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DiFi Looking to Expand Prohibited Persons

She’s introducing a bill to prohibit foreign felons from possessing firearms, regardless of whether the foreign country in question has the same due process protections as American Court.  Recall that in 2005, in the case of Small vs. US, the Court said that “convicted in any court” did not apply to foreign courts.  Just thinking of some famous cases where DiFi’s prohibition would apply:

  1. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, served time in a Soviet gulag for being an enemy of the State.
  2. Francis Gary Powers. convicted in a Soviet Court and sentenced to hard labor for spying after his U2 was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960.
  3. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, convicted of spying on North Korea after being kidnapped from China.

I, for one, am glad that finally DiFi is protecting us against enemies of the State, and welcome our new police state overlords.  Of course, Feinstein’s bill has an exception in it:

except that a foreign conviction shall not constitute a conviction of such a crime if the convicted person establishes that the foreign conviction resulted from a denial of fundamental fairness that would violate due process if committed in the United States or from conduct that would be legal if committed in the United States’.

And how exactly does the convicted person establish this?  In court after he’s been arrested and charged for being a felon in possession?  After a NICