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#2734003 - 10/22/14 01:33 PM This Should Be Interesting
azmastablasta Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 14187
Loc: Arizona
Court weighs gun rights of felons
By Benjamin Goad - 10/20/14 10:52 AM EDT

The Supreme Court is taking up a case that pits property rights against firearm regulations, with the justices poised to decide what becomes of a person's guns after they are convicted of a crime.

The case, Henderson v. United States, is among three new cases the high court has agreed to hear this term, according to orders handed down Monday.

It centers on Tony Henderson, a former U.S. Border Patrol agent who was charged with selling marijuana in 2006, and later convicted of a felony.

Federal law prohibits felons from possessing firearms, and Henderson turned 15 personal weapons over to the FBI while his case was pending.

Two years later, he submitted a bill of sale to the FBI, indicating that he had sold the guns to another man and asked the FBI to transfer them accordingly. The government refused, reasoning that doing so would amount to granting “constructive possession” of the guns to Henderson.

While lower courts are split on the issue, the government argues that its position is validated by a decision in a federal court decision in a case known as United States v. Howell, which found convicted felons have “unclean hands” and therefore no right to control over previously owned firearms.

“Requiring a court to return firearms to a convicted felon would not only be in violation of a federal law, but would be contrary to the public policy behind the law,” that court argued.

But Henderson says the weapons had nothing to do with his crime.

By denying his sale of the guns, the government is trampling on his property rights, his lawyers argued in a petition seeking Supreme Court review of the case.

“It allows the government — based on a statutory prohibition on mere possession — to bypass formal forfeiture procedures and effectively strip gun owners of their entire ownership interest in significant, lawful household assets following a conviction for an unrelated offense,” petitioners say.

Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.

You can lead a man to knowledge but you can't make him think.

Wise men argue causes; fools decide them. Anacharsis

#2734039 - 10/22/14 03:12 PM Re: This Should Be Interesting [Re: azmastablasta]
Infidel 762 Offline

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 6927
Loc: Okie
I say the sale is good if done prior to conviction...

Firearms confiscated legally should have their barrels slightly bent then shipped immediately to the moderate Syrian rebels...

#2734040 - 10/22/14 03:15 PM Re: This Should Be Interesting [Re: Infidel 762]
Mr. Poppadopalis Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/25/13
Posts: 3320
Loc: Metro Denver
Originally Posted By: Infidel 762
I say the sale is good if done prior to conviction...

Firearms confiscated legally should have their barrels slightly bent then shipped immediately to the moderate Syrian rebels...


Bent in the shape of a U!

#2734061 - 10/22/14 04:18 PM Re: This Should Be Interesting [Re: azmastablasta]
Tbone-AZ Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 6884
Loc: AZ, Phoenix
In the Constitution and Ammendments I don't remember the spot where is says you can't own a gun. The Second Ammendment is short and sweet.

The Feds wrote that law, but it doesn't make it right. Saying that you can't own a gun or loosing your rights, IMO is wrong. I don't like the idea of a fellon owning a gun, but it's not like criminals are following the law in the first place, and why should they loose all of their rights. If you can take some, then you can take all. If you can do that to some, you can do that to all.

I also feel that it's a property rights issue. Taking those guns is a tax, anytime the government takes money from you, even property, it's a tax. They should either pay him fair market on them, or give them back to him to sell.

There are a lot of things that are Fellonies that when you think of the ramifications of it, are really to far.
Selling pot, is a federal law violation and so if he did it, and is convicted fine. But there are other states where that is fine, so now he is not going to be able to own a gun for the rest of his life.
Where to does that make sense. At the very least they need to limit what violations take away that right, and use it for where it makes sense.

But, as a population I don't like the Idea of the Government telling me what kind of property i can or cannot own.
Have fun being an [beeep].. I hope it's all you hoped for.

#2734121 - 10/22/14 07:19 PM Re: This Should Be Interesting [Re: azmastablasta]
Rocky1 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 11/24/10
Posts: 11518
Loc: ND/FL - USA
Sounds to me like the government is wrong in every sense here. The constructive possession theory is B_S_ in my opinion, and I'd guess someone in that FBI office has walked, or will walk, with the weapons in question.

