Georgia prison (courtesy voiceofdetroit.net)

“Everyone deserves an opportunity for a second chance,” Gale Buckner told ajc.com. The former Georgia state parole board chairwoman was defending her employer’s decision to restore the gun rights of more than 1400 Peach State felons in recent years, 666 (mark of the beast!) in 2013 alone. ajc.com says 358 of those felons were convicted of violent crimes (including 32 homicides), 166 went down for drug-related crimes and an unspecified number were incarcerated for crimes against children. To qualify for rights restoration, an applicant must maintain a clean record for five years after release and provide three references. Successful applicants’ criminal records are not expunged. As you can imagine, the antis will seize on the info as proof that “guns everywhere” Georgia is a pistol-packing pariah amongst “civilized” gun control states. I say good for them.

105 Responses to OMG! 666 GA Felons’ Gun Rights Restored! OMG!

  1. There is a case for extended syntax to ensure clear meaning.

    If I did not know your writing I would assume you approve of the antis antics.

  2. big discussion on the boards here in Georgia. Since when are Constitutional rights forfeited? After you have been “rehabilitated”, why can’t you have your God given rights back? It’s a tough question, and I’m not entirely comfortable with the answers. yet.

    • Constitutional rights are forfeited every day. Plenty of laws exist which levy an array of punishments against the convicted, including penalties outside of and beyond the convict’s period of incarceration.

      Doctor’s routinely lose their license for life following drug crimes. Same with CPA’s following fraud convictions. Child molesters are routinely barred from working with children or even living within certain distances of schools, day cares and similar child-related facilities. Let’s not forget Section 3 of the 14th amendment, which bars for life previous major federal officeholders from ever holding those offices again if they have ever participated in insurrection or rebellion (read: the Civil War) or sworn an oath supporting such.

      Even aside from firearms, people are released from prison every day with all kinds of punitive conditions, such as not being able to associate with other felons, having curfews, barring alcohol consumption, you name it. So this idea that “he’s served his time, restore his rights!” is some kind of bizarre, unheard of, unconstitutional travesty is belied by the facts and, in at least one example, the Constitution’s own text.

      • “people are released from prison every day with all kinds of punitive conditions, such as not being able to associate with other felons, having curfews, barring alcohol consumption, you name it.” – Those are people on parole. They have not completed their sentences yet.

      • Constitutional rights are forfeited every day.

        If they are released from prison then they shouldn’t be having any constitutional rights forfeited in my opinion. In fact, the only constitutional right that is being forfeited today regarding prisoners is the 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms.

        Doctor’s routinely lose their license for life following drug crimes. Same with CPA’s following fraud convictions. Child molesters are routinely barred from working with children or even living within certain distances of schools, day cares and similar child-related facilities.

        Being a doctor or a CPA is not a constitutional right. None of your above examples are infringements of constitutional rights.

        Let’s not forget Section 3 of the 14th amendment, which bars for life previous major federal officeholders from ever holding those offices again if they have ever participated in insurrection or rebellion (read: the Civil War) or sworn an oath supporting such.

        This example is subject to debate. The founding fathers after all were insurrectionists and rebels.

        Even aside from firearms, people are released from prison every day with all kinds of punitive conditions, such as not being able to associate with other felons, having curfews, barring alcohol consumption, you name it. So this idea that “he’s served his time, restore his rights!” is some kind of bizarre, unheard of, unconstitutional travesty is belied by the facts and, in at least one example, the Constitution’s own text.

        Again, none of the examples you have provided are constitutional rights and are subject to due process. Does anyone going to prison come out with a forceable change in religion? Of course not. Are their lips sewn shut so they can’t talk? Are their hands cut off so they can’t type or write? Are they prosecuted for making a political statement that a non-felon would otherwise have never been detained. No. Are they still subject to due process if they commit another crime? Yes. You see – all their rights have already been restored – except one – the right to keep and bear arms. It is the only right that is taken from them when they are released from prison. In my opinion this is not a correct action, not productive to society, and not fulfilling of their reentry into society. This law does nothing more than allows the machine to put them back in prison for a victimless crime.

        In my opinion, criminals should be given harsher sentences and should not find prison enjoyable. When they are released from prison they should want to rejoin society. However, given the current conditions, their options are to rejoin society as second-rate citizens who can’t own guns with vast arrays of restrictions on their privileges (not rights) or become a criminal again. They will not find any decent job as their felony will be investigated during a background check. So weight the rewards. They can have all their rights restored if they become a criminal. They will likely be caught eventually and go back to prison, but these are the options that we as a nation have given them. I prefer a better design and the former over the latter.

        • I hope you are for felons getting the right to vote back then since that is a pretty key citizen right in a democracy.

          Would seem odd for felons to lose the right to vote for life and yet get their guns rights back, especially for violent offenders.

        • As an former prisoner, I can tell you that prison is not a cakewalk. I accepted that I screwed my life up, but I have been out for about 20+year’s. I was convicted of a non violent crime and I still haven’t gotten all of my rights back. You see ex-cons vote’s don’t count where it matters. If you don’t believe me about it being a cakewalk, take a tour of some of the state prisons.

      • Much of what you gave as example requires license, privilege and not right. Even working with children is a privilege in most (perhaps all) states. In order to support the deprivation of rights, you used instances of privilege.

      • I am a felon, since I was a kid, and hopefully in about two more years I will have my rights restored. I’ve already got my application prepared. I shouldn’t have the right to ever defend my family ? somebody mentioned shoving a girlfriend and getting a misdemeanor, Well, while drunk at a bar, I threatened a man, not with a gun, just threatened to fight him, he pulled out a knife and said he would stab me, so I busted a beer bottle on the table and told him fuck it lets do it, mind you I had just turned 21 and was drunk, and still didn’t touch anyone. I was arrested for felonious assault, for speaking, and went to prison for it, not jail, state penitentiary. Since then I got out, completed parole, almost finished school, started a business and had 3 kids, plus a dog. you fucking serious, you think I should never have a gun, ever ? never be able to hunt which I loved as a kid, never defend my family or myself, and we live in Detroit Michigan by the way. I’m sure you know what that means, and how often there is shootings within blocks of us, muggings at the same gas stations or stores we go to, rapes in nearby alleys. and you think I’m the one, who shouldn’t have a gun ?

