“A convicted felon [not shown] who went hunting with a shotgun received a three-year suspended sentence, a $1,500 fine and two years on supervised probation in Northampton County Circuit Court,” delmarvanow.com reports. “Jeffery Baker, 46, of Newport News, was convicted of construction fraud in 2002 and has had no further criminal record since, said defense attorney Robert Saunders. ‘He likes to hunt,’ said Saunders, adding, ‘There is no excuse for what he did. Now he will be a felon forever.'”
Mr. Baker will no longer have the right to keep and bear arms. A right that was stripped from the erstwhile builder when he was convicted of Failure to Provide Construction Work and Grand Larceny by Worthless Check. The only right not restored to Mr. Baker in 2014 by Virginia Governor Terence R. McAuliffe.
That was an exemption Mr. Baker missed or ignored in pursuit of game. “If you read your paperwork, it said your gun rights were not restored,” Judge W. Revell Lewis III pronounced at sentencing.
All of which raises some important questions: why should non-violent felons lose their gun rights in the first place? And if the government “suspends” a non-violent felon’s natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, shouldn’t that prohibition come with an expiration date?
While Mr. Baker’s family probably doesn’t depend on his hunting for their survival, there are Americans in that position. “Even” when you’re talking about hunting, gun rights can be a matter or life or death.