numbers.” Since it is now possible for each person to take care of her own safety, there is no longer any need for any kind of government at all! And the Free Market will have no problem turning the planet into the Garden of Eden.

        4. avatar Paul G. says:

          So felons all went and did what they did fully knowing they were going to be convicted or tried. Like the guy who shot the intruder and lost the self-defense case?
          You sure are good at finding justification for taking people’s rights. Putin could use you in the Ukraine.

        5. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

          James? You don’t get to make up points for me, then casually dismiss them. I’ll speak for myself, thank you very much. And yes, they willfully agreed to the penalty.

          The laws are all published. True or false?

          They list what actions are crimes and what punishments accompany them, including loss of firearms rights. True or false?

          Yet, would-be felons go out and commit their felonies, anyway. True or false?

          Soooo…………they agreed to that punishment when they committed their crime. No fair coming back and crying “King’s X!” after the fact.

        6. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

          Salty? Wrong. Lot of people are released from prison with permanent tethers on their rights. “Reintegrating” into society does not and has never meant there won’t be lingering consequences or impairments. It just means you’re outside of the walls.

        7. avatar Paul G. says:

          The constitutionality of such things is quite questionable, but such is what happens when the republic is converted to democracy. People need the government nanny.

        8. avatar BDub says:

          For starters, because they are still human-beings and not restoring their rights dehumanizes them, and one could argue, makes them more likely to slip back into a criminal life-style. Also, because not all felonies are violent offenses, and not all felonies were committed by people who have a history of previous crime or violence.

          At the very least, the parole system should also be about evaluating the potential for rights restoration as much as it is about accountability and reintegration. Anything less and you are telling a parolee that they will henceforth always be a second-class citizen with no chance of reprieve. If you don’t restore their rights, and therefore restore their dignity, then you are creating the worst case condition for a parolee – not having anything to loose.

        9. avatar Tama Paine says:

          Because one day it could be you, or any of us, convicted of a felony by someone with a political agenda.

          I would agree with you in principle…but a lot of “felons” haven’t done anything violent. I know of a woman who misconstrued state rules on something she did in good faith, and was charged with a felony because someone reported something to someone, and it started certain punishment wheels rolling.

          It is too easy to convert a law abiding person into a felon in such a way. So there needs to be flexibility as well as firmness. Remember, if the antis had their way, every one of us who carries would be a felon, because they would devote themselves to proving we violated some niggling thing (like a sudden crossing of a property boundary that wasn’t posted)…designed to turn us into felons for their purposes. If you hang around with “progressives,” you are aware of all the talk in those quarters that the most effective way to force gun control would be to mass-felonize RKBA people.

        10. avatar A.B Prosper says:

          Of course Felons should, Nothing in the Constitution says that such persons are not eligible for militia service and private arms are the core of militia service.

          The founding fathers assumed that someone who was uetterly untrustorthy and a chronic problem would be hanged or shot either by the State or someone they were trying to harm.

          Heck in a real emergency, its prfectlly acceptable to empty the jails and prisons and if need be even (though this is rare) arm inmates to defend the state.

          Now less philosophically There are two problem with continuing punishment after the fact,

          1st its ethically dubious and could be argued cruel and unusual

          It doesn’t seem reasonable for example own a small amount of marijuana and to be punished by loss of civil rights for life.
          Even for harsher crimes its seems unfair to abrogate a human right (that of armed self defense)
          I figure in the edge cases (mental illness or probation for some offenses and during a rehabilitive parole) its fine since the person already should be assigned a state minder.

          However we can’t cheap out on it, and if we want to keep arms away from a few people in rare cases than we should pay for the people watch them and not punish everyone with legal burdens to save a few bucks.

          and 2nd it creates gun control

          Yes seriously, Without an attempt to disarm part of the population its a lot harder to lay the framework to dsarm the rest. If we don’t worry about who has a gun we won’t need registration, waiting periods and any of the regulatory agencies we have. We can instead move those funds to hiring the minders for the tiny number of people we need to deal with

        11. avatar Drew says:

          Jonathan – Houston ~ According to some we all commit *3 felonies a day [unless you have a permit to live under a rock] there are DA[s] that sit around [drinking cocktails] and pick people at random to prosecute! [Could be me or you someday]

          Now to the topic at hand I ask you, what is nearly the first thing an arsonist can and does buy when [s]he get out of prison? “Gasoline” for the car right? And an axe murderer that gets released from prison what can [s]he buy right after getting out? yup you guessed it an axe. Ever see one of those **Fiskars axes impressive they are! And I could go on and on…

          Now the ***reason for punishment is to correct a behavior [among other reasons] and after the punishment is complete to include a probationary period the ex-con should be given a fresh start back in society. All rights restored.

          When you [or when you were a kid] got punished did you or your parents hold it over your head FOREVER or did they keep an eye on you afterwards to ensure you were corrected [probation] and when you had learned your lesson [probation complete] you got the car keys, TV, Xbox, etc… back and you felt your life was restored and it was, what’s the difference? Other than your personal fears and they have no place in this argument.

          And that’s about all I got to say about this, Drew

          * http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/Youtoo/tabid/86/Default.aspx
          ** http://www.fiskars.eu/c/woodxpert
          *** http://www.shestokas.com/general-law/criminal-law/the-purpose-of-criminal-punishment/

    3. avatar B says:

      Agree. We should be punishing the violent use of weapons in CRIMES. A person carrying for self protection should not be a crime. If there are soo dangerous that they can’t be trusted to carry a gun, they can’t be trusted to walk free in society. To deny the right to self defense is to deny the right to life. And we know where that road goes.

    4. avatar IdahoPete says:

      + another 1.

      Someone who has completed their sentence, including parole, should have their full civil rights restored – including the right to armed self-defense. For that matter, all active duty soldiers should have their right to armed self-defense restored, even on military posts.

    5. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      I’ll add another +1.

      Poor bastard. Has to decide between protecting himself from criminals and protecting himself from government prosecution. I guess each person in his situation needs to decide which of the two is more dangerous.

      1. avatar Red Sox says:

        Wouldn’t it nice to see the cop who “falsely testified” aka perjured himself be prosecuted for said perjury?

        1. avatar Mick says:

          +1 on that. The “Only Ones” get away with far too much of that crap with impunity. They see easy targets of opportunity, take advantage of it to bump up their arrest quota numbers, and call it good. Not always the case, nor even routine, but certainly often enough that it must be addressed.

    6. avatar BR549 says:

      On the other hand, there are people who have been falsely convicted or who actually turned over a new leaf. Why should they become any further disenfranchised from the system?

      The answer lies with politicians “allowing” the lowly citizens to have guns in the first place. Personally, I think the incarceration rate in this country is deplorable, but that is only the result of corrupt leaders continually failing to manage the population they so desperately claim to be proficient in, every 2 to 4 years. Instead of managing a system that strives to bring up the downtrodden (I’m not referring to welfare), all they do is enhance our ever-quickening race to the bottom.

      1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        You don’t know for a fact, unless it’s actually determined to be a fact, who’s been falsely convicted. If your case for restoring firearms rights rests on the notion that they “might” have been falsely convicted, then golly gee, maybe we shouldn’t deny them any of their rights in the first place, including their freedom?

        If you’re in favor of restoring firearms freedoms to felons who might have been falsely convicted, then how do you justify imprisoning people in the first place when any of them could have been falsely convicted?

        As for turning over a new leaf, that’s sweet. The problem is, the ban on felons possessing firearms existed before they committed their felony. Yet, they committed their felony anyway. Why should we retroactively reduce their overall sentence when that’s exactly the potential punishment they signed up for from the start? Sounds like yet another bailout for people who made poor decisions. I thought we were past that?

        1. avatar roger bence says:

          those who done the time,paid for their crime, it is not a self perpetuating or eternal penalty,and those who had non violent or not gun related convictions should have their gun rights restored the same as all other citizenship rights. if your trusted to vote or own a car or property then u should also be trusted to own/carry a gun however on the other side any violent convicted felon who is arrested a second time with a gun should get life without parole

    7. avatar WSBS says:

      Yet another +1. If someone has been deemed too dangerous to trusted with a firearm, they also shouldn’t be trusted with free air, either.

    8. avatar Stuki says:

      +gogool plex (politely leaving room in front of me, despite no longer living in a particularly polite society)

    9. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      That’s too simplistic a solution. We hear in here routinely that guns are mere tools. Well, they’re tools of the criminal trade, as well. Barring felons from possessing firearms isn’t just about prohibiting them from going crazy all of a sudden and launching a shooting spree. That’s pretty silly itself. No, it’s about denying them the legal ability to carry a tool which, depending on their record, they may well have proven they’re going to use in criminal activity. This gives law enforcement another angle to pop these people who refuse to live in by the standards of civilized society. Only this gives them the opportunity to do so before they commit their violent crimes.

      And don’t start in about “pre-crime”, either. LOTS of convicted offenders are released with conditions. Fraudsters cannot work in insurance or finance. Druggies cannot work in pharmaceuticals. Hackers must stay away from computers. Convicts of all kinds routinely must stay away from alcohol and other felons.

      If you disagree with this, then you MUST necessarily agree with two other points: EVERYONE convicted of any kind of sex crime must be incarcerated permanently, or EVERYONE convicted any kind of sex crime is free of all conditions one they’re released from prison. So that means every 18 yr. old with a 17 yr. old sweetheart gets sent to prison forever. Or, that means every convicted child molester gets to be a teacher at your kid’s school.

      Ridiculous, you say? I agree. That’s the folly of simplistic solutions.

      1. avatar nick says:

        Jonathan, you’re mixing up things that are rights vs opportunities. if you are deemed a free citizen (not locked up under supervision by the state) then you have all of your rights. telling someone that conducted fraud they can no longer work in finance is not infringing on their rights, there are other avenues for them to make a living. telling someone they can no longer own a firearm is depriving them of the right to protect their life

        1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

          The hell it isn’t an infringement of their rights. It’s their right to free association. If I run a bank and you’re felon convicted of fraud, I cannot hire you regardless whether you and I both want that employment relationship. By your reasoning, it’s ok to infringe one everyone’s firearms rights, regardless of criminal record, because, according to you, there are other “opportunities” to defend yourself. Here, take this stick with a nail in it and turn in your Glock. That’s asinine.

