This morning on my Facebook page, I shared a link to a story regarding a non-violent felon who has a case before the Missouri Supreme Court. He’s trying to get his right to bear arms restored.
Sen. Kurt Schaefer, who may just be trying to reinforce his ‘tough on crime’ bona fides, opposes the effort.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Schaefer, a Republican from Columbia who is running for attorney general, urged the court in a written brief to uphold the prohibition on felons possessing firearms. He argued that felons aren’t truly “citizens” and thus shouldn’t receive gun-rights protections.
I can’t find anything that says a convicted felon isn’t a citizen. It’s a strange, and some find, offensive assertion.
I don’t think non-violent felons should lose their right to bear arms. I question the logic of saying violent felons should lose their Second Amendment rights.
How can you say a right to bear arms is inalienable in one breath, but in the next say, “Unless you do X, Y or Z, and then yeah, they’re totally alienable.”
It’s an interesting debate, one that should be had.
But it doesn’t change the fact that felons are citizens.
I’ve put in a call to Sen. Schaefer’s office for clarification on his position. When I have it, I’ll post it here.
I spoke with Sen. Schaefer today. He said he’s not taking the position that felons are not citizens. He was making a legal statement about their rights as they are defined.
He also said that if a non-violent felon went years without a blip, there’s no reason they should be denied their Second Amendment rights.
“The further they get from the day of their conviction without breaking a law, the harder it is to justify denying their right to bear arms,” Schaefer said.
He also said it was up for the court to make this determination.