VA Supreme Court rules on felons and guns

This is a discussion on VA Supreme Court rules on felons and guns within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Richard58 Felons never. They made their decision when they decided to commit the crime. Plain and simple... This might have made sense ...

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  1. #31
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard58 View Post
    Felons never. They made their decision when they decided to commit the crime. Plain and simple...
    This might have made sense back when a felony was a serious violent crime such as murder or kidnapping. Now when we have politicians who are changing what once were considered misdemeanors into felonies to look tough on crime in an attempt to garner votes I am not so sure. Jaywalking is but a stroke of the pen from becoming a felony.

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  3. #32
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    I agree with the idea a non-violent felon should be allowed the opportunity to have his 2A rights restored.
    Hmmmmmm................

    Andy Fastow, one of the major designers of the Enron fraud that was perpetrated on shareholders (many of whom not only lost their jobs but their retirements), was a non-violent Felon. Why should he be treated differently? He probably ruined many more lives than a convicted murderer.

    Ditto Bernie Madoff..............

    Leona Helmsley.............

    Why treat them differently? I find comfort in the "Felon" distinction, and this just does not rise to any level of concern on my part. I don't care a whit.

    Ask me how I really feel.
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; September 19th, 2012 at 11:44 AM.

  4. #33
    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    What good reason is there to deny Fastow access to a gun (once he's out of prison)?
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  5. #34
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    What good reason is there to deny Fastow access to a gun (once he's out of prison)?
    Because when he was convicted of a Felony he forfeit his rights. Action = Reaction; Action = Consequences; Personal Responsibility, Play Stupid Games and Win Stupid prizes.............. In short:

    It's part of the price convicted felons pay..............Punishment. Retribution.

    It is, and should remain, part of his punishment. Ask me if I care.

  6. #35
    Senior Member Array GeorgiaDawg's Avatar
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    I'm fine with felons getting their rights back after they served their sentences. However, I believe that we need to focus more on punishment rather than rehabilitation in our penal system, and put multiple offenders (3 strike rule?) out of society forever, so the question of re-establishing their rights would be made partially moot.
    "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

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  7. #36
    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    Because when he was convicted of a Felony he forfeit his rights. Action = Reaction; Action = Consequences; Personal Responsibility, Play Stupid Games and Win Stupid prizes.............. In short:

    It's part of the price convicted felons pay..............Punishment. Retribution.

    It is, and should remain, part of his punishment. Ask me if I care.

    Ah, sheer desire for punishment, I see.

    Any other of the enumerated rights you think he should have permanently taken away?
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  8. #37
    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blitzburgh View Post
    The laws about felons not being able to vote or bear arms have always bothered me. Of course one cannot cast a vote or bear arms while in prison but once you've 'paid your debt to society' all rights should be restored.

    20 years ago my uncle committed a felony, served his time and still can't own a weapon to protect himself or his family. I see something very wrong with that picture.
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    +1 I certainly agree. Doing otherwise just creates second class citizens, and supports the party doing it's best to cause the US to spiral into violence and a totalitarian gov't.

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  10. #39
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    Felons, Rehabilitation and Hugs and Kisses

    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckQue View Post
    Ah, sheer desire for punishment, I see.

    Any other of the enumerated rights you think he should have permanently taken away?
    We have another thread running here addressing the failure of many members of our society (or vast portions thereof) to accept personal responsibility. Is punishment the underlying motivation for me? I don't think that is the question, and to be quite honest here, your phrasing as in "sheer desire for punishment, I see" is condescending at the least.

    The operative question is: 1) Did they commit a felony, and if yes, should they suffer consequences?

    I answer the above question as "Yes", they should suffer consequences, which we as a nation of laws have determined include the right to own and bear arms and the right to vote. There are other rights lost dependent of the crime.

    So.....................I would re-phrase your observation as "Let a Felon Suffer Consequences and Take Responsibility for Actions" and see if I care.

    And....just to keep the earth flat, it concerns me that we as a Nation incarcerate as many as we do compared to other nations, but more importantly, is there a Rehabilitation Model somewhere that actually works versus rolls out older criminals? Examples? Countries?

  11. #40
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    When the GCA of '68 passed, was it right to disallow all PREVIOUS felons from owning firearms?

    When the domestic violence law passed Congress and removed the RKBA from persons with domestic misdemeanor convictions, was that right?

    If a law is passed to remove the prohibition against arms for felons, should it only apply to new felonies?

    Should Madoff's non violent felony be more serious than the felony conviction one lady got for possession of a single bald eagle feather she found in the forest and placed in a dreamcatcher she made for FLOTUS Clinton?
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  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    We have another thread running here addressing the failure of many members of our society (or vast portions thereof) to accept personal responsibility. Is punishment the underlying motivation for me? I don't think that is the question, and to be quite honest here, your phrasing as in "sheer desire for punishment, I see" is condescending at the least.

    The operative question is: 1) Did they commit a felony, and if yes, should they suffer consequences?

    I answer the above question as "Yes", they should suffer consequences, which we as a nation of laws have determined include the right to own and bear arms and the right to vote. There are other rights lost dependent of the crime.

