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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080719/...gal_challenges

    Guns ruling spawns legal challenges by felons By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer 41 minutes ago
    Twice convicted of felonies, James Francis Barton Jr. faces charges of violating a federal law barring felons from owning guns after police found seven pistols, three shotguns and five rifles at his home south of Pittsburgh.
    As a defense, Barton and several other defendants in federal gun cases argue that last month's Supreme Court ruling allows them to keep loaded handguns at home for self-defense.
    "Felons, such as Barton, have the need and the right to protect themselves and their families by keeping firearms in their home," says David Chontos, Barton's court-appointed lawyer.
    Chontos and other criminal defense lawyers say the high court's decision means federal laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of people convicted of felonies and crimes of domestic violence are unconstitutional as long as the weapons are needed for self-defense.
    So far, federal judges uniformly have agreed these restrictions are unchanged by the Supreme Court's landmark interpretation of the Second Amendment.
    "The line I'm proposing, at the home, is entirely consistent" with the Supreme Court ruling, said Chontos, a lawyer in Turtle Creek, Pa. A court hearing on the issue is scheduled for late July.
    The legal attacks by Chontos and other criminal defense lawyers are separate from civil lawsuits by the National Rifle Association and others challenging handgun bans in Chicago and its suburbs as well as a total ban on guns in public housing units in San Francisco.
    People on both sides of the gun control issue say they expect numerous attacks against local, state and federal laws based on the high court's 5-4 ruling that struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns. The opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia also suggested, however, that many gun control measures could remain in place.
    Denis Henigan, vice president for law and policy at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said Scalia essentially was reassuring people that the laws keeping guns from felons and people with mental illness and out of government buildings and schools would withstand challenges. But Henigan said he is not surprised by felons pressing for gun-ownership rights.
    "The court has cast us into uncharted waters here. There is no question about that," Henigan said.
    "There is now uncertainty where there was none before," he said. "Gun laws were routinely upheld and they were considered policy issues to be decided by legislatures."
    At the Justice Department, spokesman Erik Ablin said the agency's lawyers "will continue to defend vigorously the constitutionality, under the Second Amendment, of all federal firearms laws and will respond to particular challenges in court."
    Cities' outright bans on handguns probably are the most vulnerable laws following the Supreme Court ruling. Many lawyers and Second Amendment experts believe that restrictions on gun ownership in public housing also will be difficult to defend.
    The question for courts will be whether the government has more power when it acts as a landlord, as it does in public housing, than in general.
    "I think there's a very substantial chance that these kinds of ordinances will be struck down because they are aimed at people who have shown no reason to be viewed as untrustworthy," said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has written about gun rights.
    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has said the city will defend the policy as good for public safety. "Is there anyone out there who really believes that we need more guns in public housing?" Newsom said when the suit was filed a day after the Supreme Court ruled on Washington's handgun ban.
    In the District of Columbia, the city housing authority is considering whether its prohibition on firearms in public housing can survive the court ruling, spokeswoman Dena Michaelson said.
    But Volokh and some gun rights proponents said people convicted of crimes are less likely to succeed in their challenges.
    "Many felons may need self defense more than you and I, but the government has extra justification for limiting that right because they have proven themselves to be untrustworthy," Volokh said.
    Judges may find it harder to resolve cases in which nonviolent criminals, particularly those whose only offense happened long ago, are charged with gun possession.
    "Do you think Scooter Libby should have a gun?" asked Douglas Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University who says the ruling will complicate the work of the courts, prosecutors and police. He was referring to former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI in the CIA leak investigation.
    A more plausible case for being allowed a gun might be made by someone now in his 50s or 60s who was convicted as a teenager of taking a car for a joyride, said Stephen P. Halbrook, a gun rights supporter and lawyer. "You might have a court look at that differently," Halbrook said.
    The Supreme Court has a case on its calendar for the fall that could indicate whether the justices are inclined to expand their ruling.
    In United States v. Hayes, the government is asking the court to reinstate a conviction for possession of a gun for someone previously convicted of a domestic violence crime. In 1994, Randy Hayes received a year of probation after pleading guilty to beating his wife.
    The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction because the West Virginia law Hayes violated does not specifically deal with domestic violence crimes. The question for the high court, then, is a technical one: whether the law has to include domestic violence to be used in the future to prevent someone from owning guns?
    Advocates on both sides of the gun control debate will be watching closely to see whether the court's D.C. decision is relevant to the Hayes case and, if so, how.
    ------------------------

    I think under certain circumstnaces the rules should be changed. If you have paid your dues, and are not a threat to society, then you should be able to protect yourself.

