Lawsuit Could Set Precedent on Restoring Gun Owner Rights for Non-Violent Felons

By David Codrea

Since this guy can't be trusted, the obvious solution is to keep him away from the rest of us. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
David Codrea in his natural habitat.

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- A man convicted in 2010 for securities fraud who wants his right to own a gun recognized by the government filed a complaint Monday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Montana resident Gregory L. Reyes’ lawsuit names as defendants U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Thomas E. Brandon, Acting Director of the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Curiously, per Law360.com, Reyes “has hired Attorney General Jeff Sessions' personal lawyer.”

“Plaintiff challenges the complete denial under Section 922 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code of Plaintiff’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms solely and exclusively on account of his 2010 convictions for federal securities and accounting offenses,” Reyes v. Sessions declares.  “Section 922(g)(1) prohibits firearm possession by ‘any person . . . who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.’”

We can see that for ourselves. The question is “Should it?” And how does such a blanket ban enhance public safety or comply with a government prime directive “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”?

Reyes’ complaint make all the legal arguments his lawyers could amass, including arguing that the crimes for which he was convicted do not qualify under federal law as offenses to which a firearms disability apply. Under Montana law, it argues, he would be free to own guns.

As long as we’re talking the law, where in the Constitution — “the supreme Law of the Land” — is the federal government delegated powers to have any say whatsoever in gun ownership? Aside from Congress having authority “to provide for calling forth the Militia,” the only other clear mandate to all branches is “shall not be infringed.”

Still, as long as “We the People” are by and large content to allow usurpers to usurp and court precedent to trump founding intent, Reyes can either use the “legal” tools at his disposal to petition for restoration of recognition, submit to a mandate wherein the state considers his life not worth defending, or take risks that can ruin his life for good by disobeying “the law.”

If that law is not guided by justice, common sense and morality, what do we need it for?  Why would or should the governed give their consent to being unjustly and stupidly ruled?

Oh, but if you don’t want to do the time don’t do the crime, some unsympathetic “law and order” types will argue.  When they do, don't be surprised if they cite recidivism statistics.

What they’re doing is showing they believe in judging individuals based on the collective, and protests about their being gun owners notwithstanding, they not only believe in “gun control,” they’re giving credibility to the notion that it works. That’s what they’re really saying.

In Reyes' case, it doesn't matter if you don't like the guy or think he's all too representative of arrogant elites who skate by on things the rest of us would be in a world of hurt over. We're not talking about arming Charles Manson here, and if he's successful in his complaint, who knows how others might one day benefit from the precedent he could set?

“Anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian” is a maxim I’ve been using for years because it’s true. Recalling that the three greatest mass murders in U.S. history were reportedly initiated with utility knives, fuel oil and fertilizer, and gasoline and a match, and how many homicides are committed with blunt or sharp objects or even with hands and feet, why would you want to give a “prohibited person” access to those along with the freedom to move among the rest of us?

After all, if violent criminals are still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his 1973 classic “Gun Control,” equating their release from prison with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result.

Why not restore full rights to someone who can be trusted without a custodian? Does anybody think “prohibited persons” like Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby pose an existential danger to the lives and safety of anyone? And conversely, what sense does it make to open a tiger’s cage just because some arbitrary expiration date has been reached?

Chuck Schumer
Curiously, some “”law and order” gun owners are siding with Chuck Schumer.

Unfortunately, for now, Reyes’ lawsuit is the only legal option open to him.  That’s because, as Gun Owners of America noted in a May alert, Chuck Schumer is in complete agreement with all those unsympathetic gun owners arguing to keep all felons disarmed, regardless.

Let's hope none of them ever get convicted for inadvertently “violating” a tyrannical “gun law.”  Some of us have even done that on purpose.

Defiantly. And proudly. Knowing there are no “legal” remedies. And how there would be no shortage of condemnation from “our side” for “making everyone look bad.”

Tough. Disobeying disarmament orders is an old American tradition. And it sure beats the newer ones:

“For roughly 25 years, the ‘Schumer amendment’ to the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill has prohibited any federal funds from being used to restore anyone’s constitutional rights,” GOA explained. “So for much of this time, if a person were a veteran with PTSD, they’re out of luck. If they had a conviction for a federal regulatory offense — fifty years ago — they’re out of luck. They will NEVER get their guns back, thanks to Democrat Chuck Schumer.”

It’s not quite fair to just blame Schumer though, is it? After all, gun-owning voters gave Republicans majorities in the House and Senate along with the White House under the assumption that all that fundraising rhetoric and all those high grades for being “staunch supporters of the Second Amendment” were more than just hype to draw the rubes into the Big Tent.

On a tangentially-related note, some of us have been arguing for many years against “Project Exile” and its mandatory sentencing for felons caught with guns. We argued at the time that those pushing it had no control over who would be caught up in the net they were helping cast. We argued that non-dangerous citizens, including those disarmed through un-American “laws” like the Lautenberg gun ban, could be included in the haul and put away for a very long time (along with demonstrable proofs showing it wasn’t really working as hyped).

While researching another project, I came across a 2002 article validating such concerns:

“The majority of the defendants — 154 out of 191 — have no violent felonies on their records; two were illegal aliens with no criminal record at all. Among the 37 who do have a history of violence, seventeen did not use a gun in their previous crime. This means that just slightly more than one in ten of the prohibited persons prosecuted under Project Exile — twenty out of 191 — has a proven history of gun violence. Among those twenty, the most common charge was “felony menacing,” meaning the person had brandished a gun but hadn't pulled the trigger. Only four of the defendants had been convicted of actually shooting a gun during a crime.”

How about we put violent predators away until they can be safely released, and if they can’t, work out some sort of arrangement where they don‘t have free access to a fresh victim pool? How about if we charge and punish them for the actual crimes they commit?

