Legality of Felons & guns in the military


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Oana
April 21, 2008, 08:44 PM
This article from the AP, "Army, Marines enlisting more felons", (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24243460/)isn't really about guns but it got me thinking. It's my understanding that it's illegal for a felon to own or handle a firearm. So what gives when the military enlists felons, then hands them a gun? Is there an exception somewhere that I'm missing?

As a side note, I'm storing this information away for debate purposes. Hard to argue that a law-abiding citizen shouldn't be able to own a gun to protect themselves, but a criminal who joins the military can carry an eeevil "assault rifle" with impunity. (Note: Not to knock our armed forces, it's just that...well, felons?)

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SageMonkey
April 21, 2008, 08:51 PM
Personally I don't see why a felon who has finished their sentence and "paid their debt to society" should be denied their 2A rights. If they are safe enough to trust back out in society where they can easily get a weapon regardless of the laws... then they are safe enough to trust to legally own a weapon... if they are a likely menace to use law-abiding types then they should still be locked up.

But, aside from that rant, I would guess at the very least that the current administration would argue the President's power as commander in chief of the military trumps those statutes forbidding felons from possessing firarms, so long as it is for military purposes. I cringe when I hear about new powers claimed for the Executive Branch, but this would probably be a legitimate use of that argument. It would be interesting to know any specifics on this though, wouldn't it?

kingpin008
April 21, 2008, 09:10 PM
Personally I don't see why a felon who has finished their sentence and "paid their debt to society" should be denied their 2A rights. If they are safe enough to trust back out in society where they can easily get a weapon regardless of the laws... then they are safe enough to trust to legally own a weapon... if they are a likely menace to use law-abiding types then they should still be locked up.

+1,000 on that one.

Sorry, don't have much else to add...

jaholder1971
April 21, 2008, 09:25 PM
Personally I don't see why a felon who has finished their sentence and "paid their debt to society" should be denied their 2A rights. If they are safe enough to trust back out in society where they can easily get a weapon regardless of the laws... then they are safe enough to trust to legally own a weapon... if they are a likely menace to use law-abiding types then they should still be locked up

Why do have to beat this to death all the time?

It's been long established, 40 years now, that you commit a felony crime you lose RKBA. Don't like it, don't be a criminal!

A lot of folks like to believe the above quote but fewer are willing to have a felon recently released from prison live with them.

chris in va
April 21, 2008, 09:28 PM
That's a good question. I was at the Dallas MEPS waiting to get processed and ran into a really smart guy that passed with flying colors, but he could only get in the Army as a bomb loader.

Seems he stole some cars earlier in his life. He was desperate to get health care for his wife and kid.

chris in va
April 21, 2008, 09:29 PM
A lot of folks like to believe the above quote but fewer are willing to have a felon recently released from prison live with them

That's a rather cold statement. Do you think that all 'felonies' are violent or deserve prison terms and revocation of various rights?

Ash
April 21, 2008, 09:44 PM
Wouldn't want a thief living with me, either. For that matter, a child molester would be a no-no, too.

But, then, that is OT. The military hands guys fully automatic machine guns, tank guns, guided missiles, grenades, and allows them to kill without being prosecuted. The rules are a bit different.

Ash

Oana
April 21, 2008, 09:52 PM
For the record, I'm rather in favor of an overhaul of the felon = automatic 2A rights suspension. I don't want a violent offender strolling on the street with a gun, but not all felonies are violent. And in any event, if he's still that dangerous after 10 years, say, why isn't he in jail or executed? If he isn't, why can't he work to get back his rights? Martha Stewart's a felon, but I wouldn't mind her being allowed a gun. :)

But legally, is it just a case of "the military is above that sort of law", or is there a clause lurking somewhere?

nalioth
April 21, 2008, 09:56 PM
The military is not subject to civilian laws.

When you sign up with them, you give up your rights as you know them.

They are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

TAB
April 21, 2008, 10:00 PM
it really depends on what the felony is...

I don't know anyone that has not commited a felony.

Let me say that again.

I don't know anyone that has not commited a felony.


Infact I'd be willing to bet that if you polled THR and had every one truthfully answer that poll 95%+ of the members here have commited a felony. Lots of really strange laws out there as well as really minor things that are felonies.

For example, lots of states have fire works of a certain kind( or at all) is a felony. There are so many minor things on the books that are felonys it will make your head spin.

Treo
April 21, 2008, 11:07 PM
I've commited all kinds of felonies, I never got caught & now I've changed. I believe that certain classes of crimes ( any type of violent crime & certainly any type of crime in which a gun played a PREDOMINANT part) should carry W/ them an automatic revocation of RKBA. & I probably wouldn't allow any person on parole or probation to have firearms. But I'd be in agreement W/ say a full pardon for anyone who serves HONORABLY in the Armed forces.