    • People are responsible for their own safety and government is not. Since government isn’t going to provide personalized security for everyone convicted of a felon once they are let out of prison, government shouldn’t be able bar them the use of arms. If there was concrete evidence that the individual was that dangerous then their sentence ought to have reflected that evidence. As it stands now, government can continue to write a mind boggling number of laws constituting felonies without the obvious limiting factor of prison space. It’s a juggling act. Government couldn’t build enough prisons to keep up with so many laws if government had to actually follow the Constitution. IMHO, if they aren’t in legitimate, lawful custody then shall not be infringed clearly is the rule. Those who can’t or won’t limit their violent behavior either won’t out live their proper prison sentences or won’t outlive other law abiding citizens defending themselves against them in society. What we have now is a charlie foxtrot.

    • Is there a “but” in the second amendment?

      No, it makes me uncomfortable to know that child predators and murders have legal access to firearms, but it also makes me uncomfortable knowing friends convicted of felonies (purchasing his own stolen car from the thief after police officers did not act.) who can no longer defend themselves in their own homes once they have served their sentence.

      Maybe there is a problem with the 2nd amendment and it needs to be fixed, but do you trust the current government to be the ones to “fix” it for us? Until such a time as we see responsible government that we trust to take up that challenge, we’re going to have to live with the amendment we have, which doesn’t allow for the God-given rights of citizens to be stripped from them.

      I’m reminded of the quote about not standing up for others during the Holocaust until at last, the Nazis came for the one speaking and no one was left to stand up for him. If we don’t stand up for ALL 2A rights, we shouldn’t expect anyone to stand up for ours when the unspeakable happens and we need our own rights defended.

      It’s not comfortable. It’s not easy. I HATE saying that we need to stick up for the rights of child predators and murderers, but those same rights they have are the exact same rights we love and call “unconditional.”

      • Except Constitutional rights are not unconditional. It’s right there in the 5th amendment.

        “No person shall be…..be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

        You’re entitled to due process, but don’t think for one minute that once provided due process, that you are somehow immune to being deprived of your liberty or property, such as owning or possessing firearms.

        This is a matter of distinguishing between what’s constitutional and what’s reasonable/preferable/acceptable.

        Lots of things are very stupid ideas, but do still pass constitutional muster. So they’re legal. On the other hand, some things are very good ideas, but do run afoul of the Constitution. So we can’t do them.

        To maintain intellectual honesty, you can’t go around swatting with a Constitutional Club things that you merely object to, but which don’t actually violate the Constitution.

        • Yeah J-H, just as it was “legal” to own another person as a slave, as property, doesn’t mean it is still not an abominable law.

          Everything that Hitler did was “legal”; every german soldier claimed they were “Just Following orders” wasn’t enough to keep them from being convicted of crimes against humanity.

          Just because some people say it’s “legal”, doesn’t make it right, just or a complete violation of every G-d given right that is inherent to all human beings the day they were born.

        • everyday:

          Just because you get one liberty doesn’t mean you get all. As long as the punishment is reasonably knowable before the crime, it’s due process.

        • The constitution’s 8th amendment also makes a statement about “cruel and unusual punishment.”

          I personally think disbarring someone’s ability to defend themselves falls under both.

          – You have a felony, so no you can’t defend yourself! No defense for you. The main problem I have regarding loss of rights from felonies – is they are a means of taking away as many people’s 2A rights as possible. Also, people are going to break that law anyways. Do you think for one minute that a felon that is in fear of his life is not going to acquire a gun?? There is nothing stopping him from getting a gun – also he risks arrest and imprisonment (great – more prisoners) because …. he/she wanted to defend their person – a victimless crime. It’s just ridiculous really.

          Now don’t get me started on prisons either. The united states loves prisoners. The US has more prisoners than any other country. I think it is ridiculous when US politicians talk about prison labor of other countries. Our prisons are money making machines and our prisoners work too. It is so commonplace even my most hated website huffingtonpost acknowledges it:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/prison-labor_n_2272036.html

          I have no problem when prisoners work. I have a problem when the machine is designed to maximize the number of prisoners for the benefit of profit by making it very easy to become a prisoner.

        • Everyday? That was quite lame. “Due Process” refers to fair treatment in the administration of the legal system, as in rights are respected, rules/laws are applied equally to all, and that the underlying laws are not unreasonable (think cruel and unusual, atypical). It encompasses such ideas as being advised of the charges against you and having the opportunity for a trial, usually by jury, to resolve your case.

          Obviously, there’s much more to it, but it doesn’t mean exclusively the “process” by which you’re incarcerated………and that’s it. Due process refers largely to the application of the law. The underlying laws, which may entail lifelong penalties, is not “the process” in question, except as to their being neither cruel nor unusual. “Due process” doesn’t end once you step out of prison. Moreover, the Constitution’s guarantee of due process includes taking someone’s life. Good luck getting your liberty back after the death penalty! Lamest comment of the day winner.

          Thomas? Duh. I’ve already addressed the difference between desirability of a given law and its constitutionality. You’ve contributed nothing to this discussion. You’ve actually subtracted from it with your Godwin invocation. I don’t chase people in debates across topics. Stick to the subject or hush.

          Anonymous? Well, that’s your opinion, but you’re mistaken. Cruelty? Seriously? Millions upon millions of people VOLUNTEER not to own a firearm. Millions more own them, but do not even carry them. These people are all willfully defenseless, from a firearms standpoint. Seems silly to label something “cruel” when it’s the exact same status that most people on any given day elect for themselves. As for “unusual”, that means atypical or inconsistently applied, as in one person out of 50 would receive a punishment as severe as that, despite committing the same crime under comparable circumstances as the other 49. It doesn’t mean unusual merely as in “strange” or “peculiar.”

          For example, lots of shoplifters are ordered to do community service, which may entail picking up trash. Occasionally, someone’s sentenced to stand outside of the store they stole from wearing a sandwich board that reads something to the effect of “I stole from this store. Now I’m learning the error of my ways.” That’s strange, but it’s not “unusual” in that it isn’t out of line in *degree* of punishment. It’s just a peculiar form. Likewise, barring firearms ownership is neither cruel nor unusual, as it applies to all felons equally and is on par with other liberty limitations, such as disenfranchisement.

        • Well, well J-H; A little peeved and out of sorts I see. I have been nothing but respectful and courteous in my disagreement with your perspective. But in return you are dismissive, rude and derogatory.

          You don’t address my objections, you just brush them off suggest I’m dense if not stupid, “duh” and tell me to “Hush” or in other words, just shut the F up.

          But it’s OK J-H, I understand why you do this. Because it’s easier to attack and denigrate than it is to use logic to disprove my premise. Actually your reference to the “Godwin Law” is not entirely correct: because there are times when what you are doing is actually comparable to what Hitler did with the “legal” means to disarm a hated minority like the jews and what you want to do in justifying disarming another hated minority and call it “constitutional”.

          But instead of using logic and fact to prove me wrong, you attack and use dismissive tactics to take away from the fact that my analogy is in fact correct and you are being no different than all tyrants that want people they hate to be disarmed, helpless and powerless and be able to in the end, call it “Constitutional”.

        • You’re entitled to due process, but don’t think for one minute that once provided due process, that you are somehow immune to being deprived of your liberty or property, such as owning or possessing firearms.

          This is understandable. However, as I stated above, no rights explicitly detailed in the bill of rights are currently being infringed once a felon is released with exception to the 2A. Why is that? I guess it is because guns are scary right? So we need to explicitly detail law to address felons having them. Which is basically nanny sheeple victim-less pre-crime law.

        • @ Jonathan – Houston

          Anonymous? Well, that’s your opinion, but you’re mistaken.

          It is my opinion – you are correct. You have your opinion as well. I have opinions and you have opinions and your opinions are not greater than mine. Your assertion that my opinion is mistaken on the basis of your opinion has no merit.

        • J in H is correct. The Declaration of Independence lists “life” as one of many unalienable rights. If the 2A absolutists have their way, then no government official (police officer) can kill a felon in the act because it would take his “Constitutionally affirmed and guaranteed civil and natural right” away. (And all without due process.) Yet none of us would argue that the officer has no right to save innocent life by taking that of the guilty.
          It was accepted y common law and men like Locke, Montesquieu, et. al, that there was objective evil in the world, and that government was an agreed giving up of certain rights in order that a civil society could function. Part of the penalty and deterrent to being a felon is loss of rights, because you have proven your inability to be trusted with them in civil society. The extra deterrent of an additional charge of “Felon in possession of a firearm” is a further disincentive to commit armed crime in the future.
          A violent criminal has proven his inability to be responsible ad respect the value of his rights by choosing to violate the rights of others. It is no violation of the 2A, or his natural rights to deny him he right he perverted to victimize others. It is not taken from him so much as he willingly and knowingly forfeited it.

        • @ Gregolas

          I disagree. Please see my other comment here:
          http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/08/robert-farago/omg-666-ga-felons-gun-rights-restored-omg/#comment-1933697

          If the 2A absolutists have their way, then no government official (police officer) can kill a felon in the act because it would take his “Constitutionally affirmed and guaranteed civil and natural right” away.

          Any individual (cops included) can kill someone at anytime anywhere. They should not be sentenced punishment for any crime without due process. In our present system, by design, there is no way to prevent cops from defending themselves or others any more than there is a way to prevent felons from buying guns. A police officer that kills a person should neither be set free nor immediately sentenced – but undergo due process. Due process deals with the administration of justice – not acts of self defense. You are not comparing apples to apples there.

          Part of the penalty and deterrent to being a felon is loss of rights, because you have proven your inability to be trusted with them in civil society. The extra deterrent of an additional charge of “Felon in possession of a firearm” is a further disincentive to commit armed crime in the future.

          I think since we are throwing rights away lets get rid of due process as well. I think a felon that is released after imprisonment should have the extra deterrent/disincentive of living without due process. He has proven he could not be trusted after all. So after release of prison if he gets in trouble in any way, we can just punish him right there on the spot without a trial, investigation, or anything. If he doesn’t need the 2A he doesn’t really need the 5A either. /sarc

          A violent criminal has proven his inability to be responsible ad respect the value of his rights by choosing to violate the rights of others. It is no violation of the 2A, or his natural rights to deny him he right he perverted to victimize others.

          And yet when released he still retains his right to due process. He still retains his rights to religion, press, and speech. If any of these were taken away after release everyone would be screaming “unconstitutional.” But if his 2A rights are taken then that is OK. I just don’t understand this reasoning.

          It is not taken from him so much as he willingly and knowingly forfeited it.

          The felon’s rights was forfeited it by force. There is no indication that any of them forfeiting their rights willingly. We as a nation willingly allowed this forfeiture.

        • @ Anonymous:
          I guess I should have taken my analogy a little further. IF the inalienable rights are absolute,
          then the State, even by due process, cannot sentence anyone to death. For there is then no way to wave one’s right to life by a criminal act or otherwise.

        • Everyone, convicted of a felony, gets deprived of firearms rights. Some people, with clean records, YEARS AFTER the process is completed, by review of a board, can possibly get those rights restored, its not fucking automatic, so stop bitching about it. Everybody that gets firearms rights restored, haven’t commited crimes in years, and deserve another chance.