And how about if a person has paid his debt, and established through his conduct he’s trustworthy enough to be reintegrated back into society, that he gets treated as a full citizen with all attendant responsibilities and rights?

Because again, if you can’t trust him, what the hell are you doing letting him out?

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 79 thoughts on “Lawsuit Could Set Precedent on Restoring Gun Owner Rights for Non-Violent Felons

    1. From the article
      “Because again, if you can’t trust him, what the hell are you doing letting him out?”

      Because bleeding hearts, Hollywood liberals and moronic politicians argue for releasing KILLERS, TRAITORS, ETC., ETC.
      If your a FELON it is your fault.

    2. Come on guys. It is time to stop talking and start some action. Please donate to Barry Michael’s law suit. This is the best chance we have at the moment so stop making excuses why you should not donate and get your check book out. You can whine and talk for the rest of you life and get nowhere or you can take action and make something happen. Please do the right thing. Thanks, Joel

        1. Thank you for your donation and yes I donated too. If only 5% will donate that will get this ball rolling. Come on people it is time to step up to the plate. If you can only send a few bucks, that is fine, send it. Every dollar will help.

    3. I am supporting Barry Michaels and his law suit and I am asking everyone on here to do the same. All you guys that are talking about wanting to get something started on this but don’t know where to start, well Barry has already got it started so if you are serious about doing something it is time to join the fight. Barry can’t do this alone but with our help we can get her done.

          1. Way to go. Thanks for your help. If you know others in the same situation please talk to them about donating as well. Thanks!

            1. The problem is we need a figure on how much is needed to continue.

              People like to know how much the bill is before the send a check .

            2. in donations sure doesn’t cover two years of litigation and a Supreme Court filing. Enough excuses from most of you who have money to buy a gun but nothing to support the effort. Barry

      1. 9th Circus, maybe a chance in the 5th.
        The Interstate Commerce clause is what needs to be attacked and how Congress passed this through. Without Interstate Commerce overreach there would be no 18 U.S. Code § 922 – Unlawful acts.
        If firearm us not in Interstate Commerce the rest of the law us null and void.

        https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922

        1. Barry, it looks like all they want to do is sit on their butts and whine about their situation and are not willing to lift a hand to do something about it. I guess they are all democrats and expect someone else to do the work and give it to them for free. What is the latest news?

    4. I decided to do something so I started a blog, http://www.restore2arights.com, I just registered it Tuesday and tried to start the blog page but did not get far. I used Bluehost and hope to figure it out. If any of you are website guru’s and want to lend a hand with development let me know. Not sure where this will go but worth a try.

      1. That website does not have a forum for communication. Only blog.

        We need a Group and a following or we are going to each be standing alone. I’m starting a group to communicate. It does not say anything about “Felon” or “ExFelon” so on Facebook to friends, family, and co workers it will be vague. Get in where you fit in, or not.
        At the very least we need the Relief of Disabilities funded for a case by case basis. Main goal is to allow ExCons to have Civil Rights just as they should have with every other Constitutional Right except the one that says, “Shall not be Infringed” and it is being infringed through Interstate Commerce. That is how it has to be challenged. Most everything else has been turned down. They do not even deferintiate between Nonviolent and Violent felons. What the hell is a law abiding citizen? When do you become a law abiding citizen again if you’ve been deemed unlawful? Some of us are Decades 19, 20, and even 30 years removed from infractions they were convicted to or coersed to a plea bargain.

        Open discussions hopefully can be started below.
        Relief of Firearm Disabilities

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/435505196958450/

        1. I agree. Right now it is like hearding cats to get people together. So finding a common place to communicate in real time is s good start. As it draws more interest and people get sick and tired of being treated as a 2nd class citizen and disenfranchised from their own unalienable rights. Then maybe it will grow and we have more means to afford a website or something. Right now I am just trying to steer people with like minded folks as we are a hell of alot stronger as a group/team than individually where the shut us down one by one.
          Where we go one, we go all. We stick together and grow our voices and votes to be recognized.

          Lawabiding reformed exfelons. Some of us are decades removed from our infractions that were Nonviolent. Why should we not be able to protect our families or go hunting etc. Are we 2nd class citizens? I beg to differ.

          Chuck Schumer denied our ability to petition for “Relief of Disabilities” in 1992 with Bill Clinton in the appropriations bill. The funding for this program through the ATF should be reinstated. Chuck Schumer has created this problem and it needs to be repealed or the entire 1968 GCA overhauled. We should have an avenue for restoration other than a Pardon that as you and I both know is extremely hard to get. Help us, help you. There are MILLIONS of us disenfranchised are we are watching and gathering.

          We need a group so we can communicate and work toward changing this unconstitutional legislation. With millions of Nonviolent law-abiding exfelons. We need to create a movement. It could be larger than the NRA with how many people the Goverment has disenfranchised. It is unethical and unfair to punish an individual for a lifetime for an infraction. The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and Bill of Attainder afford us our Inalienable God given rights. It is not a privilege, but a right. Let’s have our voices and votes heard! Let’s create a movement of disenfranchised lawabiding citizens. We are not 2nd class. Go to Facebook look up: “Relief of Firearm Disabilities” and join the group so we can have real time discussions. Copy and paste link below into browser https://www.facebook.com/groups/435505196958450/

    5. 3 years probation 1981 7apps to texas board pardons and paroles and you must weight 2 years
      to file a new one. I have field 7 times and until we take out the secrecy rule it is not going to chang thay donot have to tell us why thay turend us down .so good luck on your run for office .i am fighting a state that gave me
      voting right back .so i never mis a vote.
      I WILL BE STARTING A LAWSUIT AGAINST TEXAS IF THIS ONE DOS NOT GO TRUE.
      REED FLORIDA DECISION AGAINST RICK SCOUT. IT IS NOT FINEL.

    6. There needs to be a way ALL men and women Non Violent Felons all come together to demand legislation against Civil Rights Disenfranchisement. 5-7 Million people! That has a voice! Many that do have voting rights restored, but not all Civil Rights. Apply those votes in unity. Wake up America! Divided we fall.

      We need to be thinking how to get ALL felons together, maybe 1 Million man and woman march. If Felons come together as a group and be a voice for change. Bill of attainder, how can you continually be punished for a crime you have already once served 5, 10, 25 years ago! And now are a law abiding, tax paying, citizen.

      5-10 Million Felons is a larger group than the NRA.

      We can lobby also!

      Lets do this! Where we Go one we go all!
      Who’s in for getting it started?

      1. One possible way of approaching this might be to somehow make the restoration process based on a fee ($500/1000?). Then the money to do the work would not have to be appropriated and the process would be self funding. I am sure anyone trying to get their rights back could come up with a reasonable fee. Comments?

        1. I would happily pay such a fee. It is ridiculous that the law provides for application to the BATF for restoration of firearms rights but they will not accept applications due to funding restrictions.
          I had 2 nonviolent felony convictions 19 years ago and all of my legal obligations associated with the 2 cases were over nearly 12 years ago. I am 61 and those were the only convictions for felonies or misdemeanors in my entire life. I have been a benefactor member of the NRA for 30 years. I am extremely disappointed that I cannot apply to have my firearms rights restored despite never having been accused of any type of violence simply because a congressman found a way to skirt the law and not allow the BATF to do what they are specifically supposed to do under US law

      2. You can support my lawsuit or you can support my run for the U.S. Senate (www.BarryForUSSenate.com ) either way we are strength in numbers. Barry

      3. There should be a petition to the White House, filled with millions of signatures of reformed, law abiding “felons” who demand their gun rights back. Someone needs to create that petition. Someone should make a website. Make a YouTube or better yet, a Real.video channel where like-minded people can gather and network to fight for this cause.

        People change. I had a non-violent felony over a decade ago. Property crime while I was drunk. I changed my life around, gave up the booze, and became a productive, tax paying, law abiding person. Still am today. Yet, despite being an Army veteran, my gun rights were automatically “taken away” because of that felony.

        That felony and my only other felony, a 3rd DUI, have no bearing on who I am as a person today, other than the fact that I changed my life and am a better person now, and have been for over a decade. My “criminal history” is not who I am.

        Yet this culture of “background checks” and lifelong unforgiveness for those who committed crimes long ago and learned from their mistakes, and changed their ways, is destroying lives in many ways. Not the least of which, is taking away people’s right to defend themselves and their families from VIOLENT criminals.

        As a former Army soldier, I’m well trained with firearms, and would only ever use a personal firearm against another human being if they were threatening my life or the lives of any family members, or the other possibility is if I found myself in a situation where someone else’s life or lives were in danger from a violent criminal or terrorist, and I was in a position to stop it.

        I was trained in the Geneva Conventions, and would never be trigger happy or start unloading on someone for any reason other than those stated above, or if someone pulled a gun on me first. Other than for the obvious self-defense reasons, I wish to be able to go to the range now and then, do target practice, and also go hunting when desired.

        The notion of permanently taking away people’s rights after they are free and no longer committing crimes, goes against everything America stands for. We need to fight this tooth and nail. Giving people back the ability to defend themselves and their families could literally save lives in the future.

    7. True Story… some people have been convicted of a Felony simply because they didn’t have a Concealed Weapons License and didn’t have their firearm in a case when transporting it. Not the facts that it was legal, registered, unloaded, taken down, and inaccessible, just simply not in a case.

      Yet, since the 2nd Amendment states the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, and the fact that people where carrying open and concealed before during and after the 2nd Amendment was written and ratified without laws infringing upon them, it just goes to show how Tyrannical and Oppressive our Government has become, and is willing to be when ostracizing it’s citizens and their unalienable rights.

      So yeah, making all felonies the issue is just another form of mass punishment to keep the few smaller than the many. Without those numbers being in favor for Freedom. Slowly chipping away our rights, back into slavery; both Indentured and Domestic.

    8. The thing that I keep thinking about is the fact that there are 24 million x felons living here in the US. That is a lot of voices, a lot of votes and could be enough phone calls, e-mails and letters to tie up all the phone lines to Washington and flood every Representative with mail. I have always found that the wagon wheel that makes the most noise will be the first one to get greased. The only problem I see is finding a way to get up with all these people, get them on the same page, and get them to go to work on it. With 100% participation (which will not happen) the group would be about four times as strong as the NRA which has somewhere around five million members. You all know the power of the NRA so think about how much power a group this size would have. While you are at it, multiply twenty four million times $25.00 per head. The power to get something done is here. It just needs to be harnessed and put to work.

      1. Someone has to/should take the initiative. Figuring out how to reach out to disenfranchised excons is where we start.
        Not funding the “Relief of Disability” is a scam in which black balls the intent of how the law was written.

        Let’s figure out a way to communicate. Make a social network group? Then reach out to ministries, and probation and parole boards? Just thinking out loud.

      2. I usually vote democrat 99% of the time. If There was someone or some organization would be our champion, I would then become a one issue voter and donate time and resources. There are plenty of us out there you have family members who would vote the same.

        1. Libertarian is what all felons need to be looking at .
          Forget the republicans and the Democrats.
          Imagine a third party pulling votes from the big 2 . That is power .

