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?
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 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.