      • No, I believe those predators and criminals forwent their rights when they became criminals. They should not be able to own guns.

        I know someone who also became a felon when they decided to resist arrest and fight with cops. They are no longer in jail and haven’t been since then, but I know their character well enough to know that they are the kind of person who should not own a gun. Even if they have been “forgiven” or they’ve been out of jail for a long time. It is the same with other criminals.

        • Yep – just their gun rights though – only their gun rights. All other constitutional rights were reinstated once they were released. But… this is a great opportunity for some gun law right there… right? Only those following the law suffer. The criminals won’t be following the law. I’m sure a very small percentage of them get busted for possession, but do they really care? They’ll just get another hotel stay paid for by you and me and be back out in no time.

        • A criminal is someone actively broken laws. As I said at a previous post,in a felon, but aside from fights in highschool, and a few fights in prison, I’ve never hurt another person, but I went to prison on a “violent” case, I threatened a grown man in a bar, I was 21,drunk,unarmed, and did not actually touch this person. I went to prison on a 1-4, have never broken another law,completed parole, am almost done with college, have a good job helping run the family business, have 3 kids, own a home. I do not rape,shoot or steal, never have. And I have no business defending my home and family same as you

      • Yeah I have to agree. Not really comfortable with all these people having their gun rights back but you have to support the 2nd fully. Not half in, half out.

        I also agree that a good amount of people going through all the time and money to get them back are probably rehabilitated or scared for their lives from victims families.

        I’m also a strong believer in the fact that a most people don’t change. They evolve and get better at hiding their stripes.

        Slippery, scary slope this one here. * Yoda voice

    • Murder /= homicide. Involuntary manslaughter is homicide, and can be caused by something as stupid as drunk driving (heck that can be voluntary manslaughter in some states/cases)

      We all know many people, if not ourselves, who when they were 17-25 were stupid, drank and drove. Most don’t end with a death, but those that do did not make any worse choices than those that didn’t…they just had to face the reality in a harsher way. Just as the 35 yr old who drove drunk once when 18 should not be denied firearms for that reason alone, neither should the 35 yr old who drove drunk once when 18 and thereby caused a homicide. Morally their actions were the same, it was just the consequences that differed (in there is a sign of the difference of morality and law…if I see a moving animal, and not sure if it is a man or deer and shoot and you do the same with another moving animal, we are morally equivalent, yet I may be charged with manslaughter, if not murder because mine was a man, and you might just get some tasty venison…)

      • The law already recognizes the difference between drunk drivers who kill and those who didn’t. It’s the difference between vehicular manslaughter and mere DUI. Specific legal terms may vary by state, but the difference endures. Now, you’re the only one arguing moral culpability. No one else is even addressing that, because that rests on the presumption of being able to catch and convict everyone of every crime they commit ever. That’s impossible and so, an irrelevant standard of comparison.

        It’s usually the worst of the worst drunks, in terms of BAC, who kill while driving, anyway, not just those who are a bit tipsy. So even then, there’s still a morality scale, in that one guy goes much farther on his binge than another guy, and kills someone, as opposed to the tipsy guy who strays from his lane and gets popped for DUI.

        Ultimately, though, it’s up to the individual. Drink, drive, kill someone, and you become a felon without gun rights. You know the score up front, so don’t do it. Don’t do the crime if you’re just going to whine.

        • Ultimately, though, it’s up to the individual. Drink, drive, kill someone, and you become a felon without gun rights. You know the score up front, so don’t do it. Don’t do the crime if you’re just going to whine.

          Haha… law marketing campaigns.

          •Don’t do the crime if you’re just going to whine.
          •Drive Sober or get pulled over.
          •U drive, U text, U pay.
          •Phone in one hand, ticket in the other.
          •One text or call could wreck it all.
          •click it or ticket.
          •Buckle up America.
          •Obey the Sign or Pay the fine.
          •Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe.

          The point is… the law is incorrect. What does gun rights have to do with drunk driving? Nothing at all. What rationality is there that a man can’t go hunting for game, defend his family, or self because of a drunk driving accident years ago. Your anti-gun laws at work.

    • If the murderer can beet out of prison he should be allowed self defense. If he is on parole then some restrictions are reasonable, say no carrying outside home. If he committed a crime like domestic abuse with a firearm prohibitions might be acceptable to not have them in the home until probation was competed.
      The facts are that most criminals released into society are not murderers. Or armed robbers or rapists. Whe those criminals are released in many cases they are much older and not only less likely to offend, but also much more likely to be victims of violence. They tend to be marginalized as to places to live ( background checks in nicer appt communities) and places to work. They also may be targeted by felons for retribution over past beefs, criminal debts , perceived or real co operation with law enforcement etc. Additionally sex offenders ( even those who may have committed rather mild crimes ) may be targeted for violence as a result of the category of their conviction even by those not knowing the details.
      In fact by virtue of being a felon they may likely be victims of violence where others where the target. Felons are more likely to have friends and family that are felons. Also areas that allow felons to live there will may have many felons living in close proximity by virtue of being the only place in the area where they can rent an apartment.

      • Perhaps. Perhaps not. Regardless, those are matters to be determined by our elected representatives through the legislative process, and by the electorate through selection of those representatives through the political process. These are public policy matters, deserving resolution by debate. What they are not, are constitutional matters, in needing rescue by the bench.

        • Perhaps. Perhaps not. Regardless, those are matters to be determined by our elected representatives through the legislative process, and by the electorate through selection of those representatives through the political process. These are public policy matters, deserving resolution by debate. What they are not, are constitutional matters, in needing rescue by the bench

          I disagree. A felon released back into society has all rights explicitly reinstated as listed on the bill of rights with exception to the second amendment. With your logic on the basis that constitutional rights can be forfeited by due process after prison release, then we could also forfeit other rights such as due process itself. Suppose the prisoner is released and performed some other crime. He is guaranteed due process for that crime right? You are not willing to sacrifice that right (the 5A) but you are willing to sacrifice the 2A. Why is the 5A more important than the 2A? They are both on the same bill of rights right?