NavyLCDR
April 22, 2008, 12:05 AM
1. I have never committed a felony.
2. Just because you join the military does not mean you get issued a personal weapon.
3. The civilian Federal laws in regards to firearms possession apply to military members. If you can't posses a firearm according to Federal laws, you cannot be issued a personal firearm in the military. State laws don't matter.
4. Actually, I only know this regarding the Navy, I have no idea about the other services.

Guitargod1985
April 22, 2008, 12:11 AM
But I'd be in agreement W/ say a full pardon for anyone who serves HONORABLY in the Armed forces.

I have a cousin who got mixed up with weed for a few years and got caught with a bag of the stuff ( over 20 grams = felony). He ended up entering the Air Force as part of an alternate sentence for a drug offense.

The judge basically gave him the option of serving a term in prison or serving a term in the military. If he chose the latter, adjudication would be withheld and he would not have a criminal record. So he enlisted.

He didn't have to reenlist after four years, but he did anyway and he's about to reenlist for the third time. He made E6 (Tech Sgt?) a little while back.

That's just to give you an example of a felon who I would consider a good guy. He would help out anyone in need if he were able. Some people make mistakes, but I don't that many of them should qualify as a lifelong condemnation as a second class citizen.

BammaYankee
April 22, 2008, 12:16 AM
Felons in the military do not OWN the firearms they are using, if they are at all. From what I understand a civy felon can, in limited situations, use a firearm for hunting. They just cannot own the firearm or have 'posession' however.

Not sure, but it may make a difference.

cowssurf
April 22, 2008, 12:31 AM
Ash said: "The military hands guys fully automatic machine guns, tank guns, guided missiles, grenades, and allows them to kill without being prosecuted. The rules are a bit different."

I say not really. Here's why. Cops have fully automatic machine guns, explosives. They kill without being prosecuted. Bottom line, they are entrusted to "serve and protect." Now, do you think there's a snowball's chance in hell a cop could have a felony on his record and be accepted to the force? Why should our standards be any different in the military. We certainly don't want a bunch of recidivistic felons representing our country by murdering or raping civilians across the globe. We should never entrust these ex-cons with such a high and grave job. They have served their time, true, but only their jail time. There is a reason they must disclose their past to employers, gun shop owners, and others. It is because they have acted in such a way as to not deserve our trust. Recidivism is so high among criminals, we are Pollyannaish idiots if we simply turn the other cheek for them to slap it.

If you think we should let felons in the military, then you also must agree we should let felons be cops. The only difference you could claim is that, "Hey they're on the other side of the world. They can't hurt us." Of course that attitude shows a xenophobic disregard for the other citizens of the world.

archigos
April 22, 2008, 12:36 AM
Personally I don't see why a felon who has finished their sentence and "paid their debt to society" should be denied their 2A rights. If they are safe enough to trust back out in society where they can easily get a weapon regardless of the laws... then they are safe enough to trust to legally own a weapon... if they are a likely menace to use law-abiding types then they should still be locked up.
Another +1000. The anti's keep talking about how the US has much more of a problem with gun violence than any other nation. Perhaps this is a symptom of poor societal values and a failed penal system - not a symptom of the responsibility to defend ourselves from oppression.

Treo
April 22, 2008, 12:55 AM
QUOTE: "If you think we should let felons in the military, then you also must agree we should let felons be cops"

I'd be willing to bet that there are waaay more felons ( that haven't been caught yet) wearing blue than there are wearing Desert BDUs.

Hey guys FYI there's a war on the enlistment standards are just a bit relaxed. I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the felons that get enlisted become 11 B , 11M , or
13Bs IOW they're making them bullet stoppers & sending them to Iraq. Why is this a baaaaaaaad thing?

theken206
April 22, 2008, 01:04 AM
"I have a cousin who got mixed up with weed for a few years and got caught with a bag of the stuff ( over 20 grams = felony). He ended up entering the Air Force as part of an alternate sentence for a drug offense."

thats less than an ounce!!

around here under 50 grams of weed is a gross "missie" and adult MJ use is "the lowest priority" for seattle police.

DMF
April 22, 2008, 01:59 AM
The military is not subject to civilian laws.Not true at all. Military members themselves are subject to civilian laws. There are some exceptions to certain laws for government agencies, and for people doing work for government agencies. For example with the exception of those with DV convictions military members are exempt from the prohibitions of 18USC922(g) when possessing a firearm is necessary for their OFFICIAL DUTIES. Therefore a felon could serve in the military and handle guns on duty, but could not possess a firearm not related to their duties. So if they train with, deploy with, an M-16, that would be OK. Going to the local public range to shoot a buddy's personal AR-15 would be a felony.When you sign up with them, you give up your rights as you know them.That is absolutely not true. Military members retain all the rights and protections of the Constitution. I used to work in military LE and I can assure you military members' Constitutional rights actually get greater protection than civilians.They are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.True, but as stated earlier they are also subject to civilian laws too. In some cases the county DA, AUSA, and JAG will have to decide which system (state, federal, or military) to prosecute an offender.

lamazza
April 22, 2008, 02:19 AM
I believe its considered alright since, in this instance, a weapon is a neccessary tool for the job you are doing.