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    Either we are equal and understand 'shall not be infringed' or not.

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    WOW

    If you put it that way, I guess we need to BAN ALL GUNS.

    Now only the really bad guys will have the guns. I hope I can "Talk"them out of their bad ways, and they ONLY take my money and rape my wife and daughter.



    I deal with inmates at the Fed Pen. The thought of ANY of these guys ever carring a gun is a really bad idea....

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    There are much more dangerous weapons available than guns. If you're too dangerous to be allowed to own a gun, then you are too dangerous to not be behind bars. The second amendment was to prevent the government from disarming the citizens so that the citizens can be a threat to the government. Now, being a threat to the government is a felony which looses your right to be armed. Way to subvert the intent of the Constitution.

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    asforme wrote:
    There are much more dangerous weapons available than guns. If you're too dangerous to be allowed to own a gun, then you are too dangerous to not be behind bars. The second amendment was to prevent the government from disarming the citizens so that the citizens can be a threat to the government. Now, being a threat to the government is a felony which looses your right to be armed. Way to subvert the intent of the Constitution.
    I gotta give a plus 1 for that.

    Not to mention that felons who want to commit more crimes might just... you know... commit the crime of possessing a firearm regardless.

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    asforme wrote:
    If you're too dangerous to be allowed to own a gun, then you are too dangerous to not be behind bars.
    I agree!

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    I feel as though I only echo myself and the opinion of others.

    Guns are not the ISSUE, it is the person. If they cannot be trusted with thevery means to defend their lives or the lives of those around them than they should not be among the breathing.

    I am surprised repeatedly when big 2A and so called Conservitive, and Civil Rights Activist will scream and riot when one of their rights come into question. But then use the same arguments to deny someone else theirs.

    Doug you are the man.

    Equal or not.

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    Thank you.

    To ease the minds of my detractors; if a felon may properly be disbarred his Rights under color of law and disarmed then we may all be disarmed felons merely by lowering the bar of felony sufficiently - even to allegations of violence.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Thank you.

    To ease the minds of my detractors; if a felon may properly be disbarred his Rights under color of law and disarmed then we may all be disarmed felons merely by lowering the bar of felony sufficiently - even to allegations of violence.
    +1

    very good observation.

    there are soooo many things that are felonies right now. and a lot of it (meant or not) deprives "poorer" people from voting or defending themselves (they rely on government now )

    mostly because of drug "laws"

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Thank you.

    To ease the minds of my detractors; if a felon may properly be disbarred his Rights under color of law and disarmed then we may all be disarmed felons merely by lowering the bar of felony sufficiently - even to allegations of violence.
    For example, people who want to make speedinga felony:

    http://starbulletin.com/2004/02/03/e...ditorials.html

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    I can agree with you, to a point.

    I see inmates from the Camp / Low / Med security, that I would have no problem with them having a gun for home defense, even CC. But to say "ALL" felons goes a little to far.

    the question would be, where to draw the line, and how to enforce it?

    maybe tougher laws for someone who was a felon, and commits a crime with a weapon, but if it was ruled self defense then no charges. I'd be for that.

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    tracylaud83 wrote:
    I can agree with you, to a point.

    I see inmates from the Camp / Low / Med security, that I would have no problem with them having a gun for home defense, even CC. But to say "ALL" felons goes a little to far.

    the question would be, where to draw the line, and how to enforce it?

    maybe tougher laws for someone who was a felon, and commits a crime with a weapon, but if it was ruled self defense then no charges. I'd be for that.
    Easy line to draw, if you are currently incarcerated you cannot have a gun. No one who is not fit to own a gun should be let out of jail.

