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Airguns & (ex)Felons....we need to talk

December 29 2009 at 1:26 PM
Quackenbush  (Login DAQ)
YC

Lately I've been getting 2 calls or more a week from guys saying they have a felony conviction and they want an airgun. Last year, the statement of being a convicted felon didn't come up until more than half way through the conversation. As of late, it's changed to an announcement, right up front, that they're a convicted felon. Is this being candid or a set up?

If a person informs me that they're a convicted felon, I tell them that I need a letter from their parole officer, local law enforcement or their county judge stating that there would be no trouble with them possessing an airgun because they don't consider it to be a weapon.

Now, if you're in the same boat, don't take this personally, let's keep it informative. Because I'm not for restricting airguns, but I'm not going to do anything illegal.

Back to the letter for a moment. Many guys convicted of non-violent crimes shoot black powder guns because there is no restriction. But in my area, that doesn't hold up because the druggies have black powder revolvers that they use and the sherrifs in this area, when they pull over said person for weaving or a broken tail light, upon finding the BP revolver consider it to be a weapon and place them in custody. So in the morning a judge can figure it out, but they go to jail tonight and the revolver is confiscated. So if it was okay, and they had the letter in advance, they wouldn't have been arrested. Or, if they couldn't get the letter and didn't have the gun with them they wouldn't have been arrested either.

In some states, you either have to have a permit or be legally able to own a firearm in order to purchase an airgun. So a felon, ex or not, would not be able to purchase an airgun, due to the state restrictions.

So what is rest of the forum members experience with this?

 
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AuthorReply

Bill S.
(Login tripleguy)
YFOT

Slippery slope Dennis

December 29 2009, 1:42 PM 

I'm surprised this hasn't come up before, but as powerful airguns gain more publicity, I'll bet this will become more common discussion.

As a manufacturer/retailer I would be trying to do all that I can within reason to limit sales to convicted felons. You know how our legal system is - if there is a violent crime committed with one of your guns, the sharks will come after the smell of blood and no matter the issue didn't come up in conversation, you'll be pulled into the mess. I think you're right in asking folks with felony convictions, no matter what letter their parole officer produces. I'd have it right in the terms and conditions of your sales contract and make sure you mention it right up front. Get a signature from anyone who purchases your guns attesting they have been convicted of a felony. It may never be needed, but you have to protect yourself just in case. As a law abiding citizen, I wouldn't have any problem signing something like that.

Now one could argue that a felon, if they want a gun, isn't going to mess around with an air rifle - they'll just obtain a firearm illegally. True, but they will also use whatever is at their disposal when they are desperate. Just my $.02.

"but I'll be needin' that gun, fer squirrels and such."


    
This message has been edited by tripleguy on Dec 29, 2009 2:41 PM


 
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walter riddle
(Login wisconsinwalter)
YF

Felons can be law abiding citizens as well!

December 29 2009, 2:24 PM 

Bad things happen to good people. Get over your piousness and thank the Lord you have never been arrested at some point of your life. I guarantee 100% of you have done something illegal once in your life that could be considered a felony.

Felons are disenfranchised for the term of their sentence from normal rights enjoyed by the masses. The gun freaks and liberals have made it to where you do not gain your constitutional rights back after you paid your debt. Most states allow a pardon process after 15 years since sentence completion to be reenfranchised back into the system with no residual offenses. The recitivism rates are much higher in certain cultural and geographic locations.

If I was a Manufacturer, I would simply look up the game laws for the State of residence to see if a felon can hunt small game with an air rifle.

Quit painting all felons with a broad brush.

I AM A FELON

I make over $85,000 a year
I have two degrees since my conviction.
I am a Marine
I am a service connected Disabled Marine

All I did was break a window and beat my wife's boyfriend who was taking my children away in the middle of the night.

Justice is often only for those who could afford it.

 
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Bill S.
(Login tripleguy)
YFOT

Fine Walt - then mark the X and sign for it

December 29 2009, 2:37 PM 

I don't give a damn what you did or didn't do. All I'm saying is it wouldn't hurt to have a disclaimer on your sales contract with a check box and signature line. I didn't say not to sell - I said have it disclosed. Last time I checked there is a law in this country prohibiting felons from owning firearms. I don't want to get in a pissing match about what is or isn't a firearm - that's established. I'm not on any high horse here - just stating that's the way it is in the litigious US of A. If I were in the business, I'd cover my ass royally.

"but I'll be needin' that gun, fer squirrels and such."

 
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walter riddle
(Login wisconsinwalter)
YF

I will when asked

December 29 2009, 3:09 PM 

I am not afraid because I know the law and strive to live by it.

 
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Brushy Bill
(Login BrushyBill)
YF

You are correct,

December 29 2009, 2:49 PM 

I have a good friend who was convicted
of a felony, 9 years ago. It was considered
a violent felony.