Downr@nge
April 22, 2008, 02:23 AM
Isn't the right to bear arms taken away by Due Process when one gets convicted of a (certain ype of) felony?

cowssurf
April 22, 2008, 03:30 AM
treo said: "I'd be willing to bet that there are waaay more felons ( that haven't been caught yet) wearing blue than there are wearing Desert BDUs."

What's that supposed to mean, treo? Do you mean that a higher percentage of cops lead, or have lead, felonious lives than soldiers? And is that supposed to be an argument for allowing released felons in the military? It's anecdotal at best, and if true, is still a poor argument. Our cops are felons, so our soldiers should be, too? Neither should be felons.

Furthermore, if we can't field a proper army with good soldiers (and intelligent soldiers--we've compromised those standards too), we shouldn't start a war.

Rmeju
April 22, 2008, 05:31 AM
To the OP,

When I was in Baghdad (this was '04) they gave us a mandatory briefing before we were allowed to take our two weeks of leave.

In part of that brief, they were very careful to warn us not to beat our wives or commit any felonies, because this would bar the military from giving us our guns back.

Most of the rest of the briefing was to imply that we shouldn't bang any hookers while we were home because they didn't want to have to deal with treating us for STD's.

I couldn't point you to the code, but you can take that for what it's worth.

Reid

primlantah
April 22, 2008, 10:58 AM
Why is it we have soldiers at 18 years old who cannot purchase a handgun yet many were issued handguns?

Why is it we have soldiers at 18 years old who can die for our government but not legally drink alcohol?

:fire:

Art Eatman
April 22, 2008, 11:14 AM
When you enter the Armed Services and are on a military installation or under direct command overseas, civilian laws do not apply. The UCMJ rules your life. (Well, the UCMJ and your sergeant.)

By accepting enlistment, "the system" has tacitly said that any prior misbehavior is not an issue. All that counts is one's future behavior.

Off-base activity while on pass or on leave, of course, is subject to civilian law. From Rmeju's post, I gather that the military DOES observe the strictures of the Lautenberg Amendment about family abuse--which would be in the category of "future behavior" after enlistment.

FTA84
April 22, 2008, 11:22 AM
Another +1000. The anti's keep talking about how the US has much more of a problem with gun violence than any other nation. Perhaps this is a symptom of poor societal values and a failed penal system - not a symptom of the responsibility to defend ourselves from oppression.


I see your +1000 and raise you +1000 more.

I believe that getting a violent felony should disqualify you from firearms ownership....for a set amount of time (10 years?)

I used to work construction when I was younger, it is a career where many ex-cons end up. They were not bad people, generally, they were a bit more willilng to get into confrontations, but most of the older ones (40+) had completely turned their lives around. Why should you be continually penalized for a crime you commited 30 years ago when you have had a clean record since.

I also don't think anyone should discuss 'felons' in the above context without speaking about 'violent felons'. At the rate that crimes are turning into felonies (to pad the DA's reelection commericials with "XXX felony convictions last year"), parking tickets will become felonies.

The crime should display the person's inability to be trusted to use a firearm correctly.

rdhood
April 22, 2008, 11:37 AM
Why do have to beat this to death all the time?

It's been long established, 40 years now, that you commit a felony crime you lose RKBA. Don't like it, don't be a criminal!

According to those of the anti gun persuasion, it has been long established, for 70 years now, that RKBA is not an individual right at all. But most here... and maybe in the highest court in the land... believe that to be untrue and unjust.

The closest thing that can said to be "cast in stone" is the 2nd. Everything else is going to get beat to death. Dont like it, don't read the thread.

RP88
April 22, 2008, 11:58 AM
I guess the loophole/technicality is that the felons in the military are issued their guns and do not actually own or buy them.

I'm all for the forfeiture of gun rights over felonies for life. If someone is desperate or cold enough to do something bad enough that they have to be locked up from the rest of us for as much as a third of their life, then i would not want them to have the legal means to buy something that would allow them to do it (or something worse) ever again. If someone learns their lesson and wants their gun rights back, then there is a legal procedure for expungement and reinstatement of the right last time I heard.

Ash
April 22, 2008, 12:10 PM
"Why is it we have soldiers at 18 years old who can die for our government but not legally drink alcohol?"