        2. avatar Paul G. says:

          Provide the statute. It doesn’t exist. During parole, that person may be restricted. That person may also be relieved of any professional credentials required to work in that field, but that is a matter of the associations granting such credentials. Also, they may be ostracized or black-balled by their fellows, but these are not the same as you try to imply.

        3. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

          Paul G? Essentially, you’ve called me a liar, and that’s unacceptable. So here’s your F’ing statute. I’ll bust your ass with this last point, then I’m done, because you’ve proven incapable of intelligent and honest debate.

          Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1829) prohibits, without the prior written consent of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), a person convicted of any criminal offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust or money laundering (covered offenses), or who has agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for such offense, from becoming or continuing as an institution-affiliated party, owning or controlling, directly or indirectly an insured depository institution (insured institution), or otherwise participating, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the insured institution. In addition, the law forbids an insured institution from permitting such a person to engage in any conduct or to continue any relationship prohibited by section 19. It imposes a ten-year ban against the FDIC’s consent for persons convicted of certain crimes enumerated in Title 18 of the United States Code, absent a motion by the FDIC and court approval.

        4. avatar Paul G. says:

          You really need to learn to read. I asked for a statute, I did not call you a liar.
          Also….in that statute….”without the prior written consent of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation”
          Damn, I hate when I am right. It was so……simple. There’s that word again.

        5. avatar Chris says:

          “without the prior written consent of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)… It imposes a ten-year ban against the FDIC’s consent for persons convicted of certain crimes”

          But there is a way out. There is no recourse for felons to regain their right to bear arms. Ever. That is not only unconstitutional, buy unreasonable as well.

        6. avatar donny77 says:

          “…from becoming or continuing as an institution-affiliated party, owning or controlling, directly or indirectly an insured depository institution (insured institution), or otherwise participating, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the insured institution.”

          Furthermore, in addition the the previous two responses, this is an FDIC requirement for FDIC institutions. You are free to open your own bank that is not FDIC insured, or work for a bank that is not FDIC insured.

        7. avatar Paul G. says:

          Exactly.

      2. avatar outwardhound says:

        geez, you and your darn logic thinking all the way through an issue – troublemaker!

      3. avatar Paul G. says:

        Simple solutions are the best. Complication breeds fraud and abuse. KISS method works. Need proof? How about the IRS? Or the US code? I could go on. Rights are rights.
        As to alcohol and convicts, there is no future prohibition. There may be during parole, but parole is conditional release in lieu of serving a full sentence. Not the same.
        Criminal records are available, check them, don’t make society be your babysitter.

        1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

          KISS is a shortcut for thinking. It won’t do. People only summon that spongy slogan when it suits them. They can define any problem in the level of granularity they choose. Anything can be summarized in simple terms, no matter how complex the actual endeavour. It’s all just chit chat until you actually do it, in which case “KISS” becomes impractical gibberish. Try again.

        2. avatar Paul G. says:

          Which is why scientists are still trying to integrate all of the multiple forces into one simple unified theory. It seems they know that there has to be a simple, universal answer, they just have not figured it out yet. Even they understand that simplicity is of the essence. Obviously you are so much smarter, just like the IRS.
          Complexity is for people who cannot understand how simple things really are. Over-complicating things is a poor substitute for real thinking.

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          ” It seems they know that there has to be a simple, universal answer, they just have not figured it out yet.”

          I have. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is Free Will. Spirit is electric, and Will is magnetic. Everything in between is electromagnetic energy, some of which is condensed into solid form. Spirit thinks, but Will feels.

          Both the Creationists’ and the Evolutionists’ theories of Creation are true, it’s just the same story told from two wildly divergent perspectives.

          For further study:
          http://godchannel.com/
          http://rightuseofwill.com/
          http://www.amazon.com/The-Reflexive-Universe-Evolution-Consciousness/dp/1892160110

          That’s a lot of reading, but it’s a very big Universe!

      4. avatar Stuki says:

        You’ve faller too far down the progressive rabbithole here. Try pulling yourself back up and see the daylight. The right to bear arms is an inaliable right deriving from a basic right of self preservation. Created by God. If God didn’t want you to carry a gun, he wouldn’t have made you.

        And ditto for the rest of your examples. It may well be true that Progressives have managed to get to the point of having a bunch of apparatchiks micromanaging who can sell insurance and teach schools, but if so; that is the consistency problem that needs fixing. Not the fact that those, or other, guys carry guns.

        In fact, if what your saying about there being laws saying who can do this and that is in fact true, that’s about as good an example of why KISS needs to be brought back to the forefront of legal though, as you’re ever likely to get. Instead of justifying banning cab drivers from wearing jeans because skiers are already banned from shaving their armpits.

    10. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      So we’re agreed: the doctor convicted of cocaine use gets to be an surgeon again, upon his release, and you’re cool with him working at YOUR neighborhood hospital? Got it.

      The four time DUI driver who gets out of prison is, per you, good to go for being bus driver at YOUR kid’s school? No problem.

      Paid their debts to society and all…….

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        You keep adding false impositions to things to bias things in your favor. Proof positive that your opinion can not stand on its own merits.

      2. avatar twency says:

        Being a surgeon is not a civil right. Nor is driving a school bus. Keeping and bearing arms is.

      3. avatar Chris says:

        I have two school age children… today, no, next year, no… but 10 years, 20 years later. With a proven track record of not using said illegal substances, following the law and reform, sure. There has got to be some time when the past is the past. Depending on the instant offense that time may be very long, or not long at all, but people do change. Don’t tell me that the hard partying coke head Doctor in his early 30’s is still the same man in his 50’s.

        Not to mention that rights are rights.

      4. avatar Stuki says:

        Whether someone gets to be _A_ surgeon, is up to himself. Whether he gets to be _MY_ surgeon, is up to me.

        Ditto for the other job descriptions mentioned. In neither case, assuming a free society, is it up to a gaggle of apparatchiks, lobbyists, fear mongers and political hucksters.

    11. avatar CT Resident says:

      In Connecticut where tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of formerly “law abiding” gun owners have been turned into Felons by Gov Malloy with the passage of PA 13-3, I would say that yes some felons should be allowed to have guns.

      That is to say, separate the criminal felons from the technicality felons.

      In similar vein, in CT, felons, once released can have their voting rights restored by registering to vote.

      http://www.ct.gov/doc/lib/doc/PDF/VotingRightsEnglish.pdf

      http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_proposes_confiscating_guns_from_owners_with_dui_convictions/

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Will you be at the rally tomorrow?

        1. avatar CT Resident says:

          I will be there!

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Kewl! Of course, you’ll be taking pictures and reporting on it and stuff, right?

    12. avatar John Nelson says:

      If someone lacks the maturity, integrity, or mental capacity to responsibly carry they shouldn’t be allowed to wander at large without proper supervision.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Unless he’s going back to a life of crime why is a convicted felon at greater risk of getting shot than the rest of us?

    1. avatar EagleScout87 says:

      You make it sound like all his past associations who had “beef” with him are just going to leave him alone because he’s turned away from a life of crime….. ahh utopia!

      1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        It’s a big country, let him relocate far, far away from his past. The recidivism rate is what it is and not by accident. Very few people actually turn their life around. Their life is their life and they’re cool with that. When that life consists of perpetual criminality, then I’m not cool with it. No guns for you!

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          Too many people get shot too, so we should outlaw guns. Rights are over-rated anyways.

        2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

          If you’re going for sarcasm, then it should have some basis in reality. Otherwise it’s just swing and a miss.

          We’re talking about individuals and the (poor) choices they make. You don’t get to sneak in your little straw man argument about banning inanimate objects. The issue is whether we should restrict the range of options available to people who’ve proven themselves poor decision makers. Try to keep up.

  3. avatar A-Rod says:

    Not all felonies are created equal. Some are more serious than others. I’ll admit that some felons could/should have thier rights restored.

    1. avatar Noishkel says:

      That’s a point I’ve madew for some time. Back in the 90s, back when the Brandy handgun checks law came in, I remember reading the news story about a preacher that got a little ‘knock knock’ by the ATF after he tried to buy a shotgun as a convicted felon.

      The story behind (if my memory serves) it was in the 60s/70s the man, as a teen, mooned the government of some state during some sort of protest. He was arrested and throw in jail for several days before being allowed to just plead guilty and walk with time served. The problem here was that he plead guilty to was a felon indecent exposure charge. So when he filled out that form for his background check it came back in the NICS system that he was a convicted felon with a charge of a sexual nature on his record. Which got him a visit from the ATF.

      That’s only one story. I’ve heard people getting slapped with felon charges for a number of things to illegal dumping of garbage to speeding. No one really wants to see serious felons being able to get firearms. But at the same time we have to watch out that we don’t see people being denied their rights without just cause.

    2. avatar Andrew says:

      Isn’t the definition of “felony” any crime whose minimum sentence is greater than 364 days in prison?

      The word “felon” sounds violent, dangerous, etc., surely due to the conditioning we receive.

      1. avatar Noishkel says:

        I think so really. I can only assume that this charge that was leveled against the person in the story would have been that long of a sentence, but was suspended. Don’t really know much about the law… I can only tell what I’ve read.

      2. avatar A-Rod says:

        FYI – being in this country illegally is a misdeamor offense.

      3. avatar Chris says:

        felony n. 1) a crime sufficiently serious to be punishable by death or a term in state or federal prison, as distinguished from a misdemeanor which is only punishable by confinement to county or local jail and/or a fine.

        This does not mean that the person has to actually be incarcerated for more than a year, just that they could have been sentenced to more than a year for said crime. Fact.

    3. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      “Not all felonies are created equal.”

      Isn’t that the truth. With the current trend of politicians making every minor infraction a felony, many felony prosecutions/convictions amount to nothing more than creating a new class of political prisoners.

    4. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Rather than debasing the value of the felony with various exceptions and workarounds, we should instead re-examine what actions truly constitute a felony in the first place. Exclude those that don’t rise to a true felony magnitude and be done with it.

      Introducing special diet felonies or felony-lites, by way of special reduced punishments only blurs the line between felony and non-felony acts. The last thing the justice system needs is more ambiguity.

  4. avatar imrambi says:

    I would not be against full rights once the probation period is finished. The idea of probation is that a criminal still has boundaries, but once its done, they should be fully rehabilitated.

    1. avatar Damon says:

      I agree. If someone has completed their incarceration and their probation period successfully, they should have ALL their rights restored. The ones who will go back to a life of crime will most likely not complete their probation successfully.

    2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      So you’re ok with the convicted child molester working at your kid’s school, daycare, or coaching their team? No? Why not? He/she has served his time and paid his/her debt to society, right? Let the restoration of rights and full freedom begin!

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        I am all for it. Of course, I would never send my child to a school or day care so careless that they did not check for that background, and decline to employ that person. They can apply for the job, doesn’t mean they will get it.

        1. avatar Stuki says:

          Three Cheers to common sense!

      2. avatar JeffR says:

        I agree with you that the issue is not as simple as some make it out to be. By the same token, the ability to work at a school is not an explicit constitutional right.

        1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

          That’s fair, Jeff. I would only add, though, that the Constitution itself acknowledges by way of the 10th amendment the existence of other rights not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. We should be wary of regarding our rights as existing only in documents, or even in documents at all, as opposed to be God-given (or let’s say “natural”, for those of differing faiths).

        2. avatar TobiasBrahms says:

          Here’s the thing about calling on the Constitution. I’ve read it (word for word), and the Bill of Rights. I’ve taken a close hard look at each section and the wording within. There’s nothing in the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights that would permit the government from infringing (yes I chose that word on purpose) ANY of an individuals rights due to a criminal conviction(s). (In fact, the Declaration of Independence mentions the taking of individual rights as one of the reasons the colonists (our forefathers) rebelled against King George’s rule.) So really, take a closer look, because there’s some things that, yes, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights protect, and there’s nothing in either of those documents that could be read or interpreted as saying the government has the authority to take anyone’s rights (as set forth in the Bill of Rights, (please call on the 5th Amendment, because before the 5th said, “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” the 2nd said simply this, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” As I read that, in order of importance as that’s largely how they were meant, then anything laid out explicitly in a previous Amendment would be essentially a protection for that right from other Amendments. To put it more simply, think of the Bill of Rights in the same way as you would Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. ”
          A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
          A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
          A robot may not injure its own kind and defend its own kind unless it is interfering with the first or second rule.”

          So with that said, it goes like this 1) Declaration of Independence (anything they said they had a beef against King George in there should be understood to not be okay in our society) 2) Constitution (the clauses laid out in the Constitution should not be allowed to override something in the Declaration) 3) The Bill of Rights (and subsequent amendments) (should not be allowed to over ride anything laid out in the Declaration or the Constitution. Am I making sense?

        3. avatar Chris says:

          Federalist No. 84
          I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. – Alexander Hamilton

      3. avatar A.B Prosper says:

        Why is a child molester allowed on the street.?

        We may not make it a capital crime (its been tried with the net results the bad guys kill kids) but we can lock such people in a hospital where they belong for the rest of their life.

        Its not the cheap method but its right one.

        There is no cheap solution for crime other than gun control and we all know how that works (it doesn’t)

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      Click bait, RF? (not that that is a BAD thing…)

      We get the same factions spouting the same BS rhetoric every time this issue comes up.

      The right to keep and bear arms is a NATURAL right. It is yours the day your are born and you retain it until the day you die. It may be subject to repression or economic limitations, but it CANNOT be repealed or revoked. As a right that cannot be taken away, it is not a right that can be “restored.”

      Persons arrested and/or convicted and incarcerated following conviction are fair targets for the government to attempt to suppress their RKBA, having shown themselves to be potentially willing to infringe on the rights of others. This can only be an ATTEMPT, however, as the many examples of the inventiveness in constructing “shivs” and other self-defense weapons, including forming gangs for mutual protection (militias) within the prison systems shows only too clearly.

      That said, if you support the Second Amendment and its specific prohibition against the government: “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” then you must admit that there is no provision in this proclamation that gives the government or any government agency the authority to infringe on this right. And if you think that allowing the government to create, maintain and enforce a list of citizens who for purely government reasons are prohibited from exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected RKBA, then you do not support the Second Amendment.

      It’s scary to think of criminals or the insane having access to firearms, but do any of you REALLY think that making it illegal will accomplish anything more than making it difficult? It will certainly NEVER make it impossible. Passing laws that prohibit possession of firearms by felons or the insane is just as foolish as believing in “Gun Free Zones” and much more hazardous, as you have now given the government the implicit authority to determine who may or may not exercise their Second Amendment rights and once you have done that the “…shall not be infringed.” prohibition is history.

      The point of being able to keep and bear arms is to be responsible for your own, your neighbor’s and your community’s defense against criminals, maniacs, and politicians. You cannot expect that by allowing the government to assume this role they will not someday put you, your neighbor or you community on the list of those they prohibit from keeping and bearing arms.

      “They who would give up an essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety, and in the long run will have neither.” – Benjamin Franklin, @1775.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        Exactly

      2. avatar SomeOneInWA says:

        My thoughts exactly!

  5. avatar rosignol says:

    IMO, it is entirely appropriate and reasonable to give those convicted of non-violent offenses full restoration of rights after the sentence is served, probation completed, and restitution paid.

    Redemption does not have to be easy, but it should be possible.

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Who ever said that full punishment consists only of “the sentence”, restitution, etc? There are lingering consequences for major criminal activity and one of which is loss of rights. In today’s discussion, that includes firearms rights. In can also mean employment rights. If we’re going around declaring fundamental principles here, then let’s apply them consistently, shall we?

      Unless you’re also in favor of federal law adding felons to the list of protected classes, such that YOU can be sued and prosecuted for refusing to hire or serve one, then your argument is not logically consistent. Firearms freedoms? Sure! (because in my mind that means nameless, faceless felons someplace else in the country and not in any way involving me) Full employment rights for felon? No way! (because that would affect me personally and I don’t want those crooks running my register)

      Where’s that resolve for redemption? Hmm? Or does that mean restored rights for all, but just not in your backyard?

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        So you prefer to support unconstitutional laws depriving people of the right to hire at will over constitutional rights. You really like taking people’s rights away.
        We are learning more and more about you every minute.

      2. avatar Paul G. says:

        Cruel and Unusual…..look it up.

      3. avatar Stuki says:

        Things aren’t really any more complicated than you make them. Don’t deprive people of _any_ rights, unless you are doing so in legitimate defense of self and own.

        And what the heck does protected classes and other inventions of the Oppression have to do with anything? By the time a government is powerful, well funded and all knowing enough to have the remotest clue as to what some random guy does for a living; they are already big enough that they, not some random collection of supposed “felons”, are the problem that needs fixing.

  6. avatar JSIII says:

    I believe non violent Felons should have a mechanism to regain their 2A rights.

    1. avatar Ben Eli says:

      ditto. the question is what about a harder system for violent offenders?

      1. avatar Jake Tallman says:

        Well, even if the person is a violent felon, if they are still enough of a threat to society that they can’t be trusted with a firearm, then they should still be locked up. The way I see it, if the courts have deemed you fit to return to society, than you’re fit to have access to the same firearm rights as the rest of us. If not, you shouldn’t have been released.

        1. avatar Tommycat says:

          That might make some of these repeat offenders less likely to get out… To which I say GOOD! If the Parole board knows that giving this guy freedom means he has access to firearms, maybe they will rethink letting these guys out early because of “Overcrowding” and start thinking of more “Tent City” options instead.

        2. avatar Cliff H says:

          @Tommycat,

          I cannot see any legal or judicial construct in which a criminal may be incarcerated for life just because some group of bureaucrats “thinks” he may continue to be violent and dangerous. He is tried, convicted, and sentenced according to the law. He serves his sentence and is allowed to go free. To believe that ANYONE who has spent a portion of their life in close daily proximity with sociopaths is unlikely to be a danger to society on their release is foolish. Recidivism rates are extremely high.

          The moment a convict is released from custody their right to keep and bear arms is once more in full effect. There may be laws making it difficult or impossible for them to obtain firearms the same way as you or I, or there may be severe penalties on the books for what may happen if they are discovered in possession of such prohibited weapons, but do not think for a millisecond that they cannot or will not arm themselves at the earliest possible moment if they think it is in their best interests, and ALL of your laws and prohibitions be damned.

          The only way to revoke a felon’s right to keep and bear arms is to catch him in the act of violating another person’s rights and gun him down. Any other supposed solution is fantasy.

  7. avatar Sab says:

    If they’ve done their time they get all their rights back. Simple as that. Otherwise you just build incentive to expand the definition of felonies until you strip Americans of all their rights. Which they are doing right now.

  8. avatar KingSarc48265 says:

    There should be an affordable appeals process in place. A good friend of mine will not be able to inherit his father’s very large collection due to a 25 year old drug charge.

  9. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    If we believe that a person’s rights are granted by the Creator (or naturally inherent), then by what authority can another person take any of those rights away?

    The only occassion where it’s justified to violate someone’s rights is in legitimate defense of your own rights (or the rights of others).

  10. avatar Paul G. says:

    No free man shall be debarred the use of arms…..Thomas Jefferson.
    Felons have at least the same risk of being robbed, killed, assaulted, as any other man on the street. A felon that is going back to a life of crime won’t worry about the law when arming himself, so laws preventing felons from owning guns only stop the ones who wish to be law abiding.

    1. avatar Todd S says:

      Well stated, sir!

    2. avatar ThomasR says:

      This!

      If a person is out of jail for say five years on probation and shows he no longer leads a life of crime; even a formerly violent felon; should get all of their rights back.

  11. avatar Allen Morgan says:

    Most felons I have known admitted they carried guns, most of the time for personal protection from some of their former colleagues. I don’t know the answer on this one. All felonies are not created equal, that is for sure. Some are for non-violent crimes and one would think giving back rights to one convicted of a non-violent crime might not have much risk in it. But, I do understand that even someone convicted of a more violent crime with someone who already assailed him still on the street, why would he not feel the need to carry? Will take some folks better than I, who get the big money, to make that decision.

    As for me and mine, never convicted of anything, we will carry–openly and concealed.

  12. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “Jones admitted to anticrime cops from the 73rd Precinct…”
    Wait. What? Anticrime cops?
    As opposed to Pro-crime cops?

