Lifetime Gun Prohibition for Non-Violent Offender Shows Need for Restoration Reform

Chuck Schumer seen enjoying time shooting a Tech 9 Assault Pistol with a high cap magazine.
Schumer is interested in infringing on the right to keep and bear arms, not restoring it.

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “When I was 18, I was arrested and charged with felony retail theft for theft of $479 worth of clothing at a Chicago mall,” a young man whose name  I’m withholding told me in a recent email. “State law of Illinois says any value of retail goods above $300 is a felony.

That was a bad decision, no way around it. He regrets the hell out of it, and has since striven to learn from his poor choice and to lead a productive and law-abiding life. But now he’s a “prohibited person,” forbidden by law to touch a gun. And unless he can figure out a legal way around that, it’s a life sentence.

The young man’s attorney tells him he’d spend thousands of dollars and reminds him how being only a few years removed from his sentencing makes any attempt to restore rights unlikely to succeed. State attorneys would object and the chance of a pardon under Gov. Bruce Rauner “is near 0%.”

Still, there might be another way.

“Ken Buck of Colorado, a congressman, currently has an amendment to a House Bill that appears to allow non-violent felons the ability if said law were to pass to apply for lawful right to bear arms,” my correspondent claimed. “I am curious if you have heard of this bill and what you know about it and if it would pertain to my situation given that his bill is for federal relief and my felony is state-issued.”

Buck has introduced such an amendment before. It sought to overturn “an appropriations rider by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which cuts off all funds for the implementation of BATFE’s system to restore Second Amendment rights.”

What Schumer has been doing is blocking funding for a provision in the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act. Per Gun Owners of America in an alert last May, that provision “would allow persons subject to a gun ban to regain their constitutional rights.

“Make no mistake about it: The procedure is no ‘piece of cake,’” GOA admitted. “A person has to convince the ATF that they don’t represent a danger, or, failing that, they have to convince a federal court.”

So now that Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House, why hasn’t the Schumer obstruction been overturned?

Does anybody see any recent movement by any of the major gun groups to lead the charge on this? Has anyone reading this written to those groups or to your representatives about this?

That’s why.

It’s easy to dismiss this young man’s concerns since his troubles aren’t ours, and since they were ultimately brought about by his actions. But just think of all the ways gun-grabbers are trying to expand the list of those with imposed firearms disabilities, and imagine it happening to you. As we’ve seen, a lifetime prohibition can be imposed for something as simple as throwing keys, or tearing a pocket. Or for refusing to comply with citizen disarmament edicts.

“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.”

There’s no good reason why Schumer’s lifetime disarmament demand should be what prevails. But odds are it will.


About David Codrea: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.

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Darren
Darren
2 years ago

I believe all felons should get all their rights restored after completing their sentence with the exception of one particular type of felon. That being a person who commits a violent offense with a firearm. This felon is the most dangerous to society in terms of physical harm and very likely to repeat the offense. To me if your going to ban someone from owning a firearm, that person should be banned from ownership based on his past misuse of that firearm, not based on his past misconduct in any other regard.

James Higginbotham
James Higginbotham
3 years ago

back in the old days once a prisoner paid his debt he was let out of prison and given his gun back.
all those so called FELONIES THAT ARE FEDERAL, IS BS it’s all about making people FOREVER RESTRICTED PEOPLE.
and there is NOTHING in the Constitution that even says one is FOREVER SENTENCED FOR LIFE FOR A CRIME.
and BTY’ ALL SLIME POLITICIANS WHO DON’T KEEP THEIR OATHS TO THE CONSTITUTION, ARE THEMSELVES CRIMINALS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.

MarkPA
MarkPA
3 years ago

The question you allude to is whether the founding generation (who ratified the 2A) considered it an “infringement” to deprive a convicted felon (after serving his sentence) of his natural right of self-defense; and, the right to arms as a means to that end. I think that this is – fundamentally – the Constitutional question. I haven’t seen any quotations of contemporaneous (late 18’th Century) writings that spoke to this issue. Perhaps they exist, but my readings are too limited to have encountered them. Just as likely, the conventional wisdom of jurists on this point is substantially without foundation; e.g.,… Read more »

NorCalVor
NorCalVor
3 years ago

I know of a gentlemen this was sent to prison for being a conscientious objector (the most non violent of all offences) during the Vietnam era. Hence having the term felon attached to his name forever. Has always been a 2A supporter. Has always had firearms, and always will. Luckly living in rural Northern California he has flown under the radar for many years.

JDC
JDC
3 years ago
Reply to  NorCalVor

What most people don’t know is that you can file as a CO with the selective service and either serve in a non-weapons carrying capacity in the armed forces, or you can do alternative service, which is doing something not in the military. https://www.sss.gov/consobj The people who run afoul of the law are usually not Quakers or Mennonites who file with selective service as CO’s, but Jehova’s Witnesses which enjoy the protections and lifestyles of this country but refuse to acknowledge any government and will not register. I too know a guy who was a convicted felon as a CO…he… Read more »

Raymond J Gould
Raymond J Gould
3 years ago
Reply to  NorCalVor

Until his ‘friend’ narced him out on a public forum! Bwahaha J/K

Tionico
Tionico
3 years ago

So I suppose one valid interpretation of Illinois laws might be this: If yer gonna be a dirtbag and play lightfingers with retail merchandise, and “need” more than $300 worth, make two trips, either on two separate days or to two different establishments, and in each “action” lift no more than $299 in sticker price, perhaps including sales tax. This is a stupidlaw, obviously the result of retail merchants as a special interest class lobbying their Bought Boys in the Marble Zoo to pass this law favourable to them. Do I advocate theft from merchants? Of COURSE not. I am… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
3 years ago

there are far too many deeds listed as “felony” in federal and state law. One egregious example is the class of “enhancement” charges mounting to felonies when one is in simple possession of a “prohibited substance” and also happens to be otherwise lawfuly armed. The Feds pile on a felony possession of gun whilst committing another offense, many of whichshould not be an offense in the first place. These are “technical” felonies and should get labelled a sifferent class. In my county, rather rural in a big part of it, I understand it is a felony to shoot a cat…..… Read more »