Last I heard, you could drink on base and, so, if you are actually in the military and, so, faced dying for your country but not yet 21, you could indeed drink. Thus, that argument was never valid.

Ash

csmkersh
April 22, 2008, 12:56 PM
Traditionally active duty U.S. military personnel could consume alcoholic beverages, while on any federal military installation, regardless of the drinking laws of the state in which their base was located.

However, in the 1980s, Congress was lobbied to prevent this. “Federal law (United States Code) requires military installation commanders to adopt the same drinking age as the state in which the military base is located. The only exception to this rule is if the base is located within 50 miles of Canada or Mexico, or a state with a lower drinking age, the installation commander may adopt the lower drinking age for military personnel on base.”

The Department of Defense (DoD) codification of this legislation specifies that on bases within 50 miles of“Mexico or Canada, the minimum drinking age on that DoD installation shall be the lowest applicable age of the State in which the DoD installation is located or the State or jurisdiction of Mexico or Canada that is within 50 miles of such DoD installation.

The minimum drinking age on a DoD installation located outside the United States shall be 18 years of age. Higher minimum drinking age will be based on international treaties and agreements and on the local situation as determined by the local installation commander.”
Source (http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/InTheNews/UnderageDrinking/1106156025.html)

UCMJ does not cover minimum dringing age but does cover variosu offenses arising from drinking and being drunk. So, check base regs with the JAG office.

Ash
April 22, 2008, 01:06 PM
Ah, I stand corrected.

Ash

orionengnr
April 22, 2008, 02:03 PM
I say not really. Here's why. Cops have fully automatic machine guns, explosives. They kill without being prosecuted. Bottom line, they are entrusted to "serve and protect." Now, do you think there's a snowball's chance in hell a cop could have a felony on his record and be accepted to the force?

Sorry to burst your bubble...but that ship has already sailed. Numerous news articles are available doing a quick Google search. From a police training website (emphasis mine):

Integrity and character issues also make the list of problems that knock people out of contention for cop jobs. Falling expectations of departments are reflected in lowered standards in some agencies. It used to be that there was zero tolerance for drug use, speeding, and DUI. Now, those issues have been relegated to sliding scale formulas in a lot of agencies.

The hiring standard battle rages in many agencies. On the one hand, pressure exists to meet the staffing shortfalls by making it easier to gain entry into the profession. The flip side encompasses those that believe it is better to hire only those that meet long-established criteria for LEOs.

While the debate is framed as an issue of quality versus quantity, some contend that even the quality approach is not as it seems. Some view the “dings” and “dents” in the armor as examples of life’s experiences that make for a well-rounded and more empathetic patrol officer.

For some departments, issues such as so-called minor drug use experimentation are less of an issue if the use was limited and was anywhere from five to ten years ago. For just about all agencies nationwide, any hard drug use, transport or sale of illegal substances results in the application heading for the shredder.

Clearly, the rules have changed...and not for the better.

That said, I agree that not all felonies are created equal, and many things that would have been a verbal warning when I was a kid may be "felonies" today...

Vibe
April 22, 2008, 02:43 PM
Isn't the right to bear arms taken away by Due Process when one gets convicted of a (certain type of) felony?
Nope. But in practice, yes. By this I meant the RKBA (according to the SCOTUS) Is a right not "granted", but pre-existing and not dependent upon any document. As such nothing can really take that away. But the Government can, by act of law, refuse to recognize that right among people it has deemed unfit to exercise it. Particularly so long as they can demonstrate to the "greater part" of the governed, that it is in their better interest.

Vibe
April 22, 2008, 02:49 PM
There are a lot of misdemeanors that today will "automatically" become "Felony" simply at the Judges discression. A "Felony" is any crime which has a punishment of imprisonment greater than one year. Todays judges have the power to levy "add on sentences" for actions the defendant is not convicted of, but that were performed in the commission of some other "crime".
The recent Burgess case before SCOTUS touched on part of that
http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/opinion-recap-burgess-v-us/
But it seems that there was another one recently, can't recall that case right now, but within the last month.

romma
April 22, 2008, 03:14 PM
If you have felonies, and you serve honorably, fight for freedom and kill enemy soldiers, possibly even get wounded in action,,,

do you get your gun rights back when you come Stateside?

That's what I want to know!

Vibe
April 22, 2008, 03:22 PM
If you can get a pardon for your Felony from the President (or even the Governor of your state I think) yes. Otherwise the action of restoration of rights is still under the domain of the BATFE , and they have no funding for it, and thus do not do it. So no.

RoadkingLarry
April 22, 2008, 03:29 PM
The military is not subject to civilian laws.

When you sign up with them, you give up your rights as you know them.