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      I missed that, had to look it up to believe it’s a thing. It’s a ridiculous name but I think the thought behind it has merit. They’re basically plain clothes patrol officers.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization_of_the_New_York_City_Police_Department#Taxi_Squad.2FAnti-Crime

  13. avatar Steve says:

    Wait.. “anticrime police”? You mean as opposed to the pro-crime police? I didn’t realize an acknowledgement of that distinction was allowable in the media.
    Anyway.. the problem is that we’re making too many felons. Yesterday drug users, today gun users, tomorrow, who knows.
    But – strictly speaking, our society used to kill felons. Letting felons live but reducing their functional role in society to effectively dead still seems like a somewhat reasonable compromise. Yous takes your chances. The real fix here is to keep the title of felon reserved for the truly grave and violent offenses.

    1. avatar Stuki says:

      As long as what you’re saying resolves to restrict felonies to to crimes one gets executed for, it’s hard to argue. The whole burying a man with his guns does seem a bit archaic.

      At a very minimum, noone prevented from bearing arms, should ever be allowed to cast a vote. Lest depriving him of the former, encourages him to parttake in preventing others from the same, in order to :level the playing field”, so to speak. Similarly, he should neither be allowed to open his mouth or wield a pen, lest he similarly uses those facilities to argue for same. Or for the expansion of the authority of those who now lay claim to have taken over his erstwhile duty to protect himself.

      Hence, like most customs from the age of Jefferson et al, the “either armed or dead” tradition, is still the best compromise.

  14. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    “…shall not be infringed.”

    We released them to society, but don’t trust them to carry on as a member of society? Then jail needs to be rethought.

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      If you force the government’s hand into selecting from only a purely binary set of options, continued incarceration or freedom with firearms, on which side would you expect they’re apt to fall? They get paid the same no matter how many felons go without firearms rights.

      For the bonus round: What’s the impact on their check if those same felons just sit in prison indefinitely? Here’s a hint: it’s a helluva lot more than the $0 they’d get paid when released felons run around with guns the politicians allowed them to have and the public boots those politicians from office.

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        “Force the government’s hand”? I thought the people were in charge, and that certain rights were considered inherent.

      2. avatar ThomasR says:

        “Force the governments hand”? who do you think put the current crop of politicians(parasites) that are in office now?

        It’s because of people that think like you J-H that we are in this particular violation of a human beings civil rights. If enough people thought like the majority opinion on this web site as it does right now; we could put in representatives that actually would implement these type of laws. Just like they are passing pro-gun legislation; they could pass laws of the type we are speaking about.

        Then we truly would be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

  15. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    What this question addresses is really an issue of edge cases. On the one hand, felons upon release from prison are indeed likely to face victimization by virtue of the more limited living and working options available to them by virtue of being felons. In this case it would seem reasonable to restore their rights. On the other, recidivism is a real and pressing problem. This means that an appreciable portion of the people whose rights were restored would use those rights to re-offend. I do not believe that there is a clear solution that would not create as many problems as it solved.

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      The prospect of certain diminished opportunities and heightened vulnerability, as you rightly mentioned, should serve as deterrence from committing felonies in the first place. Insofar as they didn’t, and these people proceeded to commit their felonies anyway, should serve as abundant warning that they’ve rejected wholesale living among us as equals in civilized society. They may get out of prison, but they’re permanently unequal. Second class citizens must make do with a second class slate of rights. It was their decision.

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        That sounds like hate speech….felony hate speech. Turn in your guns.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      “…an appreciable portion of the people whose rights were restored would use those rights to re-offend.”

      I’ll wager that that portion is roughly equal to the portion that currently re-offends using illegally-obtained guns or other, non-restricted weapons. The number of violent criminals who are prevented from committing violence by the current slate of gun laws (including 2A rights revocation) is nearly zero.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        I can tell you this for certain, law do not effect felons decisions to carry or not carry, use or not use firearms. Criminal, by definition commit crimes and therefor do not follow the law. All these laws do is keep firearms out of the hands of those felons that do reform, they do nothing to keep them from those that would continue with their life of crime.

  16. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Does the second amendment say they can not? No, so I say they should.

  17. avatar Jonsey says:

    I’m going to go the other way, if there is a felon who should have their RKBA restored, then whatever they did should not be a felony.

  18. avatar Pahtun6 says:

    As cheesy as it may sound, jail/ prison changes people. Even if they were not convicted of a violent crime there’s a 99.9% chance that they will leave prison and end upright back in.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      Diane Feinstein says the same thing about military service.

    2. avatar Stuki says:

      Then quit locking up people on my dime. And quit preventing me from equipping myself to deal with the occasional “should perhaps have been locked up” dude out there, if I do catch him walking up my driveway with ill intent.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Well, it’s not recommended to shoot him just for walking up the driveway. At least give him a chance to say what he’s doing there.

        Otherwise I agree. Let the felons run wild, just arm all the law-abiding citizens and let the incorrigible troublemakers get Darwinized. Of course, the Communists and other grabbers will scream bloody murder about that, because their stock-in-trade is incorrigible troublemaking.

    3. avatar Stinkeye says:

      While recidivism rates are alarmingly high, I don’t think they’re quite 99.9% yet…

  19. avatar Michael says:

    When felons have done their time they have by definition paid their debt to society. Unless there are extenuating circumstances related to potential violence, all their rights should be restored.

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Nobody ever said that prison time alone is the totality of their debt, though. In fact, the law plainly states what the prices to be paid for felonies are, and that includes loss of firearms freedom if you’re released, among many other restrictions depending on the exact crime. They knew the consequences up front. It isn’t extra punishment, it’s part of the punishment, which they knew and accepted when they committed their crime. No post-purchase rebates/discounts allowed.

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        The punishment is the punishment, whether constitutionally supported or not. Believe what the authorities have decided, for they are always correct.

      2. avatar Chris says:

        Actually, the law states the exact opposite. There are legal provisions for returning the right to bear arms for most all felons, at the state level, and at the federal level as well. Congress has just been denying the funding required to process the pet ions required for a felon to regain his or her rights. Additionally, as per The Constitution of the United States of America, the supreme law of the land, Congress has no right to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms, period. The laws that they do impose are under the guise of protecting Interstate Commerce through the “Commerce Clause”

        Article I, Section 8, Clause 3:[3]
        “[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;”

        But this is a VERY thin argument for their ability to regulate firearms and is very questionable constitutionally.

  20. avatar Manuel says:

    Lol. Isn’t the leader of tge Second Amendment Foundation a felon?

  21. avatar WI Patriot says:

    When you run in “those” circles, that’s the life you chose, and those are the chances you take…If you’re a convicted felon, you’ve already proven that you’re too irresponsible to own/possess ANY kind of firearm…the crime in of itself really doesn’t matter, it’s the irresponsibility that you’ve shown that dictates…

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      So, single moms and anyone who is divorced is ineligible as well. How irresponsible to get pregnant out of wedlock, or to marry the wrong person. I didn’t see that responsibility part of the 2A, must be missing on my copy.

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        It’s in the New Republik of Amerika, Abridged Edition. Forward by Diane Feinstein, introduction by Michael Bloomberg.

        1. avatar WI Patriot says:

          I have NO idea what that is supposed to mean, perhaps you’re just another ignorant ass with a keyboard…??? I dunno…

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “I have NO idea what that is supposed to mean, perhaps you’re just another ignorant ass with a keyboard…??? I dunno…;”

          Are you saying that because YOU can’t understand his comment, that HE’s “just another ignorant ass?”

          I think you’ve got your finger pointing backwards.

        3. avatar WI Patriot says:

          And Rich, you’re significant why…???

      2. avatar WI Patriot says:

        How is your comment even relevant to mine…??? You’re talking about divorce, and pre-marital sex, I’m talking convicted felon…you need to go back to school to tell the difference…

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          Let us keep expanding the use of “irresponsible”. I think your poor comprehension of a simple analogy renders you too irresponsible as well….no guns for you.

    2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Sounds reasonable to me, WI. There definitely are degrees of irresponsibility. However, we needn’t try to fine tune down to some micro level where every action falls. It many cases, it’s sufficient simply to name that category to which the irresponsible action belongs. One big category is: felony.

      Thus, when a criminal crosses over into the world of felonies, he’s made a major life decision. No need to label this felon or that felon more or less irresponsible than another. By felonious definition, they’re ALL grossly irresponsible and their guns go bye bye.

      Other irresponsible actions, even most irresponsible actions, don’t rise to the level of criminal act, let alone felony; but felonies sure do, and that comes with major losses of rights.

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        Lots of trivial things are felonies, and quite serious derelictions are not.

      2. avatar WI Patriot says:

        It sounds as though that Paul G. just may be one of those felonious individuals…

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          I see, when people make sensible comments defending rights, someone has to take offense and start with the baseless accusations. Fear I imagine, or small-mindedness. And you claim to be a “patriot”. I guess the Bill of Rights is disposable, huh?
          Sorry, no felon here, and a real patriot too. I don’t need to add it to my screen name to feel like one.

  22. avatar dwb says:

    Well, felons also have more of a reason to keep stuff private too, yet part of the deal when they get out is that they often have consented to having their stuff searched. Part of the punishment is having rights taken away, on top of being locked up. This is not a liberty issue – society sets the norm for whats appropriate punishment. Don’t like it, don’t commit a felony.

    As far as whether violent felons get rights back, if they are really an imminent danger they should be locked up. On the other hand, the punishment should be severe enough to discourage the behavior. If you kill or rape someone, I dont care if you ever get any rights back. Don’t do it. And, consider yourself lucky to be alive.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      Now we are back to the democracy versus republic debate. In a democracy, individual rights are subservient to majority rule. In a republic, natural rights are protected and not subject to alienation by majority decree.
      I have never pledged allegiance to the democracy.

      1. avatar dwb says:

        I am taking an educated guess you would have no problem shooting someone in your house trying to rob you at gunpoint. Or, if they were raping your 7 year old child. If you agree, then you clearly do not think rights are “inalienable.” Or, it does not mean what you think it means. If you think some crimes deserve the death penalty, then letting the convicts live but without some right seems generous.

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          I think you are serious wrong in what you are thinking. You are the one who needs to go back and learn what words mean.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “If you agree, then you clearly do not think rights are “inalienable.” ”

          Clever strawman, but wrong conclusion. The guy who broke in my door abandoned his rights by doing so. If he wanted to protect his “right to life,” he shouldn’t have taken an action that has lethal consequences.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I’m allergic to straw so this will be brief…

          Governments aren’t people. People posses unalienable rights. Governments are granted only privileges, (sometimes under duress or brute force perhaps) by the people governed. Our government is bound by shall not be infringed as it operates solely under privilege. Individuals have a natural right to self defense and can violate the right of a perpetrator in the act of self defense. This is common sense. Government isn’t alive, has no conscience, and possesses no rights.