      3. There’s a man named Barry Michaels he has done a class action lawsuit for non-violent felons to get their gun rights restored I’m part of the class action lawsuit at least I signed on to it I’m a non-violent one felony on my record 17 years ago and I would like to have my gun rights restored for my own personal safety in my home and to be able to hunt and teach my son hunting and firearm safety and I think it’s the infringement on my god-given rights which is what the Second Amendment is it’s a god-given right not a government given right. But I’ve never been convicted of anything violent in my life. I had my felony reduced to a misdemeanor but the state of California has already permanently Banned Me from owning a firearm. Which I think is unconstitutional and I think it’s wrong and unconstitutional to ban people who’s never harmed anybody from permanently being able to own a gun which leaves them to be victims or fall prey to Violent criminals.

      4. Let’s set up a process to gain interest and promote. I am willing to exchange contact info for the right reasons.

        We have to rally the people. It starts with us.
        Most people are too ashamed or just allow themselves to be oppressed. The TIME is now!

        Who’s in?

    9. Here’s an update on my Federal class action lawsuit from the Horse’s mouth. The 9th Circuit Panel affirmed the district court dismissal. We just filed a petition for rehearing en banc. Although the 9th Circuit wishes to “rest” on its binding precedent, none of the “precedents” actually involve a non violent, LAW ABIDING RESPONSIBLE citizen – which is the protocol for 2nd amendment rights set out by SCOTUS in its landmark DC v Heller decision. The “Phillips” case that they rely on as an example of a nonviolent felon utterly fails the Heller SCOTUS protocol because Phillips himself was not Law abiding. I’m besides myself how they do not get this and simply lump all felons together. My hunch is we may be heading to the Supreme Court. Michael Zapin. http://www.americansforcivilrights.org

      1. Sir:

        Re your cause “heading for the Supreme Court” given the antics of the 9th CIRCUS Court, that is the most likely direction, also at the risk of erroneous assumption, the only remaining direction. Good Luck there, especially respecting Supreme Court actions of late.

      2. The Federal Overreach is in “Interstate Commerce” that is how they were able to write the law in the omnibus bill at a Federal level and what needs to be litigated. If you do not violate interstate commerce that law is writing on the wall.

    10. I think it is absurd that the only INALIENABLE RIGHT that specifically states that it SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED UPON, is the only RIGHT that actually is greatly INFRINGED upon. And if a RIGHT can be taken away for something as minor as a traffic infraction, is it a right at all or is it just a privilege granted by a higher authority???
      If a person kills another person intentionally with their automobile by running them over, is convicted of some type of willful killing, pleas out to a lesser charge of whatever, does their time & is released from custody, they can still get another car, a drivers license and in fact can own an automobile while incarcerated. Maybe not even loosing their license at all. It seems to me that this driving and owning of vehicles “privilege” is more of an inalienable right that a privilege and vice versa. You get the point…

    11. Pretty much any time Chuckie Schumer takes one side of a political debate then the opposite side will always be correct.

    12. I wish they would let Ol’ Chuckles lose in San Francisco with all the weapons he could carry. Certainly would make a full day of confused news reporting. The anti prison left who don’t believe in sentencing criminals against the anti gunners. In the end we’d all win. Charlie could have a fun last day. We’d be rid of a few more libtards. California could pass a few more laws. The world keeps ona turn’n.

    13. “As long as we’re talking the law, where in the Constitution — “the supreme Law of the Land” — is the federal government delegated powers to have any say whatsoever in gun ownership? Aside from Congress having authority “to provide for calling forth the Militia,” the only other clear mandate to all branches is “shall not be infringed.””

      NO WHERE…But…you must not know about The NEW Second Amendment of the amended US Bill of Rights… (sorry, we no longer follow “proper procedure” for amending these pain in the ass listed rights)
      A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed EXCEPT:
      You are buying the firearms for yourself.
      EXCEPT: you are under indictment or information for a felony for which the judge could imprison you for more then one year.
      EXCEPT: you have been convicted of a felony or any other crime for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more then one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation.
      EXCEPT: you are a fugitive from “justice”
      EXCEPT: you are an “unlawful” user of or addicted to marijuana or any depressant,stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance.
      EXCEPT: you have ever been “adjudicated” mentally defective or you have ever been committed to a mental institution.
      EXCEPT: you were dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
      EXCEPT: you are subject to a restraining order restraining you from harassing, stalking or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child of such partner.
      EXCEPT: you have been convicted in a court of a MISDEMEANOR crime of domestic violence.
      EXCEPT: you have ever renounced your “United States” citizenship
      EXCEPT: you are an illegal alien
      EXCEPT: the firearm fires more then one round with the pull of the trigger
      EXCEPT: the firearms doesn’t have a vertical grip attached if it is a pistol
      EXCEPT: the barrel on a shotgun is not shorter then 18″
      EXCEPT: for sound suppressors
      EXCEPT: the rifle has a barrel no shorter then 16″. (It used to be 18″, but we accidentally sold some 16″ carbines to the public so we had to fix this and so we shortened the length to 16″ to cover our screw up.)
      EXCEPT: if it is a pistol there is no shoulder stock attached.
      EXCEPT: you carry it concealed, with a permit, which of course we issue and charge you for.
      EXCEPT: it has a magazine that can contain more then 10 rounds
      EXCEPT: the magazine is removable
      EXCEPT: it is black and looks scary
      EXCEPT EXCEPT EXCEPT…stay tuned for updated version. We the psychopaths who own you have now concluded that this new 2nd amendment is in force and effect and that you have no rights guaranteed by ANYTHING UNLESS you are in the “big club” which of course you are NOT. So screw your rights. We are in control of your television set, your phone, your computer, your air, your water and especially your pretend rights. Oh, and by the way, just in case you are wondering…we have ENFORCERS for this who are willing to shoot your children in the back, your wife in the head, burn down your church with 17 children inside just in case you think we are kidding.
      One other thing…none of these exceptions apply to us. We are allowed to have whatever we want to kill you and maim you any time we want for whatever excuse we want. Just take a look at some of the wonderful things WE get to have by looking up Dillon Aero on YouTube.

