NICSCheckSeal

July 26th, 2015, Milwaukee, outside a bar. One man attacked another. The man who was attacked defended himself by shooting the attacker, who died at the scene. The Milwaukee prosecutor has ruled that the shooting was in self defense. The shooter was carrying the gun he used to defend himself illegally. As a convicted felon, Augusta Walton, 34, has been charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. From Fox6now.com . . .

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee police say a July homicide has now been ruled self-defense.

The homicide happened on July 26th, 2015 . . .

Police say they have been notified by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office that this incident has been ruled self-defense.

The suspect in this case, 34-year-old Augusta Walton, was charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Being a convicted felon places a person on the federal list of people who are barred from purchase and possession of firearms by federal law. There are about 1.9 million people in that category who are on the federal list of prohibited possessors. But does the right to defend one’s life end with conviction for a felony? In Augusta’s situation, it was legal for him to defend himself, but not to possess the means of defense.

Currently, it is very difficult for someone with a felony conviction to regain the right to arms. In some states it can be done, though it is a laborious process. It is almost impossible to have a federal felony conviction reversed. One of the few ways to do so: a presidential pardon for the crime. I’ve seen exactly one example, presented to me by a student at a concealed carry class.

A path to regain rights lost should be clear and obvious, and not take an enormous amount of money to activate. It would act as an incentive for felons to stay on the right side of the law. And that would mean that everyone wins.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

75 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Milwaukee Felon in Possession Edition

      • All crimes involve victims.

        Person knows drug possession is illegal, yet chooses to possess them anyway and gets caught. Person is a victim of their own stupidity, hubris, “fuck the rules” attitude, etc.

        Now, should the penalty for drug possession be reason enough to have one’s rights revoked? No.

        • Nonsense. Not all crimes have a victim in our system today. Just remember your comment here if government is successful in completely infringing upon the right to keep and bear arms. You won’t be able to exercise that right without breaking the law. It doesn’t take a genius level IQ to guess what your choice will be.

        • So they are their own victim? So they committed a crime against themselves? So no crime at all really since they performed it of their own will.

          Violating your own safety is a crime now – even if you do so willingly and knowingly.

        • Anonymous, statists have been successfully convincing the People of that nonsense for a while now. Sure, those of us who understand Liberty see how ridiculous it is. However, the unwashed masses have apparently been brainwashed into actually believing that doublethink! They declare it doubleplusgood.

    • Maybe stay away from bars at night where he felt there was enough risk to be carrying in spite of the legal risk.
      Stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places.

  1. I was recently released from a jury pool for sharing this opinion. Guy robbed a store in the 60s, served his time, stayed clean of the law and raised a family. Was shooting a gun his son brought to the family farm. Game warden thinking there might be poaching came from adjoining national forest land to investigate. During questioning found the guy was a felon in possession. His son didn’t even know. I said I couldn’t enforce the law as written if I was selected because upon release he should have been granted all good rights as a citizen, or be locked up. Partial rights after release is criminal on the part of the State.

      • From personal experience, yes it is. As is a too detailed, for the power-that-be, understanding of the Constitution. I got dismissed once because I teach college poly sci and history. DAs hate people who know the rules.

      • Actually, yes it is. The jurors are sworn to follow the law as it is described in the jury instructions, not as they would like for it to be. “Jury nullification” is not a legal doctrine so much as it is a description of what occasionally happens when jurors ignore the law as written in order to do what they have decided is justice in a particular case.

        • http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/zenger/nullification.html

          Early in our history, judges often informed jurors of their nullification right.  For example, our first Chief Justice, John Jay, told jurors: “You have a right to take upon yourselves to judge [both the facts and law].”  In 1805, one of the charges against Justice Samuel Chase in his impeachment trial was that he wrongly prevented an attorney from arguing to a jury that the law should not be followed. 

          Judicial acceptance of nullification began to wane, however, in the late 1800s.  In 1895, in United States v Sparf, the U. S. Supreme Court voted 7 to 2 to uphold the conviction in a case in which the trial judge refused the defense attorney’s request to let the jury know of their nullification power.