  3. If they are too dangerous to own guns, they are too dangerous to release into society. The reverse is also true.

  4. I’m generally ok with this. I think there should be a way for ex-cons to get their constitutional rights (from voting to firearms ownership) back after release from prison and a suitable period of parole and probation. 5 years seems sufficient as proof that they are indeed walking the straight and narrow.

    • Their rights ought to be restored the moment that they lawfully walk out of prison. If they haven’t served their sentence then they shouldn’t be walking out. If they had a firearm then it should be handed right back to them with the rest of their stored possessions; even if that firearm was used in the crime. After all, it’s merely a tool and there’s nothing intrinsically good or bad about it, right?

      • Yep. But this subject is as much based on emotion as any gun grabbers desire to be “safe” by posting a sign with a circle and slash over a picture of a gun. Is it logical? no. Is it based on fact? No. But, Dammit! I want to “feel” safe, so I’m gonna outlaw guns to ex-cons! Will it keep guns out of the hands of unreformed cons that want it? No.
        Will it make a permanent sub-class of human beings that do go straight vulnerable to being attacked by unreformed criminals? Yes. Does it matter to them that you have made a man that might have a family with wife and kids impossible to effectively legally defend that family from being raped, tortured and murdered by the first human predator that targets them? No.

        Personally John, for people that think this way, I see them as the true monsters.

  5. Perhaps I’m missing something – aren’t most, if not all, of these people still “prohibited persons” under Federal Law? What rights have been restored if you still cannot legally own/purchase a firearm?

    • I think the feds allow rights to be restored by the governing body of the convicting state. I assume that would include gun rights, but I’m no lawyer. Ralph?

      • But the Feds still operate NICS so how would this rights restoration interact with a federal background check? Not a chance I would take as an ex-felons.

    • In our current convoluted prison machine fueled by money, when felons are released they apparently get some of the rights listed on the bill of rights reinstated, but others not. I guess because some of them listed on the bill of rights they don’t need and others they do (as decided by backscratching politicians).

      • It’s a juggling act. Available prison space alone would limit the volume of law government could write and enforce. This is a way for government to cast a wide net of criminalization without suffering some of the consequences. There is a lot of money to be made under the present model.

        I wonder how long the system would hold up under the strain if every defendant plead “not guilty”, demanded a trial by jury, and didn’t waive the right to a speedy trial. 😉

  6. I wouldn’t go so far as to say ALL felons should have their gun rights restored. It would depend on how violent of a crime, or crimes they committed. I believe most all should be able to have a gun in their house for personal protection, as in the case above.

  7. Murderers belong in prison, period. Violent felons belong in prison, period. Nonviolent felons can have their gun rights restored when they serve their full sentence (including a probation period after release) AND make complete restitution to their victims, which never happens.

    People are correct when they say that if felons are too dangerous to own guns, they are too dangerous to release into society. Violent felons ARE too dangerous to release into society, and three out of four will re-offend, violently.

    But I have no skin in the game. That rapist that just got his gun rights restored is living next to your wife or daughter, not mine.

    • Ralph… You do remember that genuine accidents can be charged as homicides under certain circumstances and that participating in a bar fight is technically a violent felony? Right?

        • So we should lock somebody away for the rest of their life right along side kiddie rapists and mass murderers?

        • @pwrserge, I’d love to lock them up forever, but it’s not possible. But we can keep them on a very short lease, they way we should for most vicious animals.

          And yeah, I also understand that nobody in prison is actually guilty. It was all just a misunderstanding.

        • So… Ralph… To you somebody who gets into a fist fight should have the same sentence as somebody who kidnaps, rapes, and eats children? Really?

    • Nope; I don’t agree. Even with the current horrendous and abominable situation of loss for life of the basic right that government shouldn’t be able to take away, even of a felon; It is shown that the great majority of ex cons go straight and give up the thug life by the time they are in their middle years.. Even though they will continue to be treated as a despised and disarmed second class subjects.

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. Throwing any human being officially naked and disarmed into the savage and brutal world we live in is cruel and unusual punishment. If we want a person to change for the better, we need to give them greater compassion than they initially showed their victim.

      And if they can’t come back to being a law abiding human being; well; that’s why we all carry a gun.

        • From the charts I looked at; it was recidivism rates for ex-cons over a 3 to 5 year span. So an ex-con at eighteen years to twenty three years old. The prime time for crime.

          Which is why I was speaking of those cons that make it to their middle age years. They are the ones that finally give up the thug life.

          But in the end Ralph you are speaking of an illusion. Every time we give government the power to take the rights of those we don’t like; like the germans did with the jews, our constitution denying blacks as human beings the right to KABA; those today we call felons, does it make us all safer? Like they are in Chicago?

          No, in the end Ralph, it’s an illusion. Those that choose to be criminals will continue to be so, those that choose to go straight, will be forever a subhuman subclass, and government will simply get bigger, more voracious with the power we give it to make us “safer”. Until the real psychopathic mass murdering monster raises its head and looks at all of us, felon and law abiding alike as easy meat for the taking.

          You do know the monster of which I speak? That monster is our real enemy, not some “gangsta” with a side turned Glock. But because of people like you Ralph, in the delusional wind mill tilting desire to emasculate and defang a bunch of jackals, you empower the man eating lion to devour us all.

      • +1

        I have no problem being responsible for my safety should convicted felons, violent or otherwise, bear arms. Likewise, if I became a convicted felon, I would rather be responsible for my own safety and would require bearing arms to do so.

    • Ralph,

      My brother is a felon for possession of powder cocaine in a large enough quantity that they were able to assume intent to distribute. Who is the victim that he should pay restitution to? Please advise.