    So.....................I would re-phrase your observation as "Let a Felon Suffer Consequences and Take Responsibility for Actions" and see if I care.

    And....just to keep the earth flat, it concerns me that we as a Nation incarcerate as many as we do compared to other nations, but more importantly, is there a Rehabilitation Model somewhere that actually works versus rolls out older criminals? Examples? Countries?
    Personally I'm of the mind that we simply have too many felonies in this country's law books. If someone commits a non-violent felony (and outside of just sheer theft of a lot of money or goods while someone isn't looking, I can think of very few things I think should fall in that category), their rights should all apply once they've served their term. If we removed all the people from prison who went there for "victimless crimes" like drugs and prostitution, and focused on people who actually threaten others, we'd have plenty of room for the thieves, murderers, rapists, etc. If someone is such a threat to society that they cannot be trusted with weapons, my question becomes, what are we doing letting them out of jail or the looney bin at all? Prison overcrowding is a common reason I think, and that could be solved by removing prohibitions against activities that we find offensive, but that don't actually victimize others. Getting serious about what is supposed to be one of the core functions of government, punishing genuine criminals, would remove much of the controversy over this issue, IMO.

  13. #42
    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    We have another thread running here addressing the failure of many members of our society (or vast portions thereof) to accept personal responsibility. Is punishment the underlying motivation for me? I don't think that is the question, and to be quite honest here, your phrasing as in "sheer desire for punishment, I see" is condescending at the least.

    The operative question is: 1) Did they commit a felony, and if yes, should they suffer consequences?

    I answer the above question as "Yes", they should suffer consequences, which we as a nation of laws have determined include the right to own and bear arms and the right to vote. There are other rights lost dependent of the crime.

    So.....................I would re-phrase your observation as "Let a Felon Suffer Consequences and Take Responsibility for Actions" and see if I care.

    And....just to keep the earth flat, it concerns me that we as a Nation incarcerate as many as we do compared to other nations, but more importantly, is there a Rehabilitation Model somewhere that actually works versus rolls out older criminals? Examples? Countries?
    Mea culpa on the condescending tone, apologies.

    How does losing the right to own a gun help someone 'take responsibility for their actions'? I can see how it causes them to 'suffer the consequences', but that would be true of any level of socially approved punishment. And, I'll ask again, are there others of the enumerated rights that you think he should lose?
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  14. #43
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    I'm taking a completely different tack on this article.

    Does it bother anyone else that the courts have decided that they have the only say in restoration of some rights? What happened to the separation of powers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Original article
    The justices added, "A person convicted of a felony in Virginia must first obtain an order from the governor removing his political disabilities as a condition precedent to his right to petition the circuit court for restoration of his firearm rights."
    Did the justices just decide this themselves, or is this the law in Virginia? I have no problem if it's the latter, but the former would constitute legislation from the bench worse than most.

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElkSniper View Post

    SNIP


    Did the justices just decide this themselves, or is this the law in Virginia? I have no problem if it's the latter, but the former would constitute legislation from the bench worse than most.
    It is the law.


    LIS > Code of Virginia > 18.2-308.2

    § 18.2-308.2. Possession or transportation of firearms, firearms ammunition, stun weapons, explosives or concealed weapons by convicted felons; penalties; petition for permit; when issued.

    ....

    C. Any person prohibited from possessing, transporting or carrying a firearm or stun weapon under subsection A, may petition the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which he resides for a permit to possess or carry a firearm or stun weapon; however, no person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to petition for such a permit unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. A copy of the petition shall be mailed or delivered to the attorney for the Commonwealth for the jurisdiction where the petition was filed who shall be entitled to respond and represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The court shall conduct a hearing if requested by either party. The court may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, grant such petition and issue a permit.

    ....
    The lower courts had gotten the law wrong. Supreme Court corrected them on the points of law sent the cases back for further review as to "good cause."

    IMHO. the requirement for the local prosecutors and judges to have a say in the proceedings, is important. BTW in practice that "for good cause shown" means more that "I just got out of prison" or "I've been out for a year and haven't been caught / convicted again, yet."

    The justices wrote that Kaine and McDonnell correctly exercised their constitutional authority in restoring political rights, and properly referred the question about the rights on firearms to circuit courts.

    "The jurisdiction to restore firearm rights lost in those circumstances is vested solely in the circuit court," the Supreme Court confirmed.

    The justices added, "A person convicted of a felony in Virginia must first obtain an order from the governor removing his political disabilities as a condition precedent to his right to petition the circuit court for restoration of his firearm rights."

    Such decisions, the court wrote, involve local concerns about public safety and should provide an opportunity for local prosecutors to have a say in the proceedings.

    The justices said the lower courts erred in concluding that the governors' actions precluded them from acting on rights involving
    firearms.

    The Supreme Court returned both appeals to the lower courts for further review.
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  16. #45
    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    What does a felon gain from starting to take responsibility for his actions?

    If "nothing", then why should he?

    Isn't "redemption" part of the Christian creed?
    DaveH likes this.

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