    The fact that we have to let out violent criminals who are still dangerous and hope that we are safe because they're not allowed to own a gun is insane. These violent and dangerous criminals need to be kept in prison and other non violent activities need to be decriminalized so that we have the adequate prison space to keep the violent ones.

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    tracylaud83 wrote:
    I can agree with you, to a point.

    I see inmates from the Camp / Low / Med security, that I would have no problem with them having a gun for home defense, even CC. But to say "ALL" felons goes a little to far.

    the question would be, where to draw the line, and how to enforce it?

    maybe tougher laws for someone who was a felon, and commits a crime with a weapon, but if it was ruled self defense then no charges. I'd be for that.
    Only an eager tyrant would want to draw the line in the face of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED."

    The rest falls under...

    Either we are equal or we are not. If we're all equal, are we all equal to the best or the least of us? I'm busy re-reading 'In Defense of Elitism" by William A. Henry III.

    Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******

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    asforme wrote:
    Easy line to draw, if you are currently incarcerated you cannot have a gun. No one who is not fit to own a gun should be let out of jail.
    In a perfect world, I would agree.

    But then we wouldn't need guns.

    No, I don't have the answers, I'm not even sure we are asking the right questions.

    (More prisons, less prisons, more laws, no laws, animal rights, human rights, ???)

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    tracylaud83 wrote:
    In a perfect world, I would agree.

    But then we wouldn't need guns.
    Yes, if everyone had guns we would not need guns. But god forbid that we ever become confident that we do not need them and begin to give them up because then we would surely need as many as we can get.

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    asforme wrote:
    The fact that we have to let out violent criminals who are still dangerous and hope that we are safe because they're not allowed to own a gun is insane.
    Bingo.

    The solution is simple: let all the pot smokers out of prison and make room for the truly violent criminals. And encourage people to protect themselves.



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    tracylaud83 wrote:
    maybe tougher laws for someone who was a felon, and commits a crime with a weapon, but if it was ruled self defense then no charges. I'd be for that.
    and what about folks in places like D.C. and NY who would be found guilty of something, regardless of how clean the shot was?

    If the second amendment were respected as it should be, your concerns would be invalid. a criminal who knows that he has a 90% chance of getting killed breaking into a house simply isn't going to take the risk, and any that would deserve to be expunged from the gene pool anyway. attitudes such as the one you display are the same ones that began the modern "gun control" mess in the first place. while you are more than entitled to your opinion, you must understand that the RTKBA isn't a privilege, or a conditional right, and it isn't even a right granted by the constitution. the right to keep and bear arms is a small part of an even larger god given right, the right to self preservation and self determination. this is a basic human right, and one that the founders felt was important enough to be specifically enumerated as being protected by the founders. regardless of what you may think about someone, they deserve the right to defend themselves just as much as you or I do. they were endowed with that right by their creator and no one; neither you, I or the FED has any right to deny them that right.

    the second ammendment-

    A well regulated militia-and by militia, the congress was reffering to the general militia, as defined in the militia act of 1792-, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right OF THE PEOPLE-not just some of the people, not just the people who we would personaly like to see have a gun, but all of the people- to keep and bear arms-and not just .22LR target pistols, not just hunting rifles, and not just revolvers; but semiautos, .44 mags and even those evil black assault rifles with the shoulder things that go up, machine guns included- shall NOT be infringed-or regulated, or registered, or held subject to reasonable restrictions-

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    The law barring felons from keeping and bearing arms is ludicrous. If you're a felon, and you've served your time, all of your rights should be restored.

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    Felid`Maximus wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Thank you.

    To ease the minds of my detractors; if a felon may properly be disbarred his Rights under color of law and disarmed then we may all be disarmed felons merely by lowering the bar of felony sufficiently - even to allegations of violence.
    For example, people who want to make speedinga felony:

    http://starbulletin.com/2004/02/03/e...ditorials.html
    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Truly pathetic. I especially get a kick out of the arbitrary number of 30. Kind of like 3-day waiting periods... 15-round magazine capacities...

    ETA: I'm sure it would create some interesting chases, though. When one is faced with a felony, it would be a good incentive to take a chance in getting away. If you succeed, you avoid a cruel and unusual punishment... if caught, you'll still be a felon.

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    Ohio Patriot wrote:
    The law barring felons from keeping and bearing arms is ludicrous. If you're a felon, and you've served your time, all of your rights should be restored.
    I agree 100%. Our justice system is supposed to be based on the idea that A. The punishment should fit the crime (wich is all too often NOT the case, i.e. a slap on the wrist) and B. That once you've served your time, you have paid your debt to society and are once again a free man.

    If a person is such a danger, they should not be getting out of prison, and if they are still of a criminal mindset when they get out, some BS law isn't going to stop them from carrying a gun anyway.

    what's the old quote about how laws must be viewed not by what good they can do if properly enforced, but rather by what harm may be done though improper application?

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    tracylaud83 wrote:
    I deal with inmates at the Fed Pen. The thought of ANY of these guys ever carring a gun is a really bad idea....
    I don't think he's arguing for them to Carry, I think he means In House Only.

    I say they should not be allowed to OC/CC, depending on their crime.

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    Dustin wrote:
    tracylaud83 wrote:
    I deal with inmates at the Fed Pen. The thought of ANY of these guys ever carring a gun is a really bad idea....
    I don't think he's arguing for them to Carry, I think he means In House Only.

    I say they should not be allowed to OC/CC, depending on their crime.
    No, I think they should be able to carry.

    If you are afraid of this person carrying a gun, then it means you must be afraid of them committing a violent crime with a gun. Well, there is no need for a gun to commit a violent crime, especially after having first hand training in improvised weapon making via our prison system.

    If the person is dangerous to society with a gun on their hip, they are dangerous to our society period and should be locked up. If they have paid their debt to society and are no longer considered dangerous, then they are no longer dangerous. What tools they are allowed to possess or carry does not change that.

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    asforme wrote:
    Dustin wrote:
    tracylaud83 wrote:
    I deal with inmates at the Fed Pen. The thought of ANY of these guys ever carring a gun is a really bad idea....
    I don't think he's arguing for them to Carry, I think he means In House Only.

    I say they should not be allowed to OC/CC, depending on their crime.
    No, I think they should be able to carry.

    If you are afraid of this person carrying a gun, then it means you must be afraid of them committing a violent crime with a gun. Well, there is no need for a gun to commit a violent crime, especially after having first hand training in improvised weapon making via our prison system.

    If the person is dangerous to society with a gun on their hip, they are dangerous to our society period and should be locked up. If they have paid their debt to society and are no longer considered dangerous, then they are no longer dangerous. What tools they are allowed to possess or carry does not change that.
    And as we have seen time and time again, making a law that bars felons from having firearms does NOT prevent these people from obtaining a firearm if they so choose. The truly violent or determined ex-felons WILL obtain a firearm illegally and commit violence against other people yet again.....so the best defense to this is to make sure you and your loved ones are armed to defend against such things.

    Removing the rights of those that have been "rehabilitated" and have been released from jail does nothing to enhance the safety of the community or the people around them, despite what those who enforce such laws would have you believe.......

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    As many GOOD discussions in this forum.

    You have given some very good points and actually have me re-thinking my position.

    "A debt paid, is paid in full"

    A lenient judge is not the criminals fault, and re-offenders due get punished harder.

    (Something for me to think about)

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    Has any of you taken into account that most of these people are hothead macho types. They are the kind that will escalate not de-escalate an argument. They will refuse to back down from a fight for fear of being called a coward. This is how the gunfights in the street were started back in the "OLD WEST". While it didn't happen often, it did happen on occasion. If this were to become a problem today, we would all be criminals because they would eventually outlaw guns and we would refuse to give them up. Can't you imagine the anti's and the news media having a blast with this one.

    "Gunfight over a parking spot, more at 11" "WE TOLD YOU SO"

    "Showdown at Wal-mart over a shopping cart, film at 6" "WE TOLD YOU SO"

    "Shoot out on I- 35 at 90 MPH, after this brief message." "WE TOLD YOU SO"

    GREATHEADLINES TO HELPOUR CAUSE, DON'T YOU THINK?

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