      1. @Mark, The SCOTUS found that the Gun Control Act is a constitutional exercise of Congress’s power to control commerce. That is a fraud, however. The founders never intended that Congress could diminish the enumerated rights of the people by using its Commerce control power or taxing authority. The elitist SCOTUS was just as scared of Bobby Seals and the Black Panther party as Congress and the president was.

    14. I could not agree more with Mr. Codrea, and some of you other folks. One thing I’ve noticed in this articles comments. The usual RINO blow hards that frequently expound on all matters pertaining to firearms are absent. Many of them are law and order types, who understand that they or none of their family members will ever be in this position. They are above any reproach, just because, they are who they are. As a NRA lifetime member, and legal gun owner, I have seen some very good people suffer this consequence. I believe in a standard that is equally applied, wherein an individual can reclaim his full rights. And do this without expensive lawyers and legal manuevers. I think a time frame of one being a citizen of good report, and showing character deserving of such rights, they should be restored. I have seen too many people manipulated and intimated with this law. I have seen spouses use it on one another as blackmail. Ignorance really is an excuse, if it were not so, Chuckie Schumer wouldn’t be a footnote in History. I’m very curious to hear from some of the regulars on this subject. If you can break yourselves away from your spelling, and diction ramblings, and hawking gun blogs to correct the less informed. Trust me, we pass laws everyday that will soon make us all outlaws.

      1. I always understood that once a person had paid their debt to society – in other words had served their time in jail and/or prison – that they were to have their full rights restored.
        Whatever happened to that concept?
        Unfortunately, the single greatest violator of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and its Amendments, as well as being the single greatest criminal enterprise in the United States, is the United States government. If you are the greatest violator of Constitutional Rights in United States, you are by definition the greatest criminal enterprise in the United States of America.
        Unfortunately, probably the single greatest crime it is guilty of is abusing its authority by denying people their constitutionally guaranteed and inalienable rights.
        I think that everyone needs to stand up and make as much noise as they possibly can, each and every time someone’s constitutionally protected and inalienable rights are violated by the United States government.
        After all, inalienable means that your rights cannot be diminished, reduced, restricted, or taken away.

      2. If people want the law changed, seems to me that need to get on to their “elected things” and keep on them seeking whatever changes in the law they desire. Posting on discussion sites will not “cut this salami”.

        1. Well, were not cutting salami. And many of us have been lobbying and contacting, these elected things. Taking uncomfortable bus trips together as a group to draw attention to this and other issues. Very rarely does the mainstream gun culture want to have a dialogue on this issue. They mostly just listen make some obtuse comment, and then pass the buck. Kinda like you just did…….

          1. I did not think, nor do now think, that my comments amounted to “passing the buck”. In any case, I did not so intend. It does seem to me that a few minutes spent on contact with the people who write the law might be more impactful than the same amount of time spent here. While I will admit to,never having ridden the bus, which you mention, I have spent significant amounts of time and effort communicating, or trying to anyway, communicating with legislators on various matters, writing Letters to The Editor too, some of which have been published.

    15. I have a possession of a controlled substance less than one gram felony conviction from 1997 but still cant get my rights back. I havent so much as had a moving violation since before 2000 but still not good enough. See, my conviction happened in cook county, illinois, the hardest place in the country to get a restoration of rights, PLUS I moved out of illinois and all the bad influences I knew there and because I am not an illinois resident, I don’t qualify to get a restoration of rights. I cant get one in the state I now reside because it has to be heard in the municipality where it was adjudicated, being cook county, illinois. Despite this being my first offense, non violent conviction, I can never file for a restoration unless I move back to illinois and even then I will still have to deal with the anti gun ideology that is strict gun policy in chicago. Some states restore rights after completion of any punishment levied by the courts. Some states there is a waiting period of a number of years after completing punishment. Some states, like illinois, you can never get them back unless you wait 20 years and then you must petition the court to be heard, and even then there no guarantee. There should be ONE national law on this or it should be up to the states where a person lives, not where they got in trouble.

      1. There is one law; and, under it, you have been screwed by Chuck Schumer. The US DoJ has the power to adjudicate your case and restore your rights. However, Schumer has pulled the funding for this program for many years. It is restoring funding for this program – which is already authorized by Federal law – that we ought to be fighting for.

        Too many of us PotG are doing you and others in similar cases a great disservice. By naievely insisting that ALL felons should have their rights restored automatically after release (or after parole is completed) they make your cause a non-starter. Voters are terrified that among “all” felons there must be far too many who are still dangerous. So, they won’t give the issue a moment’s reflection if we push for a blanket restoration of rights.

        The easiest path to provide some relief is to pressure Congress to resume funding this existing program. It’s already a law on-the-books; it just needs a line in the budget If we couldn’t accomplish this small goal, why would anyone imagine that we could restore rights for ALL felons.

        We PotG don’t have a good grasp of tactics. We want it ALL and we want it NOW! NOTHING short of that is worth considering. We would rather lose the war without winning a single battle rather than compromise our sainted principles.

        I’ll grant that we aren’t going to get funding for this program over-night. With funding, still many worthy felons will not be granted relief. Yet some would; and after these have been given releif, others would follow. And, then, maybe we could get some reform in the Prohibited-Person law.

        Nope; not going to happen. We PotG are all rugged individualists who won’t coalese around something that could be made to happen. Each of us insists on being ABSOLOUTELY Right and unwilling to compromise his sacred principles. Is this the way the Leftists operate?

            1. We need to know how many of us out here. I usually vote democratic. However if we/I had a champion for the restoration of those rights. I would vote along the party line.