    • Violent felons belong in prison, period.

      I agree that sentences should be more strict. The punishment for the crime should BE the deterrent – not pre-crime laws passed in attempt to forbid an activity that could be used to perform another illegal activity.

      Nonviolent felons can have their gun rights restored when they serve their full sentence (including a probation period after release) AND make complete restitution to their victims, which never happens.

      If in the case such as vehicular manslaughter where the penalty carries a felony and the prisoner accidentally killed a person negligently – no restitution can never be made. How do you put a price on life? You set the bar higher than anyone within this group could achieve. I do agree, that where possible, restitution should be made by one means or another.

  8. Not so long ago before ‘Murica became math defficient it would have gone down like this.
    Where X = Crimes against children and
    Y = Hang ‘Em by the neck until dead
    We get: 32 + X = Y which leaves 166 with restored gun rights.
    Any questions class?

  9. Convicted felons are “prohibited persons” and are not allowed to purchase firearms from FFL dealers under any circumstances. They would fail the test of Form 4472 Q. 11c .

  10. That’s fair enough. But as for me, I’m against giving anyone who has a felony for domestic abuse (when they’re the perpetrator) or any crime that involved guns, knives, or violence. I don’t feel it’s important enough to argue over, but I’m just saying I’m against it.

    • It IS important to discuss/argue about. I admire the absolutists for their desire to achieve consistency. Nevertheless, we also have to keep in mind our over-all goals. I think we do more harm than good for deserving convicted felons by focusing on their cases. I think we would actually do much more good for them if we begin by arguing for re-funding the program for getting gun rights restored. For example, all the veterans who were summarily 2A-dis-abled because they got a PTSD diagnosis. Get a reasonable rights-restoration process for these and others. Eventually, we will get to some convicted feelings.
      By focusing on the extreme cases (felons convicted of murder, rape or child abuse) we will be called (by the Antis) as extremists. That will delay (at best) or doom any rights restoration process. None of the most worthy cases will get relief; none of the less worthy cases will get relief.
      The argument that someone who can’t be trusted with a gun shouldn’t be at large weighs heavily in my mind. But, it argues in favor of keeping violent criminals in prison for longer terms; conversely, it argues in favor of releasing non-violent convicts after shorter sentences. What sense does it make to send Shaneen Allen to a NJ prison for 3 years (minimum before parole) because she carried in NJ (not realizing her PA License to Carry was not valid in NJ).

      • I admire the absolutists for their desire to achieve consistency.

        The subject lies in the basis of philosophy, which is where absolutists come from IMO. When you think about the subject matter long enough, you begin to realize that logic and reason doesn’t support the subject in the gray area in between and you have to pick a side.

        By focusing on the extreme cases (felons convicted of murder, rape or child abuse) we will be called (by the Antis) as extremists.

        They will call you an extremist anyway. If you own the most popular rifle in the US (an AR15) you are already an extremist to them.

        • Aye. It’s pretty hard to screw up shall not be infringed. Simple and effective for a free society. Re-offenders wouldn’t generally live long. First time offenders probably wouldn’t either.

  11. In my mind it would depend on the conviction. Seems to me for all nonviolent felony convictions this should happen automatically perhaps twelve to twenty four months after full release.

    • With no restitution paid to their victims? Please tell me that’s not your idea of justice.

      They may have paid their mythical “debt to society,” but what about their debt to their victims? I guess the victims just don’t count.

      • Who is the victim of a non-violent felony? Ralph? Bueller? Bueller?

        You are just lucky that you have never gotten railroaded. The average American commits three felonies every day.

  12. I support free people having their rights restored, but I don’t support what is currently passing as free people. 2 or 3 violent felonies should result in a mandatory death sentence, which does not take 20 years to be carried out. Prison should be *somehow* reconfigured to provide actual rehabilitation instead of networking opportunities with even worse criminals and organizations.

  13. One of the provisions of the 1986 FOPA was to grant the ability of the state court to restore firearm rights, just as the ATF used to before 1993 or thereabouts. After all felony wire fraud is a far cry from child murder. This is not the same as expungment

    Some states, e.g. California do not have their expungments recognized by the Feds. Here, to get firearm rights back, you have only a few options

    1. If the charge could be charged as a felony or misdemeanor (wobbler) the court can reduce the charge after the fact

    2. Get a governor’s pardon. And that only works ifthe offense did not involve a firearm.

    3. CA has a provision to restore right for those denied for mental health. Those under WIC 5150 (which in state law carries a 10 yr, I believe, prohibition) can petition for restoration. The state then has to prove that they pose a danger to self or other because of mental illness (burden of proof on state). Those under 5250, on the other hand, have the burden of proof to show that they are not a danger. But that is hardly worth it, because 5150 (voluntary commital) does not trigger a federal prohibition, but 5250 (involuntary) does, and the Feds do not recognize the competence of state courts for this prohibition,

    4. Even if a state has provisions, the Feds only recognize the competence over (civilian) criminal prohibiting factors, sadly if it was mental health, military related or domestic violence you are screwed. So other states, like Georgia, have a more efficient court process recognized by the Feds, but it only encompasses so much

  14. Here…

    Answers on Felons and Gun Rights

    By MICHAEL LUO
    November 15, 2011 12:49 pmNovember 15, 2011 5:15 pm

    Updated | 4:40 p.m. On Tuesday, the reporter Michael Luo of The Times is answering reader questions prompted by his recent article on how easy it is in many states for people with felony convictions to get their gun rights reinstated.

    Q. Which are the five states where it is easiest to get gun rights restored? And which are the five where it is most difficult? — CJGC, Cambridge, Mass.

    A. A lot of people have asked questions about specific states. It is hard to provide a complete 50-state rundown because all of these laws are complicated and often obscure. But let me try to take at least a partial stab at answering your question. In terms of the states where it is easiest for felons to get their gun rights back, you would have to start with the cluster of states that restore at least some felons’ firearms rights automatically upon completion of their sentences.