The law says he cannot possess a firearm, it does not say he cannot sell property he legally owned prior to being convicted of a felony. Were the bill of sale dated on or prior to his conviction, would it then be a valid transfer? There was nothing to prevent him possessing them up until the conviction was handed down, therefore he could have legally transferred them up to that point, regardless of when the new owner actually took possession.

What dollar amount construes constructive possession? Is a dollar per gun really constructive? Do you really have to transfer money to legally transfer ownership of a weapon? NO, of course not; you can legally make a gift of it!

Their argument then begs the question... What happens if he gives those guns away? Is possession in the form of transfer, then no longer constructive? He stands to gain nothing from the transfer in that manner; how could possession be construed as constructive in that fashion? Is the government saying you can no longer give away an item you legally owned prior to conviction?

What if you gave them away prior to conviction? There is no law requiring paper trail. He would not be required to submit form 4473 to ATF. How do they know he didn't give them away prior to conviction?

If he had the serial numbers written down and went to a dealer to have the transfer legally filed along with background checks, would the government then be able to deprive the new owner of taking possession of their guns, because a convicted felon had owned them prior to conviction? There is nothing to prevent the new owner from possessing them constructive or otherwise.

I don't know, I just see lots of holes in the government's theory of constructive possession here. Nothing about this looks like it's going to hold water in a court of law, but I could be wrong.
Think about how stupid the average person is, then stop and realize... Half of them are stupider than that! -- George Carlin

#2734173 - 10/22/14 09:00 PM Re: This Should Be Interesting [Re: azmastablasta]
borkon Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/05/09
Posts: 4058
Loc: minnesota
just because someone has a "felony record" does mean they should not own a firearm.
i know a fellow that got caught with cocaine 25 years ago. he's now a "felon".
he was never a violent guy, acually the opposite, very nice fella and would give the shirt off his back to help ANYONE!!.
[beeep], back in college, i pert near got caight with 3 lbs of weed. that would have made me a felon.
should i not have guns now??.

winner of the first annual Tournament Series

#2734295 - 10/23/14 08:24 AM Re: This Should Be Interesting [Re: azmastablasta]
OldTurtle Offline

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 19624
Loc: East Central FL
One of the problems is that once an Administrative Law (as opposed to Statutory) is enacted, it is almost impossible to get anyone responsible to modify it to a common sense level, unless there is enough outcry and support to cause the majority of the elected Representatives to overturn it on a Congressional level..

Fortunately, the Felony definition has evolved to a degree over the years, almost universally among the states through statutory revision...In 1963, any theft of $50 or more was a Felony,,,It was later amended to $150, and now is well over that figure...I can foresee drug convictions and current sexual deviancy statutes going through a similar evolution...

I agree that convictions for "Non Violent" crimes should receive a degree of re-inspection by the courts and legislators...There is a big difference between a a person possessing a couple of joints, or peeing behind a dumpster in a public place and a drug dealer that has a primary function of spreading his wares, or a predator that cruises playgrounds and schools....Currently, all individuals are saddled with the same labels and restrictions, but as in all points of the criminal justice system, change is slow to come, as the wheel grind slowly..
Nature shares her secrets not to those that hurry by, but to those that walk with a happy heart and a seeing eye...

#2734549 - 10/23/14 10:38 PM Re: This Should Be Interesting [Re: azmastablasta]
Infidel 762 Offline

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 6927
Loc: Okie
I don't drink alcohol anymore... But I used to drink a lot... Sadly it clouded my judgement and I drove many times under the the grace of a God I never wrecked and killed anyone... Nor did I get any DUIs... In my state the 2nd DUI is a felony... This is just one example of what separates me from a felon... The simple separation is that I just did not get caught... I did a lot of stupid things until my mid 20s... Maybe I had someone watching over me (I would like to think so)... Scares me looking back at how easily I could have lost my right to hunt or own firearms... But never once in even my drunkest stumpers did I consider picking up a firearm and committing crime or even committing violent crime period... I agree they need to re-evaluate what would constitute taking away someone's right to hunt with a firearm for life...

This situation with the guns is the same thing as civil asset forfeiture prior to conviction... Basically policing for profit... This practice has another name (communism)... When you have a govt. controlled by money hungry sociopaths combined with a generally stupid public it's what you end up with...

"A nation of sheep will be ruled by wolves."
Thomas Jefferson


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