Should Convicted Felons Be Entitled to Bear Arms?
The National Rifle Association (NRA) says that it supports the vigorous national enforcement of our gun laws and its efforts to keep firearms out of the reach of criminals. In spite of these claims, the NRA has actually helped to put weapons back into the criminals’ hands.
These acts are titled the “Relief From Disability” program. The NRA has struggled to both expand and protect this firearms-for-felons program that has ultimately gave thousands of convicted, sometimes violent felons the right to once again bear arms.
For over 20 years, though, felons that had been convicted of crimes that involved the the use of a firearm or other weapon, or of violations of the federal firearm laws were unable to receive their “relief.”
This changed in 1986 however, when a law that was backed by the NRA took effect.
The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (also known as FOPA or McClure/Volkmer for the bills’ Senate and House sponsors) expanded the program to allow felons convicted of gun crimes to obtain “relief.” The gun criminals quickly took advantage of this program.
Of the 100 sample cases obtained by the Violence Policy Center… eight were for firearm violations, this included two convictions for the illegal sales of automatic weapons.
The other side of the coin
What about the non-violent felons who have been convicted when they were in their teens, or early 20s though? Is it fair to deny them their second amendment rights for the rest of their lives?
We have all made mistakes in our youth that we might not be proud of. In my opinion, the kid caught with a quarter pound of weed in his dorm room, doesn’t deserve to be treated a criminal for the rest of his life.
I totally agree that felons with a history of violence, or mental disorders, should not be allowed to legally possess a firearm.
Violence in our streets is becoming more rampant in recent years. Respect for human life seems to have diminished and this fact is both sad and scary to myself.
However, taking away the ability for an individual to protect themselves, or the family is wrong in my opinion. Once a person has repaid his/her debt to society, I feel they should be allowed to move on.
I’m curious to see what thoughts, or opinions you guys out there might have on this subject. Peace.