          Courts recently have been reluctant to encourage jury nullification, and in fact have taken several steps to prevent it.  In most jurisdictions, judges instruct jurors that it is their duty to apply the law as it is given to them, whether they agree with the law or not.  Only in a handful of states are jurors told that they have the power to judge both the facts and the law of the case.  Most judges also will prohibit attorneys from using their closing arguments to directly appeal to jurors to nullify the law.

        • Jury nullification is a right of conscience. It is indeed a right. This is even more basic than the right to keep and bear arms!

        • @John in Ohio, If Another Robert has actually passed a Bar exam somewhere, he’s definitely working in the Prosecutor’s Office.

        • Most judges also will prohibit attorneys from using their closing arguments to directly appeal to jurors to nullify the law.

          Notice that the very core idea that the People are truly in control of their government has been attacked by the judiciary. If we cannot question the law and have that decided by the People, in this case a jury of our peers, we have tyranny. Government wants a monopoly on power and this is one of the major ways it attempts to obtain that monopoly. No law is above question. There should be a huge plaque in every courtroom across the land that informs every potential juror and every defendant of the jury’s power to be ultimate judges of the law. Otherwise, this is not government by the consent of those governed.

      • Yes definitely. You have to avoid direct answers but not lie to them. Simply say you “will serve justice as best possible.” Be vague and generalize. If they suspect you are aware of your power as a juror – they will make sure you never attain that power. When it comes to judicial powers in a trial – a panel of jurors has equal power with the president of the US.

    • Next time please just lie. We desperately need good people like you on juries. They cannot know you are lying in response to this type of question, and no juror can be questioned by authorities because of their final decision.

      • That would be a bad idea. If discovered later, the verdict would be overturned, the defendant might be retried, and the juror would be liable to prosecution. It’s one thing not to volunteer information but, if asked directly, you should answer honestly.

        • No, it wouldn’t. Someone freed on jury nullification is no less free than someone freed based on the evidence.

        • @Hannibal: Jury misconduct is indeed ground for a re-trial. That misconduct could indeed be in the form of a juror telling a lie during selection ; it could also be in the form of jurors actually admitting that they ignored the law as they were told the law was in order to do what they thought was justice.

        • Most jurors are smart enough not to come out and admit that they intentionally declined to follow the law as per the instructions. They just say “not guilty” and have done with it. My experience is also that someone who appears too willing to actually sit on a jury will be struck by one side or the other. Just food for thought.

      • I’ll let you have my spot. I’ve done jury duty twice, in two difference jurisdictions, and they both were the most demeaning, poorly managed wastes of my time I can imagine. My daughter is a prosecutor. She once had to deal with a jury for a leash law violation, because the defendant demanded one. He lost after 5 minutes of deliberation but it still wasted just as much of those people’s time up to that point as a real case. The jury system is one of the most wasteful and stupid parts of our justice system. There should be limits on it. I have no regard for it. It is one thing the framers got wrong, IMHO.

        • The right to trial by a jury of one’s peers is a right. The right to keep and bear arms and the right to free speech are examples of other rights. It’s unfortunate that you do not support individual rights. There are some who believe that your right and keep and bear arms should be limited. Do you agree with them as well or do you just pick certain rights to support?

          Just because your daughter might be annoyed at the rights of the defendant doesn’t justify what you are suggesting. She’s paid to do a job. Let her do it right or let her find other work.

        • Yes, I darn sure pick which rights I support. I don’t support the Equal Protection Clause being used to permit abortions. I don’t support 1A being used to support dangerous cults as religions. I don’t support any parts of the Constitution that routinely let dangerous criminals go free. I don’t blindly follow any document, law or rule. I make my own decisions.

          In any case, the Constitution does not grant rights, it was only intended to help protect them. I think some of the things it has been used to protect are not rights at all. I also think that some things, like the UNLIMITED right to a jury trial, has become anachronistic.

        • The problem is that 1A and 10A are abused when supporting dangerous cults and abortions because both of those can infringe on the rights of others.