He did his time, and is living life as
he should. He gets very good paying
jobs, when folks are willing to hire him.

It is a shame that folks still want
to continue to punish him even though
he has paid his punishment. He has not even
received a traffic ticket since being released
from his one year sentence 8 years ago.

In the state we live in, it is not
illegal for a felon to own an air rifle.

And he owns many. If a custom manufacturer
wants to restrict sales to a convicted
felon, that is his business.

But In my opinion, he is just further
punishing a law abiding citizen.

I think it would better for a manufacture
to have a statement verifying that
there are no laws in your state prohibiting
the purchaser from owning an air rifle.

That covers everyone.

 
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walter riddle
(Login wisconsinwalter)
YF

It is a tough stigma to live with

December 29 2009, 3:27 PM 

Tell your friend to research the pardon process in your state. It is free and does not require a lawyer to do.

I had to wait 15 years after my probation was over to get my application accepted. Once the Gov signs it, my record becomes expunged.

BTW, I applied because I needed a passport for my job, not because I wanted to get my guns back. I have been without them for so long, I don't feel the need.

It is funny to read some of these responses. They are advocates for gun control. Whats next misdeamenors?

 
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Bill S.
(Login tripleguy)
YFOT

Unfortunatly, our system requires sign-offs

December 29 2009, 3:55 PM 

I know there are lots of ex-felons who will not commit another felony. I know there are lots of felons who were locked up under dubious charges. But there are also millions of folks who are guilty, without remorse and eager to do it again. That's what laws against firearm ownership try to prevent. Do they work - probably NOT.

But if you own a business, you've got to always to mindful of laws, entrapment and liability. All I'm suggesting is do whatever it is you (or your legal counsel) thinks is necessary to limit your liability. It's not anti-gun, it's anti-lawsuit.

"but I'll be needin' that gun, fer squirrels and such."

 
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Jim
(Login Riversidesports)
YF

and there a millions more folks that got away with their felonies...

December 29 2009, 4:25 PM 

I can name dozens of folks in my life who committed numerous felonies as young adults, some drugs, others thefts...even a few rapes and vilent assaults that were never charged.
The biggest drug dealer when I was in college is today a US Federal Prosecutor.
The town dope dealer in the community I grew up in is now the City Attorney
Know a scumbag who violently raped a girl in my high school, today he is Chief of Police in a smaller metropolitan center...
its pure myth that its some minor percentage of the population commits the majority of felony criminal acts...the truth is that its a minor percentage of the body of the citizen that doesn't commit a number of Felony Criminal acts over the course of their lives

 
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walter riddle
(Login wisconsinwalter)
YF

I agree with you to an extent

December 29 2009, 4:19 PM 

I think your numbers are high regarding the recitivism rates. Inner cities i can understand those numbers. But I would say 90% of guys convicted of felonies are of the lowest class of felonies. Most are over a woman, drugs or drunk driving. Murderers and thieves and the like are what you are referring to.

To say that all manufacturers should implement controls, is gun control. What you should really say is that the small time guys should better protect themselves by knowing the laws regarding the States of their buyers and having proper liability clauses somehow posted, listed or otherwise known to perspective buyers.

Non felons can commit felonies using the manufacturer's gun as well, then what? More regulation?


 
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Bill S.
(Login tripleguy)
YFOT

That's what I was saying

December 29 2009, 4:30 PM 

What you should really say is that the small time guys should better protect themselves by knowing the laws regarding the States of their buyers and having proper liability clauses somehow posted, listed or otherwise known to perspective buyers.

That's what I was saying Walt. Cover thine arse.

"but I'll be needin' that gun, fer squirrels and such."

 
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walter riddle
(Login wisconsinwalter)
YF

I agree with you to an extent, again... Let's talk about liability

December 29 2009, 4:52 PM 

You are right in the protection for legitimate businesses. Bill, I am not arguing with you. Every once in a while my back get's up over this topic. I have paid my dues long ago. I just want to live like the next guy.

For 44 years, 12 months 30 days 23 hours and 58 minutes I have been a an upstanding, law abiding citizen like everyone else. For two minutes in my entire life I lost disipline and it cost me a life sentence for gun ownership until my pardon is approved.

Now to a can of worms that never gets mentioned..

Are all of the small time tuners, stock makers and custom builders all filing 1099's or have protected themselves by forming a corporation or LLC??? I doubt it.

There so many guys doing it, but, what happens if I buy a DAQ and his gun blows up in my face? Can I sue him? Should they be required to prove they are a legitimate business?

MR QAUCKENBUSH, I AM ONLY USING YOU AS AN EXAMPLE, PLEASE DON'T TAKE OFFENSE.