    16. While some might look at this guy , being a major white collar, pressed trousers, shined shoes type, undeserving of consideration, the man did not commit a crime of violence, though his crime might well have done significant harm to others. Additionally, the restrictions pushed by Senator Schumer smell bad, a not uncommon situation re his antics.

    17. Yes if someone commits a non violent crime and a period of time say 5 years passes & he doesn’t commit any more crimes then he should be able to get his rights back. For instance an 18 year old steals a car but no one gets hurt he pays his price to society and a few years later ig no further offenses are committed then he should be able to get his rights back. Why should he be punished for the rest of his life for a stupid act he did when he was 18. Give him a second chance

    18. This case is an excellent one on which to make a point. There are probably lots more that are even better; e.g., a vulnerable women with an angry ex who has a fraud conviction. In any case, we should try to make the BEST of our argument, NOT THE WORST! After all, we are trying to achieve progress for SOME worthy felons; why promote the cause of ALL worthy felons while accomplishing NOTHING?

      “. . . where in the Constitution . . . is the federal government delegated powers to have any say whatsoever in gun ownership?” Nowhere. But, that isn’t the point. Instead, it’s a firmly established aspect of Constitutional law that if you commit a bad-enough crime (typically a “felony”) then you may be “dis-abled” of some of your Constitutionally-protected Rights. E.g., the Right to vote. Your Creator may have endowed you with a Right; but the Constitution “guarantees” that Right only so-far.

      It is bad tactics for us to argue (on behalf of worthy felons) that Congress lacks the Power to revoke 2A rights in cases where Constitutional Rights are vulnerable to dis-ablement. Would we argue that a State legislature has no power to deprive felons of the right to vote?

      Instead, we need to reach only so far as is necessary to get the “low-hanging fruit”. The cause of veterans was the lowest-hanging. Next, Social Security disability recipients. Now, we need to argue for the causes of non-violent criminals who served their time and those who were once mentally ill but have now recovered. If we can’t achieve relief for these, then we can’t accomplish anything for any other class of 2A-disabled people whose cases are less obvious.

      We should be undermining the voters’ BLIND FAITH in the justness and wisdom of gun-controls. Get voters to try to think about gun-controls in a light more favorable to liberty and rationality. This requires discipline on our part; to pick our battles with a view to winning one-step-at-a-time. At all cost, we must avoid a strategy calculated to lose the war without a single won battle.

      1. I have a question for Mark PA,
        I mean this with all sincerity. Could you point me to the section of the Constitution where it refers to disablement?
        I must confess to not knowing the constitution fully and as well as I should so would appreciate any help you can give me and pointing me to that specific reference.
        Thank you

        1. Chuck, you will not find what you are sincerely looking for in the U.S. Constitution. Losing ones civil rights due to conviction of a felony is Tenth Amendment police powers, so look to the statutes of your particular state.

          1. Civil rights and UNALIENABLE rights are two different things. The RIGHT to defend your life, liberty and property are UNALIEANBLE rights spoken of in the founding document. The Declaration of Independence. A FELONY as the Founders knew one was a HEINOUS crime. Not some BS paper crime like not filling out a form “properly”.

        2. Sorry Chuck, I’m pretty sure it’s not to be found in the Constitution. Also, respecting Wild Bill’s reference to the 10A, I don’t think that’s a complete answer to disablement. Assume, for a moment, that disablement is NOT an enumerated power of the Federal government. Well, then, the several States retain that power. Moreover, the States are explicitly granted the power to set the qualifications of their voters. (Albeit that power has largely been diluted away.) One case – specifically – is that the various States vary on whether and when they allow felons to vote. The power to dis-able is probably to be found in traditions, and likely inherited from England. We PotG are students of the Constitution. However, there is more to it than simply reading the text of the original document and amendments. We are being naive if we imagine that reading the text qualifies us as Constitutional scholers. As a practical matter, what good does it do us to believe something – “X” – if: not a single judge anywhere in the US agrees with us. No majority of either chamber of cCongress agrees with us. And, the President will use his resources to apply SCOTUS’s decision? No matter how sincere our beleif in “X” might be, it’s a non-starter. There is no alternative but to coalese our political power in the voting booth and elect Presidents and Congress-critters who will respect our viewpoint.

    19. America is really great about forgiving transgressions, giving second chances, even third, fourth, fifth (deported illegals) etc, except for our own citizens. Once convicted of a paperwork felony you are considered to be the same as a first degree murderer. It’s time to reconsider how we treat our own.

      1. @Howard, it is also time to consider how we treat the aliens, which aliens can be come one of us, and how and why those aliens can become one of us.

        1. @WB, I do you believe you have your finger correctly placed on this issue. Much must be addressed to correct this issue that seems like a simple task. In my state it can be as simple as the right lawyer, and a particular judge. Or, It can inflame ones own case if he fails at the first attempt for restoration. The alien, immigration issue, concerning this cannot be unaddressed. I gratefully live in an open carry state, where most folks are never challenged. But a felon being in any proximity to a firearm is a very slippery slope in the same state. It leaves much open to interpretation to the law officer in question. And not only can the felon be charged, but an unknowing carrier around said felon can be charged, left to the understanding of the law officer and ultimately the courts. Very seldom does a felon, or one charged in enabling him, defend himself
          successfully in these courts. It is a risk and a threat, hidden, as it were, to anyone who is in control of a firearm. We all need to be aware of our state statutes. Concerning said firearm exclusions. Many state laws are even applied to those that only have been charged with a felony, but not yet convicted. It is so in my home state, and two bordering states. A slippery slope, yes indeedy.