  23. avatar CLarson says:

    Sub classes of citizens, secret watch lists, byzantine probation standards, all of these aren’t the hallmarks of an open and free society. That being said it is in the Constitution: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” So if there was “due process” the State can ignore some or all of your rights or even take your life. I guess it’s up to citizens to make the standards very high for removing rights. The state will always take as much as it can get because it is in its nature to control. Ayn Rand said it best:

    “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Ayn Rand is just the sort of intellectual giant who should be alive today. Really, there’s probably never been a time when Rand wouldn’t have been an important addition to the debate.

  24. avatar Roscoe says:

    If the US Attorney General wants felons’ voting rights restored, then so too should be their gun rights.

    ‘Nuff said!

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      I’m actually not too keen on having their voting rights restored, so consistency demands that I not be too keen on them having their 2A rights restored I guess. Unfortunately, as others have pointed out, the “currency” of felonies has become somewhat debased by inflation (ie too many “felonies” out there).

      1. avatar Roscoe says:

        “inflation”.

        I thought politicians writing more laws were the answer to everything. Wow, what a revelation.
        /end sarc/

        Any more, we are all too easily guilty of violating some law somewhere every day. There are so many Federal, State, local laws – in all areas, that there’s no way anyone can keep up. Great fodder for those employed in the legal realm, and all of us (lawyers too) are footing the bill – just sayin’. Thanks to politicians unending new laws and government agencies rule making there’s way too much overhead.

        BTW, though relevant, my remark about Holder promoting reinstating voting rights for felons was meant to highlight the political double standards and highfalutin bigotry of the Democratic Party and the current Obama Administration policies. They would never hear of doing anything in support of our Second Amendment protections.

  25. avatar Viridus Est says:

    Because criminals might choose not to obey gun restriction laws (disobeying laws is what makes them criminals, after all), this debate sounds a lot like the debate about gun laws in general. For example, so-called gun free zones are not really gun free unless everyone chooses to obey the law that keeps them gun free. And background checks don’t prevent non-checked sales, whether from private owners or through illegal markets. In the end, the only way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people is to keep dangerous people in a place where they can’t get guns: this place is called prison. (And prisoners still sometimes manage to get guns in there, too.)

  26. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    These Federal laws are unconstitutional anyway, not even bringing up the 2nd Amendment issue. The Constitution does not give the Feebs any general police power. It can be argued that other than the UCMJ the only police powers the Feebs should have are in regards to piracy, treason and counterfeiting.

  27. avatar Maineuh says:

    Well, huh. I expected to get blasted for opining that felons should have their rights restored once the sentence is served. Instead, it appears to be the popular opinion around here. Go us.

    1. avatar CLarson says:

      I think the armed intelligentsia has caught wise that the rule of law is a weak disguise for the whims of the powers that be. Case in point, David Gregory. If the police and law are just tools of oppression, best to weaken them as much as possible.

  28. avatar LongPurple says:

    Is an infringement of a convicted felon’s rights if he is forbidden to be armed, even for the lawful purpose of defending his life?
    Yes — in exactly the same way his supposedly “inalienable Rights . . . Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” are suspended when he is put in prison, or even executed for a crime after being convicted.
    Should this suspension of 2 A. rights be for life? No, but the burden of proof that the felon is no longer a danger to the community is on that ex-convict, and it should be a heavy burden. I have just heard of “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who was being lauded as a reformed gangster, tied to Sen. Leland Yee in the gun-running scandal in San Francisco. The bar must be higher than the endorsement of some Lib/Soc politicians.

  29. avatar KCK says:

    Seems to me, everyone in NY City are being considered as pre-felons. How about restoring their rights?

  30. avatar reoiv says:

    If you trust them with a car you should trust them with a gun.

    If they are too dangerous to be around a gun, then they are too dangerous to be around a car or out in society period.

  31. avatar David says:

    How quickly we forget and frame our questions in the negative. Prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968 they did (legally – they still do illegally) and the world did not hop of its axis. Better question:

    Should we go back to the way things were for most of human history?

    Answer: Yes!

  32. avatar rlc2 says:

    The idea of prison or jail is to pay your debt to society. If the justice system believes you are eligible to be free, then upon completion of probation, you should have all rights restored.

    I have a problem with top-down, mandatory sentencing guidelines, as part of this same thinking- too many relatively harmless people have been incarcerated for small stupid things like marijuana possesion for personal use, or small time dealing- if states are now passing laws to legislate that, its high time the federal government and states turned these people free, and change the laws.

    I think most long time cops agree. The War on Drugs failed long ago, and only boosts the profits of the narcos, and the US based drug distributors, and those who feed upon it all. Including, it appears, too many Democratic politicians…

    Wasnt Shrimp a heroin smuggler….hmmm. Wonder who else has been in on those profits of the Tong, ever since…Kamala Harris, call your office.

    PS: before anyone jumps to a conclusion- no of course I do not support drug use, including marijuana which is 10X more dangerous than it was the too many years ago I am willing to admit when I was young. But thats Darwin’s Law in action- if you want to blow up your lungs, mind, and body-thats your business, go right ahead, and faster please.

    Just dont come crying to me and expect to pay for your rehab. You are on your own. Consequences matter.

  33. avatar chris says:

    If you live a clean life after for a number of years you can petition the court to restore your gun rights. You even check yes as a felon on the atf form.

    1. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

      @ Chris Actually, if you bother to read it, you check NO if your gun rights are restored. I just helped a friend with a felony pot possession charge from 20 years ago from Washington State get his firearms rights restored. He purchased a weapon in Arizona and had question regarding just that question.
      If your gun rights are restored in the jurisdiction in which the person lost them, then you answer NO
      Question 11 (c) See answers to 11c on form 4473

  34. avatar desertrat79 says:

    IMO, even if they are never allowed to carry in public, even a felon should have the right and means to defend their homes and families.

  35. avatar Shawn says:

    Commit the crime lose the right. Simple as that.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      Inalienable right…..even simpler.

  36. avatar Delbert Grady says:

    Now that everything is a felony everyone is a pending felon.

  37. avatar Richard says:

    @Paul G. The rule that was in place until comparatively recent times was that, once released, a felon was restored to society the same as any other citizen. If they persisted in “a life of crime”, the next judge they stood before would normally see to it that it would be a longer time before they were free again. The thing is, just what have these prohibitions actually accomplished? That is not a sarcastic comment. just how many times are there “felon in possession” prosecutions were that is the only charge? Usually it is tossed in for good measure along with the substantive charge for whatever they did.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      So you feel blanket removal of inalienable rights is a good thing. I much prefer the Constitution.
      Arguing “because”, isn’t that how anti-gunners work?

      1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        The Constitution allows for removal of any and all rights, including your life, subject to due process. You can’t wrap yourself in the Constitution when it doesn’t agree with your position.

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          No, it does not. It allows deprivation. That deprivation is determined by the sentence. Try to follow along, I will try to use small words.

  38. avatar Gunr says:

    It depends on what type of felony the person was convicted of. If there was serious violence, then the person has shown that he or she is a risk.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      So people “that risky” should be put on the street? Where they will probably get another gun, because they are “risky” people.

      1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        We can’t incarcerate everyone forever. It’s just too expensive. We can, however, impose some conditions on some marginal offenders upon their release. Those with some impulse control issues may still be released, but subject to a ban on firearms that reduces the impact of their outburst should they not have been fully rehabilitated by prison.

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          If that many people are the problem, then it isn’t the people, it is the system, or society.

        2. avatar Stuki says:

          Makes sense in a society with some pretense to be free: “Those with [insert currently en vogue psychobabble term] issues, of course don’t have the same rights as those of us who can afford a more expensive defense team, including a more expensive ‘expert’ witness shrink”

      2. avatar Gunr says:

        I believe you miss-read my implication, just the opposite, People who have shown they may commit serious crimes, and have done so in the past, should, should be locked up! And, just for the record, I do not believe a person that was involved in a fight, where a few punches were thrown, and there were no injuries except some bruises, should be in that classification.

  39. avatar dwb says:

    People commenting about consistency between voting rights and gun rights are missing the point. It does not need to be consistent. Punishment is about deterrence. Now, if my son is bad and I threaten to take away his stuffed animals hed say go right ahead , I haven’t played since I was 3. If you commit a violent crime against another human being,you lose rights up to and including your life. We don’t have to take all of them away, just the ones you value. If you have no problem with capital punishment, why would you have a problem with removing gun rights for the rest of your life. Should someone who killed someone walk around with some stain for the rest of their life? Maybe jail doesn’t bother you because your buddies are there. Maybe the appropriate punishment is if you walk around for the rest of your life with a kick me sign on your forehead.

    1. avatar Stuki says:

      The most likely reason why societies whose main, or only, means of punishing someone is to kill them, actually seems to remain functional, is that this indirectly forces people to think long and hard about whether an act is really all that bad. Is smoking a joint really worth hanging someone for? 15mph over the limit on a deserted highway? Jaywalking? Carrying a snubbie in your pocket?

      Take away this mind straightening limitation, and nothing prevents politicians and others in the politico-judicial establishment from obtaining yet another mealymouthed, half asleep, OK; from a genuinely overwhelmed to apathy electorate, when they seek to slowly deem ever more activities as felonies, misdemeanors etc. Hence inexorably increasing the ranks of those they can claim some dominion over.

      If a guy is truly a danger, hang him. Cheap and effective. Otherwise, leave the guy alone. Then make sure as many as possible, are properly equipped to deal with him, should he at some point decide to pose a danger to them.

      1. avatar dwb says:

        Maybe, but what if they want to die, or expects to die? Does not mean much to the next mass killer who expects to die, or expects to go to Allah does it? Capital punishment (and jail) is only partly about removing someone who presents a clear and present danger to themselves or others. It’s also about deterrence, sending a message to others that such behavior will not be tolerated, or punishment. In some cases, neither are the most effective deterrence.

