Ex-Cons Get Gun Rights Back Easily
'It's kind of spooky, isn't it?' says felon
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2011 3:44 PM CST
Several states allow ex-convicts to purchase guns after only a brief hearing.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A felony conviction shouldn't stop an American from owning a gun—right? So say several US states, including Kansas, Ohio, and Minnesota, which often restore firearm rights automatically to ex-cons, the New York Times reports. Several other states restore gun rights after a pardon or a brief petition. If this sounds surprising, it should: There's a federal law against it dating back to the 1960s. But the NRA backed legislation in the mid-1980s that left the matter essentially up to each state.

Studies show that ex-cons who own guns are more likely to end up charged with another crime—and ones without guns are 20% to 30% less likely. The Times looks at cases of felons who were allowed to buy guns, and found they eventually committed a serious crime—like a drive-by, a pistol-whipping, or the drunken murder of a friend. One pro-gun lobbyist insists that states can stop felons who "should be able to get their gun rights restored," but one ex-con was amazed to get his gun rights back. “It’s kind of spooky, isn’t it?" he says. “We could have all kinds of crazy hoodlums out here with guns that shouldn’t have guns.”

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Showing 3 of 26 comments
Nov 17, 2011 4:00 PM CST
So if i am busted for having an ounce of weed do my time and turn over a new leaf, pardon the pun, i shouldn't be able to own a gun? If i miss paying my taxes like Wesley Snipes and go to jail, should i not be able to own a gun? Oh real quick, BTW, Kansas, Ohio, Minnesota and all those EVIL flyover states have one thing California, New York, Georgia et al dont have..... wait for it..... no gun crime issues from former felons. Weird. So i can get pardoned for felony DUI (3xs in my state) and own a gun? Good. I can get busted for tresspassing during a peaceful occupy wallstreet protest a couple times say on federal property and eventually own a gun.... good! As long as I am not a threat to society, what in the hell is the problem. God sometimes I hate liberals.
Nov 15, 2011 12:45 PM CST
I'm just happy to live in a country hand guns are not a problem because of hard licencing and forced responsible ownership. This could of been anyone in the store. http://www.wtvr.com/news/wtvr-father-kills-self-grocery-store-20111114,0,314000.story
Nov 15, 2011 9:42 AM CST
If someone pays their debt to society, then restore their full rights. Any less is unconstitutional.