          Dangerous cults can have members coerced into harming others not involved with the cult.

          Abortions cause lethal bodily damage to a living human that can’t consent.

          I personally do not believe that using either Amendment to defend these acts are legitimate uses of said Amendments, but I prefer civil discourse when arguing my stance on these topics as opposed to anything else.

        • JohnF

          Quite conversely, noone should ever be held, fined nor inconvenienced by any other authority than a jury trial. Any other means of meting out “justice”, is simply a carte blanche handing over of ones rights to the totalitarian state. If what one has done is too minor to warrant a jury trial, it’s too minor to harass one over. IOW, the problem of pointless jury trials, are a problem of too many trials, too many things one can get tried for. Not too many juries.

          Hang people for murder. After a proper jury trial. Otherwise leave people alone.

        • If you don’t want a jury trial for a leash law violation, drop the charge, and change the law. If you intend to prosecute me for some chicken firearms law, you’d better plan on a jury trial, and I would do my best to call over 1000 witnesses. And if everybody did that, the jurisdiction would drop the stupid law or go bankrupt from the court costs.

        • JohnF, I think the point that you’re missing is that the way you are approaching rights indicates that, deep down, you believe power flows from government to the People. Instead of calling for the abridgment of Rights, such as in the case of a leash law. Why not consider that the individual has a right to essentially be left alone and if the state cannot be bothered enough for a jury trial then why should the individual even be inconvenienced by being charged with a violation? The servant is the state, not the individual. When your daughter acts as prosecutor, she is the servant and not the master. Her inconvenience is of no importance. It shouldn’t even be part of the equation.

        • If you don’t want a jury trial for a leash law violation, drop the charge, and change the law. If you intend to prosecute me for some chicken firearms law, you’d better plan on a jury trial, and I would do my best to call over 1000 witnesses. And if everybody did that, the jurisdiction would drop the stupid law or go bankrupt from the court costs.

          Exactly. The defense of the people should be a priority over the convenience of the state.

      • +1, Bob R. I figured that out too late. Next time I’m in jury selection, I’ll be a Gray Man. I won’t let them disqualify me again because they fear jury nullification. Last time it was a felony case in which they selected the jury, carried out the trial, deliberated, found the defendant guilty, and sentenced him to something like eight years in prison all in one day! Most of the jurors selected knew people in the sheriff’s office and/or knew people in the prosecutor’s office. Some of them used to work in those offices or in related jobs. It was nowhere near a fair trial.

        • For the benefit of others reading this, you can Google for tips on how to increase your chances of getting on a jury.

    • There should be a clearly defined process for felons to have their rights restored. Simple.

      On the jury story, the problem started here when there was a warden that felt he had the right to enter private property and investigate poaching when there was no probable cause. Un-effing-real. Another example of the massive law enforcement apparatus that has been built as a jobs and revenue generation scheme. They have to generate criminals to keep it fed. Throw in the court system and the lawyers and you have a system that will resort to its own criminal activity to sustain itself.

      • Yeah, that story with the warden sounds like there’s more to it. The whole idea of these stupid laws is to give an LEO the tools to screw up your life if he doesn’t like you for some reason. I’d suspect he was invited to get your ass off my property and don’t come back, responded by proving any of us can be arrested on any day, without having any idea you’ve done anything wrong. A jury should have tossed the case.

      • The proper process was already in place for the restoration of the exercise of rights. If someone is not in lawful, legitimate custody then they can exercise their full range of rights. It doesn’t have to be all that complicated. I don’t believe we can maintain a free society where members of it walk around without being able to exercise their full rights. Those under any kind of guardianship, probation or parole do not qualify, have an immediate guardian to protect them and exercise their rights in their best interests. Liberty would be better served by removing many of the laws currently on the books and modifying those few that remain so that when someone cannot be trusted in society, they are not released back into society. For those that do make it back into society after due process and cannot or will not abstain from violating the rights of others, society itself will correct the problem through legitimate self-defense.

        (ETA: Probation and parole should not abridge the exercise of rights either. If an individual cannot be trusted then they shouldn’t be on probation or parole.)

        • For those that do make it back into society after due process and cannot or will not abstain from violating the rights of others, society itself will correct the problem through legitimate self-defense.

          Oh!!! A democrat cringing statement right there. I totally agree. This is the best policy to maximize freedoms for all. However, democrats don’t want to defend themselves.

  2. A natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right, in fact any natural right, cannot be LOST, nor can it be taken away by the government, any government. At best the government can attempt to suppress it, as this incident shows.

    Every person alive, be they saint or sinner, is entitled to the defense of his/her own life and will exercise that right to the best of their ability. Need I repeat here, once again, the slippery slope of allowing the government to determine what violations of what law at what level entitle them to supposedly revoke your natural right to self preservation?

    I am gratified, however, that the court recognized that this person had the right to self defense. Good call.

  3. I think the entire system is messed up. What is the point of releasing people back into the population after they did their time and most job opportunities are closed to them? It is setting them up for failure and sending them back into crime.

    • The system makes money. It creates jobs. it gives the appearance that government is necessary.The bigger and more inclusive the system, the more control government can exercise over the People. Money and power are more important to government than people’s lives.

    • This is the new slavery James. Completely legal/legit. Prisons are money making machines. They want to maximumize their populations. Prosecutors also want to maximize their convictions. Don’t get me started on plea bargains.

  4. So they’ll probably prosecute this guy…but known straw buyers who purchase guns for criminal acquaintances, who then use them to visit injury and death to other people, routinely get off with probation or no charges at all.

  5. Why do these stories always start “outside a bar?” So a felon is outside a bar packing a gun illegally, not only because he can’t own or possess one, but also because he obviously doesn’t have a CC permit. So he not only has previously committed a felony, but he is walking around committing two more and he is outside a bar, which is not illegal in and of itself, but not really good judgement given the three felonies mentioned. Then he doesn’t have the SA to stay out of a life and death fight. Oh, I forgot, “he was attacked.” Yeah, felons illegally packing heat outside of bars just tend to get attacked all the time. I have no sympathy for this idiot. Stupid is as stupid does.

      • Well that is just one of the 30,000 infringements to 2A across this country, according to the NRA. Welcome to the world of reality, not historical, Constitutional theory. If you have a carry permit, or you have ever submitted to a NICS check, you’ve bought right into that, so no need to be all sanctimonious and Pollyanna about it. Until all that changes, which it won’t in my lifetime, the guy was a felon, committing two more felonies and using bad judgement and poor SA. Still no sympathy. He did the crime, he should do the time.

        • No sympathy for slaves exhibiting “poor SA” for breaking laws and attempting to escape their lawful plantations either, I presume.

          I mean, how stupid of some nigger to think he should be able to go to a, omg, bar and all. Instead of responsibly carrying out his cottonpicking job as the great government’s law required.

        • Until all that changes, which it won’t in my lifetime,

          You’re going to lose any battle that you go into with that preconception. Each generation has its own opportunity to be free. The right to keep and bear arms can be fully restored in our generation if our people possess the will to do so. It will never happen by incrementalism. It will only happen when a generation stands firm and refuses to yield. Who do you suppose “changes that”? We do or we don’t. That is the choice of each generation. It appears to me that you are waiting around for time to magically remove infringements. That’s not how it works. That’s not reality.

        • If you have a carry permit, or you have ever submitted to a NICS check, you’ve bought right into that, so no need to be all sanctimonious and Pollyanna about it. Until all that changes, which it won’t in my lifetime, the guy was a felon, committing two more felonies and using bad judgement and poor SA. Still no sympathy. He did the crime, he should do the time.

          No sympathy. So you agree with it then? Because regardless of the injustice and overreach of the law – it is law so we should respect it?? Yea? If you were a Jew in Germany would you have worn the Star of David proudly? Would you have respected the regime when they demanded your papers? Would you still agree with the law when they loaded your starving skeleton on the train?? And if they resisted, they did the crime – time to do the time right?