Q.
Q.
3 years ago

Even possession of small amounts of drugs in Massachusetts is a lifetime ban from ever getting a license to carry. I know someone who was turned down because of a marijuana conviction in 1971 (2 joints). He would be able to get it now that pot has been decriminalized here, but he died of old age before that could happen. It doesn’t matter how many years you go without incident. The jerk who almost killed me in a road rage incident (I was a passenger in a car that had nothing to do with it) however, now has his drivers… Read more »

Alan
Alan
3 years ago

Note the lack of eye protection.

durabo
durabo
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” (and then, naturally, blame the gun)

Hunter427
Hunter427
3 years ago
Reply to  durabo

I think I can make out his horns

Hunter427
Hunter427
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan

I wish he looked down the barrel while someone checked the trigger pull

Granny Grunch
Granny Grunch
3 years ago

Note the smile. Bet me he is imagining NRA Republicans in his sights.

SK
SK
3 years ago
Reply to  Granny Grunch

I noticed it looked like he was enjoying himself.

MarkPA
MarkPA
3 years ago

We are, as usual, our own worst enemies in the matter of restoring 2A rights. The Absolutists among us insist that no one – under any circumstances – may be legitimately bared from the use of arms. For the sake of argument, let’s suppose they are right; they have checked their position with God and She has told them so. Now, then, how do we imagine that we will persuade voters to urge their Senators and Representatives in Congress to go along with this position? We would do a far greater service to sympathetic cases, such as the one cited… Read more »

SuperG
SuperG
3 years ago

Obviously Chucky is not going to budge, but I think it can be done if you lobby his puppet masters. Goldman Sachs have given him over $500K, Citi Group over 500K, Paul Weiss Et Al over 400K, and J.P. Morgan over 330K. Start writing the CEOs of his corporate owners and maybe you’ll find one or two sympathetic.

JDC
JDC
3 years ago

This is a tough subject, as most drug dealers are also classed as “non-violent offenders” even if they are gang members. Usually they get caught after a long history of crimes against society. If they are felons, chances are that the cops have had run ins with them in the past. Also, in most states, felons lose their right to vote. I’m sure someone will argue that if you restore gun rights, you have to restore voting rights. Guess what I’m saying is that while I was growing up “convicted felon” meant you had stepped so far out of societal… Read more »

Vanns40
Vanns40
3 years ago
Reply to  JDC

I agree with the comment by Missouri Born. Where is all that compassion that the Liberals love to talk about? If we follow their logic we might harken back to the scarlet A days. Why not bring back debtors prison while we’re at it? If you’re intent on denying one Right why not others? No free speech for convicted felons, no driver’s licenses either. You’ll pay for your crime forever! Ridiculous? Yes it is. Just as ridiculous as denying someone the Right to defend themselves AFTER they’ve been punished for their crime. If society considers them so dangerous that they… Read more »

JDC
JDC
3 years ago
Reply to  Vanns40

Vanns and Missouri Born (as am I) I appreciate your thoughts. Great to see the folks here keep the discussion civil, for sure. I don’t think of this as in black or white terms (and not referring to skin color here). If you indeed believe that a felon has paid his/her debt to society, then are you also against sex offender registries, three strike laws, loss of voting privileges and federal employment and such? If you believe as Montie does that any non-violent crime can’t be a felony, then there is no felony DUI, or drug possession or felony theft… Read more »

Henry
Henry
3 years ago
Reply to  JDC

“I’m sure someone will argue that if you restore gun rights, you have to restore voting rights.”

Yes, that would be Democrats. But they are continually arguing to restore the voting rights of all felons regardless (because it means votes for them), so don’t expect any real opposition on this front.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=restore+vote+felon&t=osx&ia=web

durabo
durabo
3 years ago

Re the photo: Nice of “Scummer” to wear ear protection…but where are his protective glasses?

MontieR
MontieR
3 years ago

Non violent offenses should NEVER be felonies.

GomeznSA
GomeznSA
3 years ago
Reply to  MontieR

Really? Does that mean that Bernie Madoff should have been treated ‘differently’?

Missouri Born
Missouri Born
3 years ago

What happened to the old saying serving your sentence is paying your debt to society?
Non violent offenders should have their rights restored one time and one time only, if they learned their lesson we will never hear of problems from them again.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
3 years ago
Reply to  Missouri Born

, It is just a saying.

Roy D.
Roy D.
3 years ago
Reply to  Missouri Born

It has been my experience that most people with felony convictions have committed violence either during that crime or in their past. Unless each case were to be examined individually, which would cost a lot of time and money, there is no way to accomplish the goal. Now maybe if the person requesting the restoration were to pay 100% of the cost it might be worth doing; but, that is the only way I would consider it being done.

Chiefton
Chiefton
3 years ago

But a politician convicted of a felony can continue to run for office and a writer or editor who lies and slanders individuals can continue to write. Neither of these folks lose their constitutional rights for the remainder of their lives here on earth. I do agree with this being part of a sentencing for a violent felon offender but do not believe that should be the case for non violent felons such as shop lifters. Where does it end if we let this continue?