        2. “aliens” is rather a large class of people. It includes those who suffered the paperwork, time (sometimes years), costs (sometimgs multiple thousands) and suspense while waiting for that paperworl. Sometimes the permission comes bery quickly. But for everyone in that “class”, it comes, and they wait to enter, or to begin behaving like a resident, and it comes before they begin enjoying the sweet fruit of their patience persistence, payments.

          The other class of alien is rather “other”…. they care not a whit about any law, proceedure, requirement, they just up and invade, breaking the laws concerrning residence, and here they are. They have broken our laws to get here, or to remain here once arrived. Most are the ones costing billions in welfare, additional education needs, medical, low income housing subsidies, etc, and few have any desire or intention to integrate into and become part of our culture. At any moment they can, and do, up stakes and leave the US. Many manage to get here via help of unscrupulous “agents”, tyically of the drug cartels. THEY get reasonable salaries but the ones being “imported” pay, and the organisation gets rich….

          So, when you mention “aliens” make sure you specify which class of them…. they comprise two radically different groups. And only one of them can ever legally become “one of us”. Or ever legally own guns. The question of “which aliens can become one of us” is already clearly answered.

          1. @Tionico. Yes, my reference to aliens was very confusing. And it may not have been with the same intent as WBs.With my limited legal understanding I will try to explain my words. Several states have and will make exception to an alien carrying arms. With no knowledge of prior life. A year ago, I actually believed a non resident could not be in law enforcement in these United States. I have found this now to be false. For whatever reason, they are locales where non residents are serving as LEOs. I believe this has actually become an issue in Colorado. Someone please tell me I’m wrong, but I believe it is true. In one state in particular, a immigrant can bear arms at the behest of his employer on employers property, such as in agriculture settings. But in the same state, a individual is required by law to keep firearms from known criminals. And, can be charged with this crime, even if an offender had not been convicted, only charged. What a conundrum. As far as illegal immigrants, call me biased, but how can their rights even compare to a U.S. citizens. I hope this has clarified my point. I always enjoy your contributions. I think Mr. Codrea is hoping to get a dialogue going on this issue. Not only here, but with gun owners across our great country, and rightfully so, it should be done. In total disclosure, two years ago, I had no inkling of the abuses that this situation had perpetuated. I now think it may be the biggest danger we face. If they can’t outlaw guns, simply outlaw who can possess them. It’s elitism at its best. It’s the reason the King was defeated by colonial lll% ers. They learned their lesson. We, and our rights are in grave danger my friend. Many thanks for your words. I should have been more clear.
            Always in Liberty.

            1. “. . . a non resident could not be in law enforcement in these United States. . . . ” I wonder if you meant a ‘non-citizen’. I don’t have any knowledge one-way-or-the-other, but I would find it hard to imagine a LE agency giving cop status to a non-resident who is a non-citizen.

              In any case, this alien thing is a big can of worms. First, we should note that it is fairly clear that a green-card holder probably does have the RK&BA because they are construed to be members of the class “the people” in other contexts by SCOTUS rulings. (And, this is fair. E.g., my wife is not a natural-born citizen. She lived under her Green Card for decades in the US; escorting our children. Why deny her the RK&BA – thereby denying our children the right of an effective self-defense – merely because she wan’t a citizen at the time?)

              Backing up to first principles, “all men . . . are endowed by their Creator with the right . . . to life”. Do we believe this? If we do, then where do we find in this text that our Creator had in mind only Americans? Perhaps she had in mind only Virginians, not Pennsylvanians. Jefferson – when referring to “my country” – meant Virginia, not the United States of America. Do the People of Venezuela or Mexico or Syria have a right to life? (I may not lay-down my own life to protect the RK&BA of Venezuela. Yet, on the other hand, my conscience forbids me to erect any barrier in the path of any Venezuelan.)

              This gives rise to a question as to how to treat aliens; whether they happen to be on US soil by lawful means other than a Green-Card; or, on other soil. Likewise, Cubans or Syrians, etc. The 2A did NOT guarantee the RK&BA to “all men”; it erected a guarantee only to We “the People” of the US. Aliens bear arms in the US at the pleasure of Congress; the 2A does not apply. Aliens shop in the “Arsenal of Democracy” at the pleasure of Congress and Eric Holder.

              If Eric Holder sees fit to ‘run guns down to Juarez’ for the Sinaloan Cartel, he has that “Power”. Congress has confirmed that he had that Power because it has done nothing to bring him to account for Fast & Furious. At the same time, Congress continues to forbid any Mexican campesino from shopping in the “Arsenal of Democracy” in order that he might protect his family. Congress has that Power; and it exercises it at OUR pleasure – we the voters.

              There are lots of aliens on US soil for various reasons. Some are illegal; others, perfectly legal. They may have business visas, student visas, worker’s visas, or simply a visa allowing them to shop on the US side of the border. What do we the PotG think of all these aliens? Do we deprive them all – under a broad blanket – of their God-given RK&BA? Under what rationale, exactly?

              Or, do we discriminate? Those who are here illegally in one class; those here legally in another class? Among those here legally, might some be permitted/licensed to purchase, keep and bear arms? Which ones? All/some/none?

              I do not suggest that our answer to the question about aliens is a really important question that we should invest energy in solving. It is merely a philosophical question. Just exactly what is it that we believe; why? If we thought that the legal Mexican campesino has an equal right to shop at an FFL in Laredo, then what would that imply as to the laws concerning NICS checks, 4473 forms and eligibility of Americans to shop at an FFL? What would it mean to the state of civil-order in Mexico if all its citizens – not just those who are members of the Sinaloa cartel – could shop in an FFL? What would it mean if the citizens of Mexico – or Venezuela or Syria – had the sovereign power of their respective Peoples to alter or abolish their systems of government? Might they be able to sort-out their own affairs without quite so much help from the US Marines?

              My philosophical question here – about aliens and the RK&BA – might be of no real consequence to us as Americans. It may just be an amusing question. Even so, the Founders deemed a “well regulated militia” to be “necessary” to the “security of a free state”. Did this conclusion apply exclusively to the US? Or, if we were to ask the Founders if it also applied to Englishmen, or Frenchmen, etc. might they have explained that it applied to every state? If they thought it applicable to all peoples, then might they have understood that we might make fewer deployments of US Marines in other countries if only we allowed the peoples of those countries to shop our gunsmiths for their natural RK&BA?

          2. @Tio Nico, Yes, the answer is clearly in federal law, which the Oblabla administration ignored; and the Trump administration is gearing up again. But I think that the federal law needs to change from Ted Kennedy’s everybody and their relative classes of aliens to only aliens with skills that Americans do not have (not including language skills that Americans do not have).

        3. @WB…Speaking of aliens, I have began to wonder if ts or xx or whatever is an illegal, and if soros is paying cash under the table, there by not paying taxes. Probably not or he would have been bragging about it.

    20. There should be no Gun Control Act. Any and all chipping away of the GCA is a good thing. Repeal of the GCA and the National Firearms Act (NFA) would be even better.

      1. Conceptually, this IS a good argument. Practically, it falls apart. Voters will acknowledge that some violent felons – the Charles Manson types – must be kept locked-up for life; or, at least, until they are severely impaired by old-age.

        What we fail to recognize is that voters are also aware that taxpayers will NOT keep MOST violent felons in expensive prisons long-enough to dissuade them from their chosen path of violence. Voters realize that MOST violent felons WILL be released and MOST of these will commit another violent crime. Voters understand that they would be better off paying the price of another year in prison for every violent criminal in order to spare themselves the cost of violence. Yet, voters are not likely to re-calculate their appetites for more taxes and less crime. This is where we are; and, changing this attitude is not going to be a cost-effective approach.

        The very best argument we have is this: “The best gun control is enforcing felon-in-possession. It’s not a perfect solution; nor is it even good-enough. Yet, IF any gun-control offers any potential to improve violent crime, this is the one we ought to be enforcing.” After a violent felon has been released or paroled, he should – for a time – remain a “prohibited-person”. After he has lived in peace for a few years, he should be allowed to plead for re-enablement of 2A Rights. Nope! We won’t make that argument.

        The only argument we will make is that ALL felons – violent or not – who are released from prison automatically “deserve” their RK&BA restored AUTOMATICALLY and IMMEDIATELY. It bothers us NOT AT ALL that such a proposal is a non-starter; that it promises to provide relief to NO worthy candidate. But, it’s great “virtue-signaling” as is characteristic of the loony-left. We are purists!

        Have we PotG the capacity to think through our tactics? Or, are we prepared to virtue-signal all the way to the lion’s den?

        1. @MarkPA. All your comments are noted. You evidently have quite a passion for this issue. You have brought out many points of contradiction, not on your side, but simply because legaliam is always convoluted, by virtue of what it is. Everybody wants to get from point A to point B the quickest route. In time, side roads and short cuts are built to accomplish same. Some routes are so filled with obstructions that it even deters travel. Some routes cover terrain and rediculous direction that no one can sensibly travel that way and are meant to deter travel. Thus is our legal system. We think only recently, bad actors have began to attack our Constitution, but it’s been going on for years. There are statutes and laws that lie dormant until a particular defense is in question, or offense, as the case may be. If you ever wonder about attorney fees, researching and verdict comparisons are the money suckers, not actual Court time. Thus, it is a slippery slope of travel. Because everyone (states), have injected route change requirements on a road running straight uphill. The abuses of this issue are simply to numerous to even mention here. And they concern law abiding persons. The gun haters will eventually use these laws on all gun owners. Strangely, many court officers, and law enforcement, who appear to be constitutional thinkers and believers appear benign to the fact that they are enabling the very act of violating the Constitution.

          1. You are very charitable. We are the only people who were given not only a Constitution, but also a users manual. See the Federalist Papers; and, also, the Anti-Federalist Papers. We were warned about mere “parchment barriers”. Maintaining our rights was not for the faint of heart.

            Too many of us think that it suffices to read the Constitution and then pontificate. Strategy and tactics matter not-at-all. These of our fellows have not studied how we lost our gun rights; nor how we have allowed so many other rights to whither away.

            I’m despondent about how rare it is to see a remark in any of the gun blogs that seriously address the strategy and tactics issues. Some posters are altogether too eager to compose intemperate posts that the Antis use to paint the PotG with a broad brush. Are such posters plants whose deliberate intentions are to defame the PotG? Some posters argue for some simplistic measure that is really a non-starter: ‘The 2A is my gun permit!’ How does that advance the ball one inch?

            I don’t think the war in defense of the 2A will be won in a single battle; nor, will it be won quickly. I see no really obvious path to try to rally the troops to follow. I see altogether too many paths. Some are counter-productive; worse so if they are sincerely pursued. Some are distractions; they neither hurt nor help. Others would be – individually – constructive, but they dilute our efforts. Gee, if the enemy is fanned out in an arc of 180 degrees, all we have to do is spray and pray and some of our bullets will hit home. No point in finding a weak point in their lines and charging to take that single objective.

            As a prominent leader in the movement once remarked to me (in a private conversation): “Some times our members are our own worst enemies”. Can we coalesce? It’s not impossible; the Progressives learned to do it.

            1. Well, your heads on straight. And your in the right crowd. Mr. Codrea and his devious mind that he uses for good, has set my head to spinning more than once. And some of these folks that comment here have taught me much about digging for facts, intelligent debate, and questioning my own first thought on what I see, hear, and read. It will not only be a long fight, evil is with us always. We must stand therefore, until we disconnect from this mortal state.

              Always in Liberty.

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