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Does Missouri Allow Convicted Felons to Possess Guns?

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​In a 4,650-word, front-page treatise in yesterday's New York Times, author Michael Luo lays bare a significant trend: each year, thousands of felons across the country have their gun rights reinstated following prison sentences, despite a federal law that strips away the right to bear arms for anyone convicted of a felony.

The explanation is simple. When it comes to the Second Amendment, state law trumps federal law. Beginning in the 1980s, Congress began allowing state legislatures to dictate gun reinstatement policies, which resulted in more than 3,300 felons and people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors regaining the right to own a gun since 1995, according to the Times report. Of that number, Luo reports, 400, or thirteen percent, have subsequently committed new crimes, half of which were felonies, including murder.

The Times report did not name every single state that permits felons to reapply for gun ownership. So where does Missouri stand in this heat-packing debate?

Perhaps surprisingly, Missouri is more restrictive than other states when it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. According to Special Agent Trista Frederick, a spokesperson for the Kansas City Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, no convicted felon may possess a firearm or ammunition in Missouri -- unless they receive a pardon from the governor.

A spokesman for Gov. Jay Nixon says the governor has not issued such a pardon during his tenure in the statehouse, which stretches back to 2009.

Missouri's gun restrictions for felons tightened up relatively recently, which goes against the tenor of the Times article. Before August 2008, only individuals convicted of "dangerous" felonies were stripped of their right to bear arms -- and they could reapply for gun ownership five years after their crimes. But the law was changed to prohibit all felons from gun possession. That revision is outlined in Missouri House Bill 2034, which was signed by then-Gov. Matt Blunt. The full statute on gun ownership can be found here.

One of the problems with the original statute was that sexual assault and robbery were not classified as "dangerous" felonies at the time. In addition, the law only applied to concealable weapons so, in theory, a convicted felon lugging around an AK-47 was safe from the law.

Critics of the statute question why someone who commits a non-violent felony should be stripped of his gun rights. A breakdown of the reasoning behind the revised law, including the perceived problems with it, appeared in the Missouri Law Review in 2009.

Despite the tight restrictions, advocates against gun violence still criticize Missouri for being lax on firearm regulation. In a report released last year by the Legal Community Against Violence, Missouri ranked 39 out of 50 in gun-violence prevention. The authors of the report cited various examples for the state's low ranking. Among them: Missouri does not require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private parties; prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines; license or significantly regulate firearms dealers; or limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time.

In 2007, 759 people died from firearm-related injuries in Missouri, the authors reported.

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18 comments
theforgottenpuppet
theforgottenpuppet

With so many felons losing our constitutional rights, why isn't there some kind of effort to get us all together to demand the return of our rights. They may not listen to 1 person but they have to hear 6 million. 

brandon_baughman1
brandon_baughman1

Old army

I am have a felon from 1999. I had sex with my 21 year old girlfriend while she in the county jail. No jail time and 5 years probation. I was an active member of army from1995-2008. In 2005-2006 I was stationed in ramadi Iraq as a route clearance Sgt. I have over 350 combat missions and 225 of those I was ncoic. Im have been retired for a year from the injuries received in combat. As soon as i got home from deployment I was arrested for failure to register!

God gave me my rights protect myself and my family. What man thinks he can take my rights away is a self important idiot!

libertyczar
libertyczar

First they came for the communists

 and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the felons

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a felon.

Then they came for me...

and there was no one left to speak for me.

Yeah, I tweaked it a bit.