    In Minnesota, for instance, non-violent felons regain their firearms rights when they complete their sentences. People who have committed a “crime of violence” must petition in court to have their rights restored. The law, however, does not require that prosecutors be notified; petitioners can apply anywhere, so they can, theoretically, shop around for friendly judges; and there is no waiting period. Applicants are merely required to show “good cause.” Besides the cases I mentioned in the article from Minnesota, I came across another in which someone who had been convicted of second degree assault for pulling a gun on another man got his firearms rights back without even having to show up in court.

    I also cited cases out of Ohio for the article, including that of a first degree murderer who had his gun rights restored. Ohio is another state where non-violent felons can possess firearms upon completion of their sentences. Violent felons are barred but can petition in court. The state’s statute requires that a judge find that the petitioner has “led a law-abiding life since discharge or release, and appears likely to do so.” I reviewed several dozen restorations of gun rights in Ohio, including cases in which people had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, sexual battery and felonious assault.

    In Montana, the only felons who are not allowed to have firearms when they complete their sentences are those who used a dangerous weapon in their crime. Even these people, however, can petition in court to have their firearms rights restored. In North Dakota, even felons whose offense involved “violence or intimidation” automatically regain their firearms rights 10 years after completion of their sentences.

    I did less research on states where it is hardest to get gun rights reinstated. These would have to be states where a pardon is the only route, and they are generally difficult to get. California is one state I mentioned in the article. The governor’s office granted only nine pardons last year; in 2009, it granted only two.

    Falling somewhere in between are states like Georgia and Nebraska, in which pardons are the only route to restoring firearms rights for felons, but they are also fairly readily available. Georgia’s State Board of Pardons and Paroles, for instance, granted nearly 200 pardons explicitly restoring the right to bear arms in 2010, including for people convicted of voluntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle, aggravated child molestation and armed robbery, according to records I obtained through a public records request. Last fiscal year, the Nebraska Board of Pardons granted 100 pardons that specifically restored firearms rights, according data provided by the board.

    Washington State, which was featured prominently in the article, is another state that might fall somewhere in the middle on the scale of strictness. It bars the most serious felons, those convicted of Class A felonies, but judges essentially are required to restore gun rights to anyone who applies after going five years without another conviction. There is no room for discretion to deny petitions based upon character, or mental health, or any other factors.

  15. its a tough issue and as a LEO i can say that if they have managed to stay out of ANY trouble for 5 years, its pretty good odds that they are not a career criminal. most of the shtheads i deal with cant stay out of trouble for 3 months, and have rapsheets that can put most novels to shame. that being said, i find that most people who advocate felon’s gun rights have no real experience with that side of society, and would be terrified and disgusted if they did.

    • There are those of us, possibly a minority, who have dealt with the dregs of society and still believe in individual rights and individuals being responsible for their own safety. I’m more concerned about tyrannical government than armed felons. Those felons who really, really ,really want to be armed will find a way regardless. I know damned well that I would.

  16. OK I had no idea they were doing this and im not sure how legal it is. This is the application: http://pap.georgia.gov/sites/pap.georgia.gov/files/ParoleConsideration/Pardon%20Application%20July%202014%20A.pdf

    I have spoken to some FFL holders and they say an existing felony would flag a gun purchase app. That is Federal law.
    The Georgia Board of pardons and Parole application states “Receive , Possess or transport in commerce a firearm”. This seems to have been going on for years. If I find out more I will repost.

  17. Actualy, Georgia is like California…only a pardon works. It is just that they are easier to get (in 2010 California gave 9, Georgia 200).

    What we really should be highlighting are states like Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Minnesota…e.g. in Minnesota non-violent offenders get firearm rights back upon completion of their sentence. Violent ones can petition, and any judge (they can shop around) can do it.

    In North Dakota those that committed non violent crimes get it back automatically, at the completion of sentence. Those that involved violence get it back automatically 10 years after the sentence.

  18. I would be aghast if not for the sheer number of things that are considered felonies these days.

    My sliding scale goes something like this: tax cheat? Fine. DUI? Maybe. Burglary? No. Car theft? Nope. Drug posession? Ok. Drug sales? Nooooope. Assault? Hell no – and yes, that includes the aforementioned bar brawl when you were 20.

    • Dope sales really? That’s silly it’s a victimless crime and stupid statutes often charge small amounts of dope as sales, intent to sell , illegal investment or intent to distribute. Sometimes a guy with three dime bags is charged with intent to sell, simply because he was holding his stash in seperate containers. Sure the deal he gets may be time served and 3 years probation, so his lawyer says take it. Your gonna take that guys rights away?

  19. Official code of Georgia….16-11-131(c):

    “(c) This Code section shall not apply to any person who has been pardoned for the felony by the President of the United States, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, or the person or agency empowered to grant pardons under the constitutions or laws of the several states or of a foreign nation and, by the terms of the pardon, has expressly been authorized to receive, possess, or transport a firearm.”

    “(d) A person who has been convicted of a felony, but who has been granted relief from the disabilities imposed by the laws of the United States with respect to the acquisition, receipt, transfer, shipment, or possession of firearms by the secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 925, shall, upon presenting to the Board of Public Safety proof that the relief has been granted and it being established from proof submitted by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Board of Public Safety that the circumstances regarding the conviction and the applicant’s record and reputation are such that the acquisition, receipt, transfer, shipment, or possession of firearms by the person would not present a threat to the safety of the citizens of Georgia and that the granting of the relief sought would not be contrary to the public interest, be granted relief from the disabilities imposed by this Code section. A person who has been convicted under federal or state law of a felony pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraint of trade shall, upon presenting to the Board of Public Safety proof, and it being established from said proof, submitted by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Board of Public Safety that the circumstances regarding the conviction and the applicant’s record and reputation are such that the acquisition, receipt, transfer, shipment, or possession of firearms by the person would not present a threat to the safety of the citizens of Georgia and that the granting of the relief sought would not be contrary to the public interest, be granted relief from the disabilities imposed by this Code section. A record that the relief has been granted by the board shall be entered upon the criminal history of the person maintained by the Georgia Crime Information Center and the board shall maintain a list of the names of such persons which shall be open for public inspection.”

