A hunting trip into the woods is always enjoyable, even when returning home without a deer in the back of the vehicle. Hunting provides an escape from the hectic pace of everyday life and abundance of time to think.
This past Monday was the opening day of rifle deer hunting season in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, I did not get a deer. What I did get was plenty of time to reflect and appreciate how I lucky I am to be able to hunt without fear of repercussions.
Not everyone is so lucky.
As I sat in the woods, my mind settled on a subject that I had neglected to devote consideration to in the past. Should felons be returned their Second Amendment rights upon release from prison? Currently federal law prohibits any person convicted of a felony from possessing or purchasing a firearm. Some states laws allow hunting with a muzzle loading firearm and an exception to the federal law that is very technical makes it legal in these states.
A muzzle loader is an almost worthless self-defense weapon and hunting with the firearm is a skill that takes both talent and patience. By no means does the right to carry a muzzle loader restore a person’s Second Amendment rights.
In order to attempt to understand the influence firearm prohibition can have on an individual it is helpful to ask yourself the following question. Can an individual be considered free if their ability to protect their life or provide for their family is impeded?
If you agree that the answer to this question is no, then you would have to agree that previously convicted felons are not free. Please browse the Felony Friday archives at the end of the article. This will serve as a reminder for the numerous ways the State charges individuals with absurd non-violent felonies.
The state of Louisiana is taking on the federal felony gun prohibition policy. Louisiana has passed a constitutional amendment that declares the right to bear arms a fundamental right, and states that any law that attempts to limit that right should face the highest level of judicial scrutiny. The state Supreme Court is considering if this enhanced right should also apply to felons.
Locking an individual in a cage for a non-violent crime in barbaric. Impeding their ability to defend themselves or provide for their family is inhumane. At some point common sense must prevail.
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Check out our past editions of Felony Friday!