Not entirely.
Many years ago I had a loud, vocal and profane difference of opinon with my Navy LCDR Dept. Head, in the ward room in front of my Division LT and the ships (CDR) XO. I was written up for "Disrespect to a Superior Officer" (duh)
During the investigation phase they kept trying to get me to sign a document giving up my 5th Amendment Rights. I wouldn't sign and they couldn't explain to me why it was in my best interest to do so. Surprisinlgy the charges were dismissed at my Captains Mast (Art 15)
For some reason I still think refusing to sign away my 5th Amendment Rights has something to do with the dismissal (that and the dept head was an idiot and everyone knew it)

Old Dog
April 22, 2008, 03:46 PM
Actually, RoadKingLarry, those are known as your Art. 31B rights (from the UCMJ).

When I saw the title of this thread, I just knew someone would end up bringing LEOs into the discussion and say something ignorant such as
I'd be willing to bet that there are waaay more felons ( that haven't been caught yet) wearing blue than there are wearing Desert BDUs. Now, having done over 20 years of active duty, 18 months of my last 3 years wearing DCUs (desert camouflage uniforms) in the Middle East, having worked many years in law enforcement both military and reserve while on active duty, now working in law enforcement post military, I strongly disagree with that statement. But hey, all you out there want to continue with your adversarial view of law enforcement, I don't give a rat's butt what you want to believe -- just quit making ridiculous remarks if you've no personal experience in today's military and today's law enforcement.

W.E.G.
April 22, 2008, 04:14 PM
Possession of a firearm by a felon is a felony.

Ownership is not required.

I am aware of no codified exception to this rule for military personnel.

That said, I don't give a rat's if the Marines want to put an M16 in the hands of a guy who had a bit of trouble with the law. I just want to know, can I trust him to follow orders, and does he think fast on his feet. At the end of the day, we hired him to kill people. Choirboys and intellectuals need not apply.

I'm pretty sure the felon-exception is only being used for recruiting enlisted personnel. I'd be surprised to find anybody in our military over the rank of sergeant with a felony conviction.

scythefwd
April 22, 2008, 06:24 PM
Ash said: "The military hands guys fully automatic machine guns, tank guns, guided missiles, grenades, and allows them to kill without being prosecuted. The rules are a bit different."

I say not really. Here's why. Cops have fully automatic machine guns, explosives. They kill without being prosecuted. Bottom line, they are entrusted to "serve and protect." Now, do you think there's a snowball's chance in hell a cop could have a felony on his record and be accepted to the force? Why should our standards be any different in the military. We certainly don't want a bunch of recidivistic felons representing our country by murdering or raping civilians across the globe. We should never entrust these ex-cons with such a high and grave job. They have served their time, true, but only their jail time. There is a reason they must disclose their past to employers, gun shop owners, and others. It is because they have acted in such a way as to not deserve our trust. Recidivism is so high among criminals, we are Pollyannaish idiots if we simply turn the other cheek for them to slap it.

If you think we should let felons in the military, then you also must agree we should let felons be cops. The only difference you could claim is that, "Hey they're on the other side of the world. They can't hurt us." Of course that attitude shows a xenophobic disregard for the other citizens of the world.

There is a massive difference. Cops can carry off duty, soldiers cant unless they are in a war zone. Cops take their weapon home, soldiers cannot take their service weapon home. Soldiers cannot just go out and buy a gun if they are a felon. They will be refused just as if they a civilian. A cop's duty weapon is available 24-7, a soldiers is only available on the range (with ammo), in ftx's (with blanks, maybe), or on deployment (with ammo). Of the 1 time every 6 months a soldier is allowed to take his weapon away from the arms room while not deployed and issued ammo, they are not issued ammo until they arrive at the range. They are not allowed to transport their weapons (most have M16's, which are not fully auto) in any method other than by foot or military vehicle. The only time a soldier is unsupervised with his weapon and has ammo is during deployment, and my rounds were counted daily when I was overseas so that is even a stretch. Cops are unsupervised with their weapons 16ish hours a day, seven days a week.

scythefwd
April 22, 2008, 06:36 PM
WEG, Your prior encounters with the law (like a felony before you enlisted) isn't even in your personel record, at least not the one sent to the board. In the army, up to E-6 is easily attained with a bad history or not. E-7 and up may be a bit harder, but I personally know a couple of felons who were e-7 or up (one was an E-9, the highest enlisted rank possible)

RoadkingLarry
April 22, 2008, 07:58 PM
Old Dog, after reviewing the UCMJ Art 31 you are probably right but I sure do "remember" it as being the 5th amendment rights on the papers they were trying to get me to sign. Oh well faulty memory of a very stressful time maybe.

As far as felons in the military getting guns, I just can't see the government prosecuting a felon for possessing/using the gun that that very same government handed him to possess/use.
(Its just not the same as if it were the ATF doing it:))

Old Dog
April 22, 2008, 10:16 PM
Pretty much the same ... "Anything you say can or will be used against you ..."

DMF
April 22, 2008, 11:35 PM
When you enter the Armed Services and are on a military installation or under direct command overseas, civilian laws do not apply. The UCMJ rules your life. (Well, the UCMJ and your sergeant.)Sorry, but that is simply not true. In areas of exclusive federal jurisdiction, a defendant can be charged under the UCMJ, charged under any applicable US Code violation, or charged with an applicable state crime that would be tried in a US District Court under the Assimilative Crimes Act. In areas of concurrent jurisdiction, which is the majority of property on military bases the person could be charged under the UCMJ, any applicable US Code violation, or in state court on an applicable state charge, as the jurisdiction is shared by the federal government and the state. In areas of concurrent jurisdiction, local LE can and does come on base to enforce the law.

I did military LE for a few years, and I assure that military people can and often do get tried in civilian courts for crimes committed on base.

DMF
April 23, 2008, 01:40 AM
I am aware of no codified exception to this rule for military personnel.


18USC925(a)(1)

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000925----000-.html

As I said earlier, there is an exception for LE and military personnel possessing firearms as part of their official duties. They may possess an issued firearm in conjunction with their duties, but are still prohibited from possessing other firearms.

Oana
April 23, 2008, 01:45 AM
Thanks for the specifics, DMF.

Interesting stuff.

JohnBT
April 23, 2008, 08:52 AM
"Personally I don't see why a felon who has finished their sentence and "paid their debt to society" should be denied their 2A rights."

As soon as they make full restitution to the victim or victims, and not a second sooner.

John

dalepres
April 23, 2008, 11:07 PM
But, aside from that rant, I would guess at the very least that the current administration would argue the President's power as commander in chief of the military trumps those statutes forbidding felons from possessing firarms, so long as it is for military purposes. I cringe when I hear about new powers claimed for the Executive Branch, but this would probably be a legitimate use of that argument. It would be interesting to know any specifics on this though, wouldn't it?

Huh? Do we have a king? A dictator? What am I missing in the constitution or the oath of office where the president swears to uphold some of the laws and not others?

dalepres
April 23, 2008, 11:14 PM
There are a lot of misdemeanors that today will "automatically" become "Felony" simply at the Judges discression. A "Felony" is any crime which has a punishment of imprisonment greater than one year.

In a recent trip to Branson, MO, I saw a sign in MO stating that the punishment for littering was up to $500 in fines and up to one year in jail... for littering. One day short of a felony and losing your right to bear arms for life... Scary stuff.

BigMike66
April 25, 2008, 07:48 PM
Personally I don't see why a felon who has finished their sentence and "paid their debt to society" should be denied their 2A rights. If they are safe enough to trust back out in society where they can easily get a weapon regardless of the laws... then they are safe enough to trust to legally own a weapon... if they are a likely menace to use law-abiding types then they should still be locked up.

Federal form 4474 firearms transaction record for every gun purchase has the question 11. c.:

"have you ever been convicted in any court of a felony..."

Maybe the powers-to-be have actually gotten something right.

I wonder why we have a sex offender database?

Flyboy
April 26, 2008, 12:45 AM
I'd be willing to bet that there are waaay more felons ( that haven't been caught yet) wearing blue
Funny enough, I read that as blue suits--IBM in particular is famous for 'em--and meaning white-collar "felonies," rather than legitimate, violent-crime actions.

For those who didn't catch my meaning, let me state it thus: if you can't be lawfully shot in the act of committing it, it ain't properly a felony.

Flyboy
April 26, 2008, 12:46 AM
I wonder why we have a sex offender database?
Because:
A) it allows the government to marginalize yet another group of citizens, and
B) it's the latest boogeyman (created by said government) to scare citizens into thinking the government is to the solution to their problems.

TAB
April 26, 2008, 04:33 AM
Because:
A) it allows the government to marginalize yet another group of citizens, and
B) it's the latest boogeyman (created by said government) to scare citizens into thinking the government is to the solution to their problems.


so it has nothing to do with the fact that most sex offenders will repeat thier crimes? Tell me, would you want to know if the guy down the street is a child molster? I know I would.

KD5NRH
April 26, 2008, 05:54 AM
For those who didn't catch my meaning, let me state it thus: if you can't be lawfully shot in the act of committing it, it ain't properly a felony.

Man, I wish they used that criteria the other way around - either other way, for that matter; if you can be shot for it it's a felony, or if it's a felony you can be shot for it. Either would reduce certain crimes here in TX.

dalepres
April 26, 2008, 11:05 AM
For those who didn't catch my meaning, let me state it thus: if you can't be lawfully shot in the act of committing it, it ain't properly a felony.

Those felonies where you can be shot while committing them would be known as violent felonies.

Flyboy
April 26, 2008, 11:14 AM
TAB:

Read Jacob Sullum's article "Registration Required" over at reason:
http://www.reason.com/news/show/35898.html

The Bush administration—which filed a brief in defense of Connecticut's registration law, the other statute the Supreme Court will consider—is a bit more cautious. "When they reenter society at large," says Solicitor General Theodore Olson, "convicted sex offenders have a much higher recidivism rate for their offense of conviction than any other type of violent felon."

The brief cites data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which show that rapists are more likely to be rearrested for rape than other offenders are. But that does not mean they are more likely to be rearrested.

Among prisoners released in 1994, 46 percent of rapists were arrested again for any offense within three years, compared to 62 percent of violent felons generally. Recidivism rates for nonviolent criminals were even higher: 79 percent for car thieves, 74 percent for burglars.

Even if we focus on repeats of the same offense, rapists do not stand out [emphasis mine]. Less than 3 percent of them were arrested for a new rape in the three years covered by the study. By comparison, 13 percent of robbers, 22 percent of (nonsexual) assaulters, and 23 percent of burglars were arrested again for crimes similar to the ones for which they had served time.

I swear, one of these days, I'll post this enough that everybody will have read it.

punchdrunk
April 26, 2008, 11:28 AM
(B) the transportation of any such firearm or ammunition carried out to enable a person, who lawfully received such firearm or ammunition from the Secretary of the Army, to engage in military training or in competitions.

gripper
April 26, 2008, 01:10 PM
What can I say...this used to be a free country...

LAR-15
April 26, 2008, 04:51 PM
OT:

They must be one of those folks who think child rapists should get a slap on the wrist

Sans Authoritas
April 26, 2008, 05:01 PM
jaholder1971 wrote:
Quote:
Personally I don't see why a felon who has finished their sentence and "paid their debt to society" should be denied their 2A rights. If they are safe enough to trust back out in society where they can easily get a weapon regardless of the laws... then they are safe enough to trust to legally own a weapon...if they are a likely menace to use law-abiding types then they should still be locked up

jaholder1971 wrote:
Why do have to beat this to death all the time?

It's been long established, 40 years now, that you commit a felony crime you lose RKBA. Don't like it, don't be a criminal!

A lot of folks like to believe the above quote but fewer are willing to have a felon recently released from prison live with them.

Jaholder, note the words in bold. The point is, nobody wants these violent felons released. Period.

-Sans Authoritas

Flyboy
April 26, 2008, 07:17 PM
jaholder1971:

I am hardly an apologist. In fact, Sans Authoritas has nailed it quite cleanly: if they're freemen, they ought to be treated as such, and if they can't be trusted as freemen, they ought not be out of jail.

That said, the article I posted was in no way apologizing for any sort of sex offender, but rather pointing out a factual error to which many people erroneously cling. Please read it; you may find it it enlightening to your worldview.

You might also want to keep in mind that "sex offender" is not synonymous with "child rapist." In fact, while certain elements of our political discourse actively try to conflate the two to play up your emotional response, the truth of the matter is that "sex offender" is growing to encompass an ever-widening scope of behaviour, much of it entirely victimless.

blackcash88
April 27, 2008, 06:53 PM
I don't know anyone that has not commited a felony.

Let me say that again.

I don't know anyone that has not commited a felony.

I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who haven't committed a felony. I'm not one of them but, honestly, looking back over my life, the only felony I can recall potentially being pegged for was carrying a firearm concealed in places I wasn't allowed to and that was a LONG time ago. This was before I got my first CCW permit. I've never stolen anything, murdered anyone, raped anyone, held up a bank, stolen a car, etc...

romma
April 28, 2008, 03:05 PM
It is Ironic, Here is your fully automatic machine gun, now go kill some people..

Uh, time to go home now soldier, Oh, you are not allowed to own firearms because you cannot be trusted btw...

rampage841512
April 28, 2008, 09:22 PM
Personally I don't see why a felon who has finished their sentence and "paid their debt to society" should be denied their 2A rights.
Part of the debt they pay to society is losing the ability to exercise that right within society.

Flyboy
April 28, 2008, 11:52 PM
Part of the debt they pay to society is losing the ability to exercise that right within society.
Not much of a right, then, is it?

Or do you think we ought to take away their right to choose their own churches? Maybe quarter troops in their homes? That'd keep them on the straight-and-narrow, and save tax dollars to boot!

zxcvbob
April 29, 2008, 12:08 AM
Up to, not exceeding, one year.

Please, you're going to have to dump a ton of dirty diapers on the lawn of the Mayor before you get that penalty. Sheesh!

You missed the point. The current definition of a felony is “a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year”. If a jail term longer than a year could have been sentenced, they're calling it a felony; doesn't matter that you were only fined $50 for that gum wrapper.

Robert Hairless
April 29, 2008, 01:33 AM
After some hesitation, the rules governing the enlistment of persons with criminal records were relaxed, and thousands of ex-felons joined combat units. Evidence showed that soldiers paroled from prison into the armed forces, as well as soldiers with felony records, were no more likely to be dishonorably discharged than other soldiers. . . . the service and dedication of former inmates to the war effort strongly demonstrated the potential for reformation.

The above is from The History of the Correctional Association of New York (http://www.correctionhistory.org/html/chronicl/cany/html/cany07a.html) and is about World War II, when ex-felons did serve in the U.S. military and acquitted themselves as well as other soldiers.

The concept of "ex-felon" seems to be unknown today.

In all fairness, the concept of George W. Bush was unknown then, even though there's no question in the minds of truly sophisticated people that he is the source of all problems in the universe.

But the concept of "scapegoat" has been known, and used, for generations and thrives today. It makes us feel good, lends us unearned superiority, and doesn't require any real thought.

LWGN
April 29, 2008, 02:50 AM
Felons who have served their time are, in many states, eligible to petition for the restoration of their civil rights, including the RKBA. In some states, these rights are automatically restored. In Florida, there is a board which hears rights restoration petitions (it is backlogged, no surprise there).

Former felons who have completed restoration of rights can even get CCW permits under certain circumstances.

Why shouldn't people who are eligible for restoration of rights not be allowed to serve in the military?

steppenwolf
April 29, 2008, 09:16 AM
I am all for the protection of women and children. I also believe that laws do step too far over the lines in labeling people for life. I have a friend that had consensual sex with his girlfriend that was seventeen and she cried rape but later changed her mind and told the truth to her parents. Thankfully, they apologized to the boy although they were still angry they had sex.

I have seen so much sex in highschool, college, and in life it is a wonder that the word virgin still exists at all. I teach my children what sex is, why God gave us the wonderful gift, and the why it should and should not be used. I am honest with them at appropriate levels during their developmental stages. I am preparing them to make informed decisions. I love them.

I do believe that violent offenders should lose their rights to guns but not necessarily for life. I have worked with felons of Class C and D and believe that many of them have no right near a gun due to stupidity and ignorance. Gun ownership is not something that should be dictated to the people by anyone unless a person has proven that having a gun would be dangerous.

We must ban together as men and teach the generations the fun, the sport, and the safety of guns. We must educate peacefully everywhere we can. Never yell or shout as it makes you look scary (that is how they will see you). Be calm, be in control, and be patient. Cast your votes. Write to your leaders afer someone has proof-read your work.

Show respect, dignity, authority, and leadership in all that you do. They will be watching and your fruits will tell what kind of tree (idiot or leader) you are concerning you and your guns.

jaholder1971
April 29, 2008, 07:54 PM
Like the idiot no-guns-for-white-collar felons, the "sex offender" crapola has also gone too far. Get caught peeing in public at 18?,... sex offender for life. An 18 year old have sex with his/her 17 +364 day old partner?.... sex offender for life.

I have no problems labeling someone a sex offender for life for rape, child molestation, etc. Sex laws that cannot differentiate between truly horrendous crimes and mere stupidity need an apology.

PUH-LEASE!!!!

Once more (with feeling):

You don't become a felon by accident. White collar criminals and those who have sex with the underaged know exactly what they're doing and know it's a felony. The old quote "15 will get you twenty" wasn't describing terms for a loan, friends.

For 40 years now, it's been established that you commit a felony, you lose RKBA. They commited crimes for which the consequences were plain and obvious. DEAL WITH IT!!!

jrfoxx
April 30, 2008, 01:05 AM
jaholder1971-
keep that in mind if you're ever out in a national forest, in the middle of nowhere hiking, hunting, camping, etc, need to take a whiz, and someone sees you. You just "urinated in public", knowingly, and could easily become a sex offender for life, and a felon. That a far cry from sex, even consentual, between a 20 year old, and a 15 year old, or 40 year old and 10 year old. The point is, the law is too braod, vague, and abused, and there ARE valid distinctions to be made, that sometimes aren't.

Vibe
April 30, 2008, 10:29 AM
Once more (with feeling):

You don't become a felon by accident.
Sorry buddy. But that is simply no longer true. You can become a "felon" just because you ticked off the wrong cop anymore. There are all sorts of people serving 5 to 15 for misdemeanors anymore, at the judges discretion . Anything over a year makes it a felony. And the SCOTUS has upheld the practice.

Art Eatman
April 30, 2008, 01:02 PM
This has wandered too far off from the topic...

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