    This is not new.They have been doing it for years.

  20. I say good as well, as others have state. Violent felonious crimes, sex offenses, or robbery (including burglary) should null 2A rights for life. I have no problem with people who possess or sell drugs to restore rights after five years. Many addicts sell minor amounts of drugs to support their habit. To me selling a $20 crack rock vs nabbing a ladies purse are about the same in severity.

    What it comes down to also is people with violent histories who want firearms don’t care about the laws.

    • Unintended consequences. A convicted felon does his time. He’s now out and finds it very difficult to find serious gainful employment. In some cases, he finds it difficult to find housing in anything but high crime ghettos. He probably needs to bear arms for self protection and protection of his family. Now, he’s carrying a firearm contrary to law. Anytime he might get stopped or questioned, there is a danger of his firearm being discovered. Get caught with it and it’s going to hurt… a lot. Get caught without it in some neighborhoods and it’s going to hurt… a lot… might even get him killed. Sometimes choices have to be made and pressures, right or wrong, influence those choices. Disarming any individual when they are not in lawful, legitimate custody can have far reaching ramifications. The 2A is simple and brilliant. It’s the guidepost for a truly free society. The question is, do the People still want a free society?

  21. An 18 Yr old has a 16 yr old g/f = crime against children
    Get caught selling weed = drug crime.
    You in a fight and the guy dies as a result of you defending yourself = homicide.

    Not saying these are the circumstances in each case, But I’ll bet by definition, it’s the norm and not the exception.

  22. No need to get upset here. These people are sure to relapse again and end up back in the klink.
    Besides, how many times do we hear about a convict getting caught in the act with an illegal firearm?

  23. “OMG” WTF is wrong with these people! These are the people who should NOT be carrying guns. So yeah, I fully agree with the OMG part.

    You’ve been talking about how those with mental problems or criminals should not have guns, so now you need to stick by what you say!

  24. The ban on felons possessing guns happened long after the country was founded. It’s been expanded even more to those accused of domestic abuse and covers all felonies, even writing a bad enough check.
    Eventually we will all be found guilty enough of something to warrant revoking our RKBA.

  25. The way I see it, anyone willing to go through the trouble of getting their rights restored is probably worth a second try. The real criminals won’t bother and will just have a gun anyway.

    • “The real criminals won’t bother and will just have a gun anyway.”

      That may be true, but if they have gun rights they can’t be arrested when found with a gun.

      “The way I see it, anyone willing to go through the trouble of getting their rights restored is probably worth a second try.”
      I don’t see it that way, I just see it as a way for criminals to not be arrested if caught with a gun – enough motivation for a criminal to go through the trouble.

      • You’re living in fantasy land. No one who’s planning on re-offending wants to fill out a 4473.

        They get straw purchasers to do that for them or steal a gun.

      • I don’t see it that way, I just see it as a way for criminals to not be arrested if caught with a gun – enough motivation for a criminal to go through the trouble.

        Anti’s see it the same way – but for all gun owners.

        But apparently – if you are a released felon – you are guilty until proven innocent.

  26. The DA offers 3 years if you plead and 20 if you go to court. Your attorney says he is not sure if he can win the case. Many innocent people take the deal, so do many guilty people.

    In recent years a man went to jail for over a year (felony) for shipping seafood in plastic instead of cardboard. The feds claimed it was against the law in the country the seafood was shipped from. That country said no law was broken yet this man was found guilty. He can no longer purchase a gun. This is a regulation, no legislature passed this law they just told some department to make up some rules.

    A young man in love takes his girl to the beach and releases helium filled balloons. A park ranger sees it. Felony? Evidently.

    Not all felons are created equal. Before you get all worried about felons having guns remember this. Only the felons that wish to abide by the law will do so. Making it illegal for a reformed felon to protect self and family from another felon that has not reformed is not right. Scenario: The bad guy attacks the reformed felon then heads for your house. I understand he deserved to be robbed or shot, after all he did release balloons that might have hurt a bird. He may have also stopped a felon from killing a number of other people.

  27. +1 Ralph…my earlier comment was SARCASM. And yeah I’m glad I didn’t get caught dealing tiny amounts of pot in the 70’s. Or have my horrible first wife lie about me beating her up. NEVER murdered anyone or accidentally killed someone. I don’t think murderers should be armed( or out ).

  28. I am especially impressed with the state’s decision to restore Dennis Krauss’ rights to own a gun: this ex-cop threatened to sodomize a woman with his service pistol, but ended up raping her . . . Oh, he came into contact with her while on duty. He responded to a domestic violence situation and used the opportunity to rape his victim. I am not against returning rights, but some times, it makes no sense.

  29. I think that if a non violent convicted felon serves his or her time and can show a good track record of staying out of trouble should be able to legally protect theirself and their family.Home invasions and other crimes seems to be happening more and more.

  30. Neo-fascist conservatives get all bent out of shape over the prospect of a forgiven felon voting, but then positively get a woody over having gun opportunities restored. That’s a sad comment on the sort of society that regressives would want the nation to live in.

    • I know you are a troll, but I will respond by saying in the long run, Pro-regressives leftwingers like you voting does more damage to this nation than an ex-criminal in posession of a firearm. Besides, the Federal Constitution specifically talks about the individual right to bear arms, but leaves the “right” to vote up to the state and local levels.

  31. I see a lot of discussion about felons losing their 2A right. What about those convicted of misdemenors? You know, like shoving a girlfriend and picking up a domestic violence conviction?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *