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 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?

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252 COMMENTS

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

        • +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.

        • @ 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.

    • <—- 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

        • 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.

          • “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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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

        • 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/

    • 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.

    • + 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.

    • 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.

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

        • +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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

      • 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

        • 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.

          • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

        • “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.

        • “…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.

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

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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…….

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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/

    • 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. 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?

    • 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!

      • 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!

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • “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.

    • 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. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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).

        • 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?

          • 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

      • 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)

    • 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • @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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

    • 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.

  13. “…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.

    • 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.

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

      • “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.

  14. 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.

    • 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.

    • “…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.

      • 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

  17. 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.

    • 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.

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

      • 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.

  18. 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…

    • 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.

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

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

          • “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.

      • 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…

        • 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.

    • 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.

        • 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.

  19. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • “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.

        • 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.