Love your fellow Americans.

jimd_mcmullin
jimd_mcmullin

like it or not, all citizens rights are reafirmed by the constitution of the united states. anyone who violates the constitution of the united states is guilty of treason. hatfield you are a traitor to this country if anyone need their citizenship taken its you and all these govt. jerkoffs who violate their oaths of office. I believe in capital punishment for treason and it is neccessary to keep public servants in line. the fact that some citizens believe that felons are subhuman is what has gotten us into the mess were in today as far as govt. control is concerned. Our own govt. covets our freedoms and by allowing them to violate the constitution once reguarding some citizens you opened the door for further violations of the constitution.

you either believe in the constitution or you dont theres no grey area here it was written in very plain english, if you dont then GTFO if you do then then any violation of the constitution should be mett with a trial of treason and if found guilty a public hanging, as a warning to all who would violate our highest laws.

missouri  monster
missouri monster

yes, hatfeild, you are an idiot,with more mouth than brain. wait until something small and insagnificant happens to you, thats not even your fault, then you are labeled the bad guy. your so called rights stripped from you and no way to ever get back to where you are now, no way of protecting your home other than that fucking 500.00 golf club you just had to have but never use. then we'll see how your stupid ass feels about your latest statements . you are societies problem............

Murphyjb1
Murphyjb1

 was convicted 28 years ago non violent class d felony forgery I haven't been in any troyblw since other than some driving infractions I want my damn guns back legalely I could by firearms any where but why risk it there are plenty on the street to buy I just want to be a legal firearm owner without the fear of going to jail when I take my kids to the woods to enjoy hunting with them I know I did wrong as a young adult and this law sucks ,trust me there are more folks out there that don't care and have way worse records than mine that have homes full of wepons

ken pugh
ken pugh

I'm glad I live in MO because if I had to register my guns or report every time I bought a gun from a friend or and of the fascist gun grabbing b.s. I would move. These goose stepping p.o.s.'s should move to a communist state where they wouldn't have to worry about guns, unless they didn't agree with the government on something, then they would have to worry about being shot by the government. Idiots should read the 2nd amendment and then  get another hobby.

El_Russo
El_Russo

If a fellon comes out, gets off parole, and then goes 5 years without any problems with the law, in Texas, his felony is expunged (except for sex offenders). At that point they get all of their right reinstated. But if a felon does nothing to expunge his felony, which shows he isn't interested following a legal precident available to him, then he should definately not get his right to own a weapon reinstated!

Douche_McGee
Douche_McGee

It's amazing that in the case of felons getting their rights back state laws trump Federal laws, but look at the marijuana dispensaries in California - they're legal in the state, but the Feds always seem to come in and arrest a ton of people saying it's against federal law..

hatfield
hatfield

I agree completely with stripping violent and non-violent felons of gun rights permanently in Missouri and other states.  It’s not as though felons retain other rights after conviction such as the ability to vote, eligibility to serve on juries, or eligibility to receive government support or loans so there is precedence for such action.  If you ask me we should go further and disenfranchise felons as citizens. Why is it perhaps a surprise that Missouri would be stricter than other states?  Is that choice of words designed to imply Missouri and Missourians lack common sense?  Missouri is the Show-Me State.  When someone has clearly shown us they can’t be trusted with civic responsibility they should forever lose their civic rights including the right to keep and bear arms.

hbkshit
hbkshit

@hatfield  fuck u dirty bitch i hope yo dumbazz catch a felony or get shot u arrogant piece of shit.


Bls_blb
Bls_blb

You, hatfield are an idiot.

Cmichael197453@yahoo.com
Cmichael197453@yahoo.com

Im a felonist buddy. None of my crimes arent violent. I have been raped by other men not even being a teenager. They never got in trouble. People in your government wouldnt help me. You say we shouldnt own guns.

Buildamericabetter
Buildamericabetter

I had some pot plants in my parents back yard when I was 17. I became a felon then. More than 20 years later, I am now a productive father of four. I pay my taxes. I am part of the security team at church. Still want to take my citizenship away?

Sam
Sam

You are a moron. I was convicted of a non violent class d felony when I was 18 over some stupid high school nonsence. That was over 20 years ago, and I have been a productive and trusted citizen since. You would have no clue that I was a felon unless I told you, and to say that my citizenship should be disenfranchised for a mistake I made as a kid just shows how narrow minded you are.

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