Wednesday, May 20, 2015
SCOTUS Ruling Stops Police Taking Away Guns
The supreme court reached a landmark decision yesterday in defense of gun ownership that could later prove useful in stopping gun confiscation. Until yesterday, if a person became a felon and lost their right to own guns, regardless of the nature of the crime, police would confiscate and keep their guns. Although certainly, most felons should not be in possession of guns, this policy still had the effect of taking guns out of the hands of the citizenry and putting them in the hands of the government.
Tony Henderson, a former border patrol agent, was convicted of selling marijuana which made him a felon and thus ineligible to own a gun. He asked if he could transfer his $3,500 19-gun collection to his wife or another third party so he could have them sold to other citizens. He was told no. In fact, he was told no at every level of appeals until he reached the SCOTUS.
There, he finally received his "yes" answer.
The court ruled that although a felon cannot be permitted to own guns, the supreme court announced that it is unconstitutional for police to keep or profit from guns confiscated from felons without first giving them the opportunity to rid themselves of the guns in a lawful manner. Felons now have the option to sell off any guns they own or legally transfer them to a person outside their household who is lawfully permitted to own a gun. They may not, however, simply transfer ownership but keep the gun, nor can they transfer them to someone who is likely to give them access, such as their own spouse.
This ruling both accomplishes the goal of keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons while preventing them from being swallowed up by the bureaucracy, allowing more law-abiding citizens to stay armed.