      • Face it, he was outside a bar dealing drugs on someone else’s turf, and John Law couldn’t prove it, The DA wouldn’t stick it to him for the self-defense, so they found a stupid law which would get the job done, put him back in school for criminals for a while more. We really need to legalize all drugs, I don’t even care if it’s deadly poison.

    • Suppose it wasn’t a bar. Suppose it was a grocery store or his home. How would you feel about it then? Does the place really matter?? What’s the matter? You never been to a bar?

  6. “I said I couldn’t enforce the law as written if I was selected because upon release he should have been granted all good rights as a citizen, or be locked up. Partial rights after release is criminal on the part of the State.” – MiketheHopsFarmer

    ^ This. ^

    There’s no “except” clause after “shall not be infringed”, as Frank pointed out.

  7. With the government making every little crime a felony of some sort, it makes sense that non violent felons should get to keep their gun rights. Someone convicted of insider trading isnt a person we have to worry about getting a gun.

  8. Thanks Ralph. Cry me a river-and all the chatter from “new” commenters. I’m with you on the restitution thing…

  9. His right to self defense wasn’t taken away. He clearly used it and the state isn’t charging him for that. His right to the most effective means of self defense with a firearm, however, is impacted by his previous actions. I’m not a big opponent of legally arming felons, but some felonies shouldn’t restrict firearm ownership if some lesser crimes can restrict CCW licensing. They can’t have it simply go one way in favor for disarmament but with exceptions that is just hypocritical and illogical.

  10. Personally I think there are far too many felonies in this country and we’re far too lenient on those who commit the crimes that should be felonies. No crime should be deemed a felony in the absence of malicious intent, but that sadly is not the case these days. So many felons are prohibited persons for no reason, yet we cut some really dangerous people loose after token sentences and then just expect them to observe the laws of the land after they’ve clearly displayed a blatant disregard for them. I guess that’s all part of enlisting the stooooopidest people among us to make up our laws.

  11. Sentence served, probation completed. How are they still a felon? If they can be trusted to re-join society, they can be trusted to carry.

    • W00t! There is no reason to debar the use of arms to any man who’s not in prison or a mental institution. Once we have sufficient percentages of people armed everywhere, the bad actors will get naturally filtered out.

  12. I dunno about where he is, but here in Texas we have a “necessity” defense that might apply. It would go something like this: Since the harm to the guy from not carrying a gun and thus being unable to defend himself would be far, far greater (a “self defense” finding indicates he was facing death or grave injury) than the harm he was actually causing to society by the bare act of carrying a firearm (which was nil; the “harm” of something like that is entirely theoretical), he could be excused for the illegality of carrying a firearm.

  13. This is what people demand. They want “dangerous felons” from being able to purchase firearms. Then they justify it with statements like “due process” doesn’t mean they get all their freedoms back after they are released. Released felons oftentimes have the criminal element seeking them out after their release. Regardless of the law they will seek arms to protect life and limb and then we are going to get upset when they do so and demand they go back to prison? Completely nonsensical.

  14. As people like bloomberg and democrats expend anti-gun laws this will become more and more the common outcome.

    I’ve said many times, that While I do have a ccw (In CA of all places), I do not,IN ANY WAY, think negatively of those who carry illegally without one.

    Laws that are built from the ground up to be ignored or broken are simply bad laws.

  15. Lawfull Carry in “no gun zones” (yes outsite fed propertie too) can be an felony too …..
    Lawfull weed ore sativa smoking, adult prostitution ore active suizid assist so everyone can an felony.
    Add an Vertical Forward Grip to an handgun whiteout tax >> felony
    Sex white an person 1 year younger as you …..
    Carry (still white an honored out of state ccw) inside 1000 feet of an school and and and public peeing repeat offense ^^

    All can be an felony if gouverment want it ^^

  16. I did a little research on Mr. Walton. He actually has two felony convictions on four felony counts: Cocaine possession in 2000 and two counts of cocaine possession and one count of felony weight cannabis possession in 2008. Definitely not worth my sympathy.

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