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          The death penalty is not about deterrence. How would you feel if someone decided you needed to die in order to deter others from doing what you did? How can you in good conscience decide to kill one man as a means of deterring others from doing the same thing? If a man is to be given the death penalty, it should be because he deserves the death penalty. No other reason is conscionable. That we will put a man to death for certain crimes may serve to deter others, but should not be the reasoning behind the punishment.

        2. avatar Allen Morgan says:

          You are correct that a death penalty should be dependent upon what a person earned by what s/he did. Nothing else. However, if you do not think the death penalty when properly and systematically applied to heinous criminals is not a deterrent, then you are not recognizing the statistics.

          With the death penalty there is no recidivism. There is no lifetime burden upon society and the taxpayer to support the criminal. In order to receive the death penalty today, one would have to commit premeditated murder with extenuating circumstances, such as another felony. One would have to rape and kill, or kill multiple people, or similar crimes.

        3. avatar dwb says:

          @Allen,
          1. by “death penalty” I am also including the lawful use of force in self defense. I feel pretty sure, and the stats back me up, that people own and carry firearms for protection and deterrence. There has got to be some reason burglars in the US wait till nobody’s home most of the time, while burglars in the UK barge right in…

          Whether the death penalty as applied by the criminal justice system is effective, thats another issue. But I feel that if you break into my house and threaten my family, the penalty will likely be swift and severe.

          2. Yes, with the death penalty there is no recidivism. Nor do dead people have gun rights. My point is not about the actual implementation of the death penalty. Only that: if you are ok with it in theory, then you should also be ok with the lesser punishment of: Jail, parole, and then life without gun rights. If you break into my house, threaten my family, and somehow survive, boo-hoo, you don’t get your gun rights. I am not broken up about that.

        4. avatar Rich Grise says:

          No, it’s about revenge, plain and simple.

        5. avatar Stuki says:

          My point was really supposed to be more about how very harsh penalties being the only available penalties serve to clear the minds of the lynchmob, than about the effect of such a state on the poor guy on the receiving end of the harshness.

          I suspect even progressives, would show more restraint in dragging the enforcement apparatus of the state into the picture, if those guys’ only means of injecting themselves into the issue, was to hang the offender, for supposedly doing something not deemed entirely PC in our progressive world.

  40. avatar Karl says:

    if their that violent put them to death

  41. avatar Anonymous says:

    Question of the Day: Should Felons be Able to Keep and Bear Arms?

    A better question is:
    Under what conditions should a person no longer have the right to defend themselves, their family, their loved ones, and their country?

    My opinion is when they are released into the public to rejoin society.

  42. avatar Chris says:

    This is a difficult question considering their are so many ways to get an accidentally felony these days. Heck in my state a folding stock is a felony!

    I think it depends on the crime, although having said that I don’t see why that would stop a bank robber from doing what they want when they get out. But what it would allow is the guy who got busted for a folding stock to rebuild his firearm collection when get gets out of jail!

    1. avatar CLarson says:

      This is the crux of the issue. In some states a shell casing on your person or in your vehicle is a crime. I guess it boils down to only the most violent criminals should lose their gun rights. And maybe the most violent criminals should stop being released… As for realistically preventing criminals from possessing guns, well apparently toy guns are just as effective for robbing banks and mugging people, and toys r us has no background checks.

  43. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

    The simple act of possessing and/or carrying a firearm, by itself, produces no victim. Therefore, it does not make sense for that action to be a crime.

    One could make a logical argument that those who are in the process of reintegrating into society (e.g. those who are on parole and/or living at a halfway house of some sort) need to not carry firearms as a condition of their release, at least for a while. But they still have the right to defend themselves, and I do not think they should be prohibited from carrying any weapon at all. I also do not see a problem with them having firearms for protection at their home.

    Those who have been “fully released” and are no longer on any period of probation or parole should have their rights fully restored. To say they should simply be locked up forever is not only impractical but arguably cruel and unusual punishment.

    The biggest problem that we have regarding all of this, IMO, is that governments at all levels continue to make more and more actions crimes. In the same way that the simple act of carrying a firearm, by itself, does not harm anyone else, the simple act of possessing or consuming a drug does not harm anyone else. Yet people are convicted of these non-violent non-harmful actions and are thrown in a cage.

    Every year there are more and more actions that are considered felonies. That, by itself, is a major problem.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      Just pointing that last part out could soon be a felony.

  44. avatar Ralph says:

    Sure, restore their gun rights. In fact, why take away their gun rights to begin with? Prisoners are at greater risk for physical violence than the general public, so allow convicts to carry in prison. It makes sense — if you’re totally nuts. As some of you may be.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      Persons in custody are wards of the state. The state determines their rights while they remain wards of the state, which includes their time on parole.

    2. avatar Roscoe says:

      “…allow convicts to carry in prison.”

      That would certainly cut down on overcrowding.

      But then the staff would probably want to be paid more.

      Ahh, you can never win!

    3. avatar LongPurple says:

      I must confess a certain admiration for the idea of dumping a bunch of repeat violent offenders on an island. Each would be given a gallon of whiskey and a knife. One week later, the prison boat that dropped them off returns, and the sole surviving prisoner is shot.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Or either that or they clue up, organize, and when the ship comes back, they capture it and go free with government officials dangling from the yardarms..

        1. avatar LongPurple says:

          And then the back-up submarine torpedos the captured prison ship . . . and the clever street-thugs, all of whom were members of “Prisoners in Mensa”, pretend to surrender . . . and the sub surfaces to pick them up . . . and the criminal geniuses who have spent the week planning, organizing, and rehearsing their escape seize the submarine . . . and they “take another station” in a reversal of the career path of those pirates from Penzance . . . and they sail off to take over the piracy racket off Somalia . . . and then the sub is scuttled when the fail-safe explosive charges are remotely detonated.

    4. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Are you saying that you can’t grasp the fact that nobody is crazy enough to open fire on 90 armed men?

      Would you? Maybe you’re one of the ones that shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun.

    5. avatar Stuki says:

      Well, it worked out well in the end for the Aussies……

  45. avatar Mark says:

    Why do they just lose the 2nd Amendment and not the 1st? Why is it that we keep allowing it to be about the possession and ownership of guns? They lose the right to bear arms, but still have free speech–and almost all their other rights. This is only about getting the guns away from us one slice of society at a time. No, felons should not lose their rights except for while they are incarcerated. Once they let you out, you should be free again. If you are proven to be so dangerous that you can’t be trusted to own a gun, then why get out at all? Completely violent, dangerous people could be locked up instead of pot heads and deadbeat dads. There’s another issue–how is deadbeat dad going to support his children from inside prison?

    1. avatar A-Rod says:

      I have great disdain for deadbeat dads who think their 2nd Amendment right is more important than feeding and clothing their kids.

      1. avatar Stuki says:

        Few, if any, kids starve or freeze to death in America anymore. Besides, the right to keep and bear arms is inalienable. There exist no such right to be fed and clothed.

  46. avatar nick says:

    Should be case by case, I have no problem with Martha Stewart owning a gun for self defense.

  47. avatar Gregolas says:

    I will not repeat my last lengthy tirade about what a stupid idea this is, at least for violent felons.
    Just take it from a 25-year criminal lawyer who’s seen it from prosecution, defense and the bench:
    no. Just no.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      Wow…appeal to authority. Next you need to Get Gabby Giffords and her hubby to support you, yeah, that’ll change it.

      Thanks for not repeating your stupid tirade.

    2. avatar Stuki says:

      No! Just.No! To let someone whose gunstock happens to fold in half have any rights at all……..

  48. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Oregon has a way for most felons to regain their full rights. It involves keeping ones nose clean for a few years.
    I think that’s acceptable.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      +1, I also live in Oregon, up from Kalifornia, thank god!

    2. avatar LongPurple says:

      That makes far more sense than having anyone who ever ran afoul of the law forever branded as a criminal. There is nothing worse than forcing people into a life of crime because they think “If I have the name, I might as well have the game”.

  49. avatar glenn swendsen says:

    I think that some should and some shouldn’t. Depends if they are violent. I feel a violent felon should never be allowed to own a gun but also believe that some non-violent should be allowed think it should be a case by case decision.

  50. avatar Shire-man says:

    Most of these “felons” shouldnt be in the first place. The absolute least the state can do for stealing a decade of life from you for causing no harm to amyone or any property is leave your rights such as they are intact.

  51. avatar JoshuaS says:

    Now that many non-violent crimes are felonies, perhaps the question is a bit broad.

    Punishment is not primarily about protecting society, that is a tertiary end of punishment. So let us dismiss with the non-sequiturs of “if they can be released they can be trusted.” Nor must, or even should all punishment consist in imprisonment. Certain other punishments must be considered. The primary end of punishment is retribution. Keeping with this is just that punishment should fit the crime, rather than the fear of future crime.

    I see no problem depriving someone convicted of a crime of any and all “rights”, even life, if such deprivation fits the crime. And if we can lock up a criminal in prison, thereby depriving him of almost all his liberties, we can certainly deprive him of this or that liberty by itself, as long as the punishment fits the crime. He who has the right to the whole, has the right to the part, as it were.

    I would say that just as it is fitting to punish someone by loss of voting rights who has been publicly corrupt, it is fitting to punish someone who has abused weapons to harm others by deprivation of the right to use them, even to the prejudice of his own self-defense. And this as precisely a punishment to be sentenced to either instead or in addition to prison. In this it is no different then forbidding free association to many other stripes of criminals.

    The question is not one of infringement. If prison is a possible punishment, so is any deprivation less than that. It is just fallacious to equate punishment with prison.

    It is a question of penal law. Does it fit with retributive justice that all felons be deprives of this liberty in perpetuity, barring actions of the courts to restore rights in individual cases? No, that seems clearly wrong in that many felonies probably shouldn’t even be felonies, let alone grouped with violent ones.

    Does it fit with retributive justice that some caught carry a firearm while drunk and belligerent should be relieved of that firearm and placed on probation that does not allow him to carry for a set period of time in which he can show he has sobered up? Yes, I would say so. Abuse a right in a criminal fashion, be deprived of that right for some term.

    Does it fit with retributive justice that a murderer should forever be deprived of the right to arms? Heck yes. Since it would fit with retributive justice to execute him or imprison him for life, a fortiori he may be deprived of other liberties collectively or individually. But maybe bad example since murderer should not be released. But if he is, such a disability, as part of his punishment is no infringement, it is only wrong because it is insufficient punishment.

    How about one who commits armed robbery? He is release and part of the punitive measures could be, you cannot move back in that neighborhood, associate with X, Y, and Z. And cannot carry a gun for a set term, say 5 years, at which time said rights are restored absent any further offence.

    This seems very reasonable to me. And I cannot fathom how many of you think that the government can deprive you of all your liberties, but cannot deprive you of an individual liberty as punishment. The current classification is wrong. But not without any merit

    1. avatar A.B Prosper says:

      The reason is simple, punishment is meant for most crimes to be transitory. That is X bad things for X offense not all offenses get a lifetime of punishment.

      Now in some cases X is “Life in prison” or Dance the Tyburn Jig but its not the same as after the fact punishment. Its X resul for X offense

      And yes this does include violent felons. There is no cheaping out on justice system costs. Ignoring social issues if you want a functional system you have to pay for trials (no shoddy plea bargains or lack of representation) easily managed parole and probation caseloads and prison/jail beds.

      Otherwise the costs will be sunk with your civil rights, more erosion of the trial rights, more erosion of the 4th ammendments and more attemots at gun control, i.e collective punishment

    2. avatar SomeOneInWA says:

      The moment that you admit that the natural rights can be restricted for people otherwise free they cease to be rights. On top of that you need now to create a bureaucracy to deal with what rights each specific person has, meaning to any action you take somebody need to check if you have “enabled” that right or not. How free is such a society? While we may not remove physically some people from society they are removed in spirit. To give an example: walking open carrier is stopped by police to check his identity and his little police database. In the model that you describe this is ok, because we may have free people that are not supposed to have a specific right (to bear arms). Another example, voting: we may need to require everybody present proof that they don’t have that right restricted (aside from being citizen which is specifically stated in the Constitution). It used to be that being free means you have the all the rights of free man. The society that you describe is a “Ihre papiere, bitte!” society. Not good!

      1. avatar JoshuaS says:

        Wonderful example of strawmen and begging the question.

        I said nothing about the mechanism of enforcement, merely asserted the principle that if one has the right to the whole, they have a right to the part.

        If you can be deprived of your life for a crime, you can be deprived of something less than that. If you can be deprived of your freedom of association, you can be deprived of any other exercise of rights, provided the punishment fits the crime. That is the main problem with the current blanket law.

        I don’t agree with background checks anymore than border stops between states to prevent parolees from leaving the state against the terms of their release. So your strawmen really does not do what I said justice. But if someone on parole is caught in another state, then that they broke the terms can be held against them. Just because we shouldn’t place burdens on everyone in order to enforce the punishment of a few, does not mean we cannot punish those few.

  52. avatar Richard says:

    Judge Gleeson is a very good judge with a good reputation in New York.

  53. avatar Pahtun6 says:

    Paul G. And all, I agree the prison system is ineffective in our country. Many of the people leaving prison are worse for it and that’s why they end up right back in. I’m not sure if the exact percentage but it’s pretty high, I was at the dmv when I anitially posted. I’m sure we can all agree that many people sent to prison belon there, ad if course there are those who get sent there because of some crap reason. Diane Feinstein is a dumb bimbo who needs to get out of the game and shut her mouth, from this point forward I refuse to even acknowledge her existence.
    The main question we should all be asking is if you are convicted of a crime after being released from prison is we’re or not on that second offense we just send you back to prison if your convicted for the rest of your natural life.

  54. avatar former water walker says:

    We’re all potential felons. Unlike most of you I don’t have the definitive answer. My son is a convicted felon for what I believe is a stupid misunderstanding. No “intent” on his part. Your paranoia is justified.

  55. avatar James ONeill says:

    here is the skinny.
    there are non violent convicted felons. they might have had things happen that were either beyond their control, or have had circumstances that may have driven them to make bad choices. I feel if they are not habitual felons (meaning more than one felony) why should they loose the right FOREVER?
    When you give it proper thought there are many individuals out there who do not have a felony, but do have a sheet as long as their arm for misdemeanor battery or assault. and they can still go buy a rifle or shotgun with mo issues. kinda baffling…

  56. avatar James Lang says:

    I am a convicted felon but I wasn’t convicted of any drug or weapons charges, I was convicted of giving false information to an investigator. I pled guilty to 1 count and served my punishment ,1 year unsupervised probation ,no fine . I am not a violent person and would truly like to get my rights returned to me, but to date have run into a stone wall if there is a chance that others like me any non-violent offenders can have their rights returned this will be a blessing.

  57. avatar Tom says:

    Non violent felons should have their rights fully restored after their sentence or probation is completed. I am not comfortable with violent felons having their gun rights restored, same with habitual felons.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      When nonviolent felons make their victims whole by paying restitution or damages, then maybe. Until then, not a fvcking chance.

  58. avatar Chris says:

    For all you anti felons out there, maybe you should get off of your high horses and take a look the situation with a clear head and open eyes. All felons are not created equal.
    According to the 1965 amendment to the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, convicted felons are allowed to apply to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for “relief” from the “disability” of not being able to buy and possess guns, but Congress has denied the funding required to process these applications for relief for over two decades now. “The NRA opposed efforts to close down the program, testifying before Congress in support of it and defending the program in the press. “There is no reason why a person who has demonstrated they are now a good citizen should be deprived of their right to own a firearm….We ought to recognize that some people can change,” the NRA told the Washington Post in 1991.”
    Basically Congress has spent the last two decades exploited a whole class of citizens through a budgetary loophole.
    Why should felon be able to own a firearm? Well let me tell you why I should.
    I am a felon. I spent three years in Federal Prison for non-violent drug offenses. While incarcerated I made a plan for my future, took and passed my GED, learned a trade and participated in the residential drug abuse program provided by the Bureau of Prisons which taught me a new way of thinking and changed my life.
    I was released from prison almost a year early, spent six months in a halfway house and was given three years of probation. I spent less than two years on said probation, because my probation officer, a supervisor and one of the strictest officers in our region, petitioned my judge to give me early release because it was in his opinion a waste of tax payer money to continue to supervise me. I had reformed.
    Now, well over a decade later, I own four companies, two of them multi-million dollar ones. I help to train federal and local law enforcement and military personnel, teach kids self-defense and anti-bullying tactics and change peoples lives for the better on a daily basis through health fitness and wellness training. I volunteer for multiple non-profits, own another that provides free martial arts training gear to deployed military personal and do motivational speaking for multi-billion dollar corporations. I have not used an illegal drug or broken any other law since my release, have a wonderful wife and two children and a life that I love.
    But, I can never own a firearm.
    Just a couple days ago my 14 year old asked me if we could start hunting. He wants to provide for our family and learn to be self-sufficient. I cannot teach him.
    If someone breaks into my home, threatens my children, hurts my family, I will have to watch them. I am denied the right to defend myself or to defend my family.

    At what point is a person’s debt to society paid? Law abiding citizen, will I never be considered one of those again? Has the entirety of the rest of the US population never made a mistake, have you not made one? Just as will never again use illegal drugs or engage in any other sort of criminal activity, I will not own a firearm, for exactly this reason, I am a law-abiding citizen, but in what world does this make sense. What about me or my family, makes us less worthy of having the right to be protected from violence?

    I don’t know if any of you care, or if I will change any of your thinking regarding this issue, but I am here to tell you that these laws do need to change. We as humans are given fundamental rights, rights given to us by the creator not to be taken from us by any man, the ability to defend ourselves is one of those fundamental rights, but my rights have been taken from me, forever, with no recourse to have them returned. It’s un-constitutional and un-natural, but hey, who am I to say. I’m just an ex-con.

    1. avatar LongPurple says:

      REPOST
      “Should this suspension of 2 A. rights be for life? No, but the burden of proof that the felon is no longer a danger to the community is on that ex-convict, and it should be a heavy burden. I have just heard of “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who was being lauded as a reformed gangster, tied to Sen. Leland Yee in the gun-running scandal in San Francisco. The bar must be higher than the endorsement of some Lib/Soc politicians.”

      It certainly seems you were never a danger to the community. Do you live in (or can you move to) a state that provides for restoration of gun rights (and all other civil rights) for truly “reformed felons”?

      1. avatar Chris says:

        When I was arrested there was a DEA agent with the police officers, so it was handed over to the Feds for prosecution. So I after pleading guilty and serving my time, I am now a Federal felon. No chance, never, doesn’t matter what state I move to. Never can I own a firearm. Not in the USA at least, not legally.

        1. avatar LongPurple says:

          So the only recourse possible is an unfunded program established by law in 1965, but not funded for 20 years. The only hope I see is getting the ACLU involved, and they count from 1 to 10 as “1, __ 3 , 4, 5 . . .”. Maybe they might get involved if voting rights were an issue, but they still think the 2 A. is a “collective right”.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      I have not used an illegal drug or broken any other law since my release

      Whoppee for you. I applaud your epiphany. But most of us don’t need to go to prison to get to the same place.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        You are right, most people do not, but some people learn lesson differently than others. You know nothing about me, about who I am or where I came from, but lets just say that I wasn’t taught the lessons I should have been when I was younger.
        That being said, I make no excuses, I broke the law, knowingly. I did not know that I would NEVER be allowed to own a firearm, but that is not the point here is it?
        Since I broke the law in my 20’s, does that mean that I am still a danger to society in my 40’s? How about my 50’s? When I am in my 60’s should I be allowed to own a 22 pistol to shoot varmints on my ranch? Can I own a 38 for protection in my home in 70’s? Do you really feel that my casual drug use in the 90’s will have any effect on my criminality decades later?

        How long does a person need to live completely within societal norms and laws before they are considered a law abiding citizen. Forever? Never? Break the law once, that’s it? Man, I sure how that you never accidentally take that firearm in your signature picture to California or Connecticut, or to New York or to any other state deciding to ban “Assault Weapons”. You might get a felony and forever lose your rights to carry that firearm, and all the rest for that matter.

  59. avatar William Burke says:

    In short: yes, they should. If they can’t, the entire concept of the word “corrections” is a sham and a lie.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Of course the name is a sham and a lie. The notion that prison can “cure” anybody is the product of 19th century social “science.” Nobody believes that crock anymore. Nobody should.

  60. avatar Hannibal says:

    Yeah I’m pretty sure most drug dealers have people that want to shoot them… not a great reason to hand them permits.