I am sure the bigger time guys have liability insurance to cover this. i am just putting the shoes on the other foot for a change.

 
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Curtis Stewart
(Login dbigkahunna)
YF

Regaining Rights

December 29 2009, 5:45 PM 

Even after your pardon, you will have to make application to ATF for their approval. And it is not automatic. You may have to get letters of recommendation from citizens of your county of residence who have known you for a long time. The pardon expunges all record, but the ATF form ask if you have been convicted. Once you get the letter from ATF you can check the box no.
Shipping a air gun into a restricted state from a non restrictive state to me is up to the purchaser. Someone in the airgun sales business could have problems but I do not see where someone in Ill could buy a gun from someone in TX and the person in Texas could have any liability for it. If the person from Il came to my house in TX and bought it how id it my responsibility to know where he is taking it?
If owning the airgun is illegal in your state of residence then it is your responsibility to know th laws of your jurisdiction. Not me.

 
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Jim
(Login Riversidesports)
YF

incorrect on the restoration...

December 29 2009, 6:00 PM 

Heres how it works...
if your conviction is State based and its either expunged or pardoned thats it, you are done. For The Purposes of the GCAs restrictions at the Federal level The Felony record is gone unless the expunging court or Governor sets aside firearms rights from their actions.
Another area that comes up is when the defendant receives a Stay of Imposition. The Felony then automatically reverts to non Felony status upon completion of the supervision period...again you are lawful to possess regulated firearms.
ATF used to have a Restoration of Civil Rights division which was required when the GCA was passed in 68' The division was able to restore firearms rights regardless of Federal or State conviction.
Funding for the division was pulled from the 92' budget & not by the action of Liberal Democrats but rather by Conservative Republicans in answer to lobby efforts by non other than the NRA.
Since 92' there has been no remedy at the Federal level for Firearms prohibitions short of a Presidential Pardon.
in short you can still take care of State issues and regain RKBA
if your case went Federal you are SOL unless you can afford to donate a considerable sum to a Presidential campaign of EITHER party

 
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Quackenbush
(Login DAQ)
YC

The NRA fought hard to get the restoration of gun rights

December 29 2009, 8:59 PM 

Getting non-violent offenders their gun rights back has been a work of the NRA. Especially automatic restraining orders that then makes an otherwise law abiding citizen into a firearms violation criminal was fought with NRA members money to get lawyers for fellows who couldn't afford this anti-gun law. As an NRA member I totally agree with the expenditure of funds to fight these bad laws.

In 1992 Clinton was elected along with a majority of democrats in congress.

 
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Jim
(Login Riversidesports)
YF

it was the 92' Budget which was written in 91'...

December 29 2009, 9:24 PM 

crazy situation...
Josh Sugarman had just left HCI, {now the Brady Campaign to prevent handgun violence} and Founded the Violence Policy Center, {which by the way also opposes airguns, toy guns, air soft or anything sharp & pointy}. Sugarman's first legislative target for his new lobby was the Civil Rights Restoration division of ATF. The idea was that VPC would be able to corner the NRA into looking as tho it supported armed felons. The NRA-ILA caught wind of the operation and lobbied Arlen Spector & Larry Craig to pull all future funding for any background checks for those that applied for restorations. It was near impossible to eliminate the divisions its existence was mandated under the GCA & further amounted to a form of in servanti viti/partial attainder of rights...basically they threw felons under the bus as there were bigger fights on the horizon.
To this day the division exists but can only send out letters of denial.
Picked up most of this data years ago from the former Director of the Firearms & Technology Branch of ATF, Ed Owens who was actually quite the serious gun nut himself & verified it with a buddy who worked with the ILA
sad deal but it was the NRA and Law & Order Republicans who did this crap.
Not saying the NRA is evil but they have done a number of rather dirty backroom/backdoor deals over the years.
Still better than nothing

 
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Tad
(Login TadIsaacson)
YF

Thank you for your service to our Country.

December 29 2009, 7:39 PM 


 
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Jamie
(Login USMCShooter)
YF

Semper Fi Walter! And well said....a buddy of mine

December 30 2009, 10:21 PM 

is fighting right now for his rights as well....and his retirement from the vA....

s/f

Jamie

 
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Walter Riddle
(Login wisconsinwalter)
YF

Thanks Jaime!

December 31 2009, 7:12 AM 

It means the world to me that my USMC brothers don't condemn me. Especially an officer! I always have your back!

Semper Fi and happy new year for you and your family Sir!

 
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missysdad
(Login startedwa24)
YF

More than Felony convictions

January 2 2010, 4:45 PM 

A more restrictive conviction than a felony record is a domestic violence conviction. It's imposition restricts ownership of firearms forever by Federal law if I'm not mistaken. Anybody know more about this one?

 
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