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Felons and Firearms

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by mkwerx, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm. Ever. Unless he's had that conviction expunged and his rights restored (very rare). My question is why? I understand law enforcement's desire to have convicted criminals disarmed (and really, many higher echelon cops want us all disarmed). I can understand the desire to punish those who have committed the worst of crimes.

    But the Constitution and the Bill of Rights don't say anything about excluding those rights for people convicted of crimes. The 2A doesn't say "shall not be infringed, unless you've been convicted of a felony".

    I'm all for not allowing those on parole or probation for a felony from possessing them (and those who are incarcerated, that goes without saying.) But once a man has completed his sentence, then he should be square with the rest of society. He's paid his dues for committing his crime - or at least he SHOULD have. Once a sentence has been completed, he ought to have all of his rights restored. I'd be fine if the laws were tougher on repeat offenders. You get your rights restored and go back to being a turd, you get nailed with tougher sentence, especially if your crime involved a firearm in some way. But you've either paid the debt to society or you haven't. If a convict hasn't paid their debt, why are they free?

    There are a lot of crimes that fall under the felony definition that aren't violent crimes. It's easy to think of convicts all being toughened murderers, rapists, and robbers. But what about people like Martha Stewart, Gordon Liddy, or someone convicted of say, copyright violation? Are those people hardened criminals who need to have the right to carry a weapon stripped for life? I don't think so.

    How about someone convicted of a crime of domestic violence, which depending on the state, can be something as simple as breaking your own property during an argument? That's right - you smash a coffee cup or a lamp because your wife pisses you off, and the cops can (and in some states MUST) arrest you for a domestic violence crime, even if you never touched her. You get that misdemeanor conviction that falls under DV laws, and POOF, your right to ever even touch a gun again is gone. That's a load of crap in my book.

    You've either paid your debt or you haven't - and if your sentence is completed, there shouldn't be any lifetime strings to the loss of rights.

    The law makers both on the state and federal level are constantly pumping out new laws to justify their existence, without removing old, outdated laws. The book grows thicker with definitions and crimes that could make any or all of us felons overnight. Should there really be a lifetime ban on firearms ownership because of criminal conviction? If you're that bad of a criminal, and that big of a threat to society, shouldn't you be locked away for life, or given the death penalty?
     
  2. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    I think it is as far as they can get away disarming all of us. Anyone branded as bad or evil can be abused.
     
  3. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    i agree with you 100%.
    My brother got out of the pen and needed a place to stay,he was off parol as he did the full time to be a free man when he got out.
    So he comes to stay with me and asked if i could keep my guns at our other brothers,not carry around him ect,etc.
    I love my brothers but told him,you did the crime and im not going to give up my 2a rights because you did it.
    they had him so paranoid that i couldn't convince him concealed is concealed and just dont ask when im carrying and their wont be an issue.
    I agree that doing their time should make them free indeed to live a life like everyone else and hunt and vote like a citizen but our liberal society loves to label people and keep punishing them for as long as they can.

    I also feel some felonies should ban gun rights though such as armed robbery,dv with a gun,and murder.
    those crimes made gun owners look bad so why should we want those people having a chance to do more damage to our 2a rights?
    but not tax evasion,dui,stuff like that.

    also when we were young men most of us did some things we would have gotten in a lot of trouble for but as we got older we settle down and contribute to society we just got lucky to not get busted.
    so i think after 10-15 years even the most violent criminal should have his gun rights restored,it gives them something to look forward to for staying out of trouble.as it is i will never get to hunt with my older brother.
     
  4. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I think the numbers for repeat offenders has tainted the idea that the felon is actually reformed.And we all know of the over crowding,so the lower end guys get cut loose.One bad apple...you know.
    But when you are willing to commit a violent crime,you aren't normal anyway.You are either overly emotional or with out emotion,pointing towards a problem you may not overcome .
    It's probably got to do with a felon will have to do very good to come up with the money to get his rights back.Or just get guns illegally.

    With that said,they give vehicular homicide felons their right to drive back.And there have been more of those than gun deaths over the years.

    I have mixed feelings on this,as I don't believe people change too much until they get older.
     
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  5. Guymcdb

    Guymcdb Vancouver Wa Active Member

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    Agreed! But once you're under their thumb, it's damn near impossible to get out.
     
  6. rur862

    rur862 Seattle Active Member

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    A government able to control who possesses firearms is much more dangerous than an ex-felon with a gun.
     
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  7. eganx

    eganx Kingston WA Active Member

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    I was convicted of a marijuana possession felony way back when.......got on the straight and narrow about a year later. Took seven years to get my 2A rights back while being a full law abiding citizen, off probation with all stipulations of release met. They even forgot to file my release paperwork for 18 months, so I got another 18 months tacked on to my waiting period to get my rights back.

    Having seen what I have seen, I believe the law feels that firearms rights are a privilege, which can be taken away. I disagree. However I have also seen that the majority of folks convicted of a felony don't change once off probation or parole. So if a felon decides to continue that life style, they could care less if they are legally allowed to own a firearm or not. They sure aren't legally possessing an ounce of crack, so whats the big deal about a carrying a pistol if you don't have 2A rights. Anyway....I could go on and on, at least I have my "rights" back
     
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  8. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    And your post addresses my earlier point - if a criminal hasn't paid his debt - why is he on the streets? Why are we giving retarded sentences for petty crimes instead of keeping the honest to god threats to society locked away where they belong? Why do we tie the hands of judges by placing caps on how long someone may be sentenced for a particular crime? Some people can commit a felony and actually come out reformed. Some can commit multiple felonies, and still be reformed. Others ought to be locked away and forgotten about until it's time to clean the corpse from the cell (to make room for the next violent criminal).

    Overcrowding could be taken care of by not incarcerating low level offenders in prisons - put them in work camps, or on work-release programs that don't require 24/7 staffing by dozens of sworn CO's. Make then serve work-release or probation terms until they've repaid monetary debt for their crime (and lets not get too retarded with these costs.)

    But when it comes down to it - we've changed as a society. Used to be that when a man was released from prison, it was deemed his debt was paid. Now, no matter what - certain crimes follow you for life, even if you were released from the system. That's a load of crap in my book.

    Lock the rapists, child molesters, and habitually violent criminals away until they rot. There are folks who have been convicted of manslaughter or 2nd degree murder that honestly shouldn't have been convicted in the first place, but are doing time because of a prosecutor angling for a political career (Mas Ayoob has detailed plenty of these in his "Ayoob Files" over the years if you need to look up examples.) - they get suspended sentences or short terms of incarceration - but they've lot some of their rights for life.

    Some folks wind up with felony convictions or DV convictions for stupid reasons, not necessarily because they're bad people - some made bad decisions one time, others are because of bad politicians or bad jury decisions. Same reasons some of the most vile, murdering or child molesting scum out there roam free. The criminal justice system is broken in a lot of ways, overstrained in many more. Ours is still one of the best, but I wouldn't necessarily put it at the top when it comes to actual justice - for the victims, or the convicts.
     
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  9. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    Then you're a perfect example of what I'm talking about. You're not out there raping babies and killing their mothers. You made a stupid choice - did your time - and had to fight to get a basic "right" back from the PTB. If something is a "right" - as say, in the Bill of Rights - it shouldn't be trampled upon or treated as a privilege. You shouldn't have to ask permission to exercise a right.
     
  10. Asp

    Asp Oregon, the promise land. Active Member

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    I disagree.
    Felonies already ban those rights. If you want someone perm. banned. They should NEVER be allowed back into society.
    Yet people reform and reshape. I'm sure there are a lot on this forum who were hellraisers as children, who never got caught, but eventually learned to shape into reasonable, if not good, human beings.

    Personally, I think a serial rapist should never leave prison.
    I think serial killers or murderers should never leave prison.
    And I think everything should be looked at on a case by case basis.

    However should an 18 year old guy go to prison for "rape" of a 17 year old girl? What if she's 16?
    I'm not saying I'm for this or not, but the lines ARE gray.

    You think banning them from owning guns will change anything?
    What if a serial killer goes to IKEA to buy kitchen knives?
     
  11. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    Careful, you might give some government stooge the idea for adding another letter to the BATFE acronym - BATFEK, and there will be a whole nother layer of bureaucracy - and anyone dealing in knives will be required to get a Federal Knives License. $15 background checks, waiting periods, "assault knives" will become the next big boogieman. There will be a ban on "non sporting or kitchen use" knives. Knives available for purchase will have a list of banned features (no pointed blades, minimum blade length, straight grips only, no folding blades, no easily concealable knives...) - the Brits are already working on such stupidity. The Big O administration might try to pull ahead of our European cousins and jump in this first. There will be buy back programs - turn your knives in, get a coupon for a package of plastic sporks.

    And lets not forget, there are firearms that the BATFE doesn't consider firearms, and thus are legal (at the federal level) for felons to own already and it's left up to the states. A black powder revolver from 1870 is just as capable of killing someone as a Glock.
     
  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    The biggest problem is we do not have sure and swift death penalty for truly violent crimes. This would go a long way towards public safety and the argument that other sane persons having served their time could get their rights back
     
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  13. billt

    billt Glendale, Arizona Active Member

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    I think the legal process for a convicted felon to regain his civil, as well as his or her firearm rights should remain as it is. When you violate a law severe enough to be charged with a felony, you yourself made that choice knowingly and willingly. No one "accidentally" committed a felony. There may be some extreme cases out there, and I'm sure people will quickly point to them.

    However the fact is too many are repeat offenders. The prison system is full of them. Many of these people have drug problems that remain with them long after they've served their prison sentences. Do we really want to see these people armed in the "name of freedom"? I don't. It's really quite simple. If you want to legally own firearms it comes with responsibilities. To exercise them, stay out of jail. It's not that hard if you think about it. All of us were young. Most of us grew up without committing felonies. For those who didn't, buy a slingshot.
     
  14. Toxic6

    Toxic6 Higher then a PDX hipster (~10,000 ft higher) Active Member

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    Seems like everything is a felony these days, and if not is somehow construed as a form of domestic violence. I can't believe no one has addressed the fact that in most cases, people do not even have to be convicted of something to lose their rights - just charged with. Charged with, found innocent, and then still have to go through the process to have things stricken from their record to clear their name. I am going off the assumption that this state is the same as others I have lived in, apologies if I am wrong.....I'm no lawyer nor do I play one on t.v. lol
     
  15. billt

    billt Glendale, Arizona Active Member

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    Actually it's quite the opposite. Most lesser felonies are plea bargained down to misdemeanors, just to avoid the felony conviction on someones record.
     
  16. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Do you really think a 21 year old guy who has sex with his 17 year old girlfriend should lose his gun rights?
     
  17. billt

    billt Glendale, Arizona Active Member

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    How many 21 year old guys don't know that is a felony? Who doesn't know what the term "jail bait" means?
     
  18. mortre

    mortre Yelm, WA Active Member

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    For what it's worth... probably not much.

    I had a friend that served with me in the army. He was convicted of a felony before he joined. I can't remember the charge, all I know is that he was drunk and passed out in the back seat of a car when his "friends" did something. All I remember is that it wasn't a violent crime, it had something to do with breaking into a line of cars or something. He served 4 years with me and was honorably discharged. Was using his GI bill and working on his bachelors degree when he died of leukemia. He never did get his rights back.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Steve06

    Steve06 Oregon Active Member

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    I think there is a process where some crimes can be expunged from a persons criminal history. However, to do that you need a lawyer.
     
  20. billt

    billt Glendale, Arizona Active Member

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    True. It also depends on the crime. If you commit a white collar felony you stand a much better chance of getting your gun rights back than if it is a felony that was committed involving the use of a firearm.
     
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