  61. avatar Joe says:

    To be completely honest, while I do think that there are ALOT of people out there that should NEVER be allowed to have firearms, or weapons of any sort, the fact is, until they do something you really can’t prove the shouldn’t have them.

    All that said, does anyone realize, that TECHNICALLY, once released from prison, a persons DEBT to Society is SUPPOSED to be fullfilled thus all their rights SHOULD be returned(this is ofcourse not counting those on paroll, which means they are still technically serving their time).

    Additionally, the US Constitution actually states that a persons rights MUST be fully restored within 7 years of being released….after all, what is the point of saying them being in prison is serving the DEBT to Society, if they continue to pay for it for the rest of their lives…

  62. avatar Michael Kell says:

    I believe WE are ALL felons. (Just ask your uncle sam) How many of us have never made a mistake? Most all of us and many people are persecuted for things that should not be crimes, and if you do go to jail for a crime that you did and then are released. You have PAID you debt and that should be the end of it. However some crimes against society SHOULD have severe punishments. Crimes such as child molesting, drug dealing, rape and murder should be executed by firing squad and everyone in this country older then eight years old should have to watch their execution on every media available. That may give those who contemplate committing those crimes some incentive not to commit them. Crimes of a lesser degree should have lesser penalties, but penalties worthey of the crime. When those who committed lesser crimes are released into society should have all their rights restored including their right to bear arms until they are convicted of committing another crime. Some crimes go unpunished because they don’t fit most peoples agenda. If you rob someone and get caught you are incarcerated. However when business steals from us, they are rewarded. (The pencil IS mightier than the Sward gentlemen).The law allows them to steal from us… It just seems to me, that crime is a crime. It doesn’t matter who does it. Its still a crime I believe more criminals are in big business, and washington D.C. then are in our prisons. And if they have their way, we as Americans will soon not have any guns, but have NO rights at all.

  63. avatar Michael Kell says:

    I believe our gov. thinks WE are ALL felons. (Just ask your uncle sam) How many of us have never made a mistake? Most all of us and many people are persecuted for things that should not be crimes, and if you do go to jail for a crime that you did and then are released. You have PAID you debt and that should be the end of it. However some crimes against society SHOULD have severe punishments. Crimes such as child molesting, drug dealing, rape and murder should be executed by firing squad and everyone in this country older then eight years old should have to watch their execution on every media available. That may give those who contemplate committing those crimes some incentive not to commit them. Crimes of a lesser degree should have lesser penalties, but penalties worthey of the crime. When those who committed lesser crimes are released into society should have all their rights restored including their right to bear arms until they are convicted of committing another crime. Some crimes go unpunished because they don’t fit most peoples agenda. If you rob someone and get caught you are incarcerated. However when business steals from us, they are rewarded. (The pencil IS mightier than the Sword gentlemen).The law allows them to steal from us… It just seems to me, that crime is a crime. It doesn’t matter who does it. Its still a crime I believe more criminals are in big business, and washington D.C. then are in our prisons. And if they have their way, we as Americans will soon not have any guns, but have NO rights at all.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “I believe our gov. thinks WE are ALL felons. ”

      Believe?????!!!!

      EVERYTHING is illegsl: [42 Minute Video]: youtu.be/nBiJB8YuDBQ

      1. avatar Allen Morgan says:

        That is the best post and most accurate statement made. You sure hit the nail on the head with that hammer!

  64. avatar S_J says:

    Depends on what they did.

    I’m okay with first-time perps guilty of non-violent crimes and violent crimes up to and including assault, maybe even involuntary manslaughter, having their full rights restored after a probationary period. I’d love to say that all people who have done their time should be able to exercise the 2A freely–but with the number of murderers, rapists, thieves, pedophiles etc. that get put back on the street because of “overcrowding” and the ridiculously high recidivism rate, I just can’t support that.

    Ideally scumbags like that should be locked up for life, if not executed within 3 years of being rendered guilty. Realistically, violent offenders go in bad and come out hardened and even worse–all the time. Our prisons are only geared to punish offenders and serve as a training ground for the worst dregs of humanity, not reform.

  65. avatar James ONeill says:

    here is another thought…. I would bet that 99.9% of society has committed a Felony in their life time without even knowing it. just the pure luck of getting away with it was the difference between having their rights and not. most of those were more than likely before their 25th birthday…

  66. avatar Excedrine says:

    Full restoration of all rights upon release or let ’em stay in the Iron Bar Hotel until such time they can trusted amongst the general population without supervision again.

  67. avatar Thomas says:

    NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE

    No amount of “I was young and stupid” or “It was just a little weed” will change my opinion on this subject. As someone who is young and who can be stupid at times, I can say that I am an adult, and I conduct myself as an adult. You won’t find me getting convicted of a felony. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be held to the same standard I hold myself to. Same thing for misdemeanor domestic assault charges. Some dirtbag cant be trusted with his own hands and he thinks he should own guns? How bout no.

    1. avatar MP says:

      How about you are literally not an adult when the crimes happened. The clearest example are criminal sex charges against teenagers.

      Did you date a freshman or sophomore while you were a senior in HS? If you heavy petted or maybe more… Felony.

  68. avatar ccw says:

    NO
    Getting released from prison is only part of the debt to society, the other parts are loss of 2A right not just while in lockup but forever

  69. avatar Clyde says:

    They shouldn’t have any of their civil rights automatically restored once they get out of prison. The loss of their civil rights are part of their punishment for breaking the law. If they were really concerned about losing these rights, they wouldn’t have broken the law in the first place.
    I’d be willing to bet that Mr. Jones being shot had to do with his involvement with drugs in the first place.
    As they say, “if you’re going to dance with fire, you need to prepare to get burnt!”

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      We are not discussing civil rights, we are discussing natural rights.

  70. avatar kasey says:

    Felons lose all their rights basically for the rest of their lives which is bs!!! Some people make mistakes as kids and then in their adulthood are discriminated against when it comes too jobs and gun rights! Look at the ppl who grow up in areas that are live by the gun die by the gun….they can walk down the street and get shot….so they can’t have a gun to protect themselves and feel safe cuz their felons and if they do have a gun their going to get locked up for years just cuz their felons…..discrimination!!! If their committing crimes yeah lock them up but this is just to much!!! Once a felon always a felon and they never want you to be anything better then a felon…that’s your label!!!

  71. avatar David says:

    my stories too long to type, I have 5 felony convictions yet I’ve never harmed another person, never stole, never sold drugs, I was a victim of a brutal random assault July 10th 2013, I answered my brothers door and was struck full force in the face with a baseball bat,because of my past record the police assume that there’s more to the story so they’ve never looked into it, my face was caved in 3/4″ on the right side leaving me blind and without much memory, by law I’m not suppose to own a gun, I can’t buy one but I sure can make one, small discreet and lethal built into the handle of my cane, a word of advice, beware of the handicapped,LOL

  72. avatar Ryan says:

    My views are simple. If you have served your time, then the debt is paid and they shouldn’t be holding anything against you after that. The punishment was set at X amount of jail time and/or Y dollars of fines. If that punishment has been satisfied, then you shouldn’t continue to be punished. However, most felons DONT serve their full time, they get paroled early. If you get out early, the debt’s not paid and you get no rights. For those people, they should be able to petition for their full rights back and a judge can review them on a case by case basis.

    1. avatar David says:

      the fact is, most felons never go to prison, here in Michigan you can serve up to two years in county (which has no parole system )and is considered far worse punishment than prison. I earned 3 associate degrees in art davidbogle.com custom art, yet I had to resort to working as a cook for 15 years to support my family, convicted felons aren’t allowed to become truck drivers (with the exception of privately owned trucking companies).I’ve even been told that my right to vote no longer exists, it’s true once a felon always a felon-unfair but true and felt almost every day.

  73. avatar BluesMike says:

    I couldn’t read all those comments. A lot of people are really comfortable with others losing rights. If a person commits a crime and pays the penalty, and finishes any additional stewarded time like parole, what are they after that? I’m open to learning here. What does the constitution say about this subject?

  74. avatar Great Scot says:

    It’s a double edged sword, really. I mean, everyone should have their rights, but if they decide to reoffend, not only will they be able to have very easy legal access to a weapon, it would be like adding a gallon’s worth of petrol to the anti’s already oversized fire.
    But then again, maybe we should give them their rights for the very reason that it would piss the antis right off! 🙂

  75. avatar Jamie Edger says:

    Mixed feelings, If a person is a stupid teenager or early 20s and gets a couple of DWIs it does not make them a danger to society if they cleaned up their act and are now married with kids and a job. Now on the other hand I don’t really care if a child molester has ample means of defending themselves. I think on a case by case basis it could absolutely be done safely.

  76. avatar CuteandfuZzybunnies says:

    Felons who have served there time should have the right to own guns restored period. Felons on parole and probation for most crimes ( most of which should not be crimes or at least not felonies anyway) should be able to have guns in the home. After the terms of probation the right to bear arms outside the home should be restored. For certain violent crimes or repeat violent offenders who use weapons parole may be for life. Even for life parole after a few years a gun for home protection should be allowed.
    That said repeat violent offenders should not be easily let out of prison until they are old enough to not be much of a danger to anybody. And seniors should be allowed by and large to be armed as they are often targets.

    Remember gun rights are human rights.
    Possessing 1/4 gram of cocaine.
    Possessing a bald eagle feather
    Shooting a deer out of season
    Perjury
    Lobbying without registration as lobbyist
    Campaign finance violations
    Polluting (!federal all kinds of EPA violations that can be done by accident)
    Practicing law or medicine without a license
    Impersonating a police officer
    Broadcasting a pirate radio station
    Many stupid gun crimes in states like NJ

    Can you say people should have gun rights taken away for 5 minutes for these?
    Would you take away a persons right to vote ? To free speech? To worship?

    If you would not take away there other rights then why take away gun rights for disposing of lead wrong or tax evasion ?

  77. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    Self-defense is a human right. Period. If a person is too dangerous to be trusted with that human right then they need to be kept in prison for the security of a free people.

  78. avatar John in Ohio says:

    full rights restoration for felons upon release?

    This… 100%… any conviction. Hell, return any firearm and ammunition that was on their person at the time of arrest. If the person is not in active custody then the government cannot protect that person and responsibility for safety falls on the individual’s shoulders. If government disarms an individual then government would be directly responsible for that individual’s safety.

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