Sentencing Law and Policy suggests that may be a possibility. In a case handed down in the 7th Circuit an appeal by a violent felon’s attempt to overturn the Federal Felon in Possession Law was rejected but the decision’s wording suggests the court may be open to restoring the Second Amendment rights of a non-violent felon.
Briefly quoting the Sentencing Law item “â€œ[A] person to whom a statute may constitutionally be applied will not be heard to challenge that statute on the ground that it may conceivably be applied unconstitutionally to others, in other situations not before the Court.â€). Williams, as a violent felon, is not the ideal candidate to challenge the constitutionality of Â§ 922(g)(1).”
I have mixed emotions about this one. In general, I support restoration of full Second Amendment Rights to a non-violent felon whose sentence has expired, and has a reasonable period of good behavior thereafter. I well remember a friend who pleaded guilty to moonshining, when the community could not find a single illegal thing he had ever done. As he said “My brother had a wife and two kids and I was single.”
But on the other hand, the typical first time gun criminal already has 2.4 felony convictions, 1.8 of those for violent crimes, the first time they pick up a gun. And the overwhelming probability is that they will return to their chosen way of life as soon as the prison doors open.
So that is a nice question. Felon’s gun rights were extensively discussed during the 1930′s, and the decision was to cut felons off, forever. But perhaps it is time to readdress the issue. Even the Wright Rossi Report admitted ex-cons need to defend themselves as well as the law abiding.
Gun rights restoration for those who have only one non-violent felony, after the time of their sentence has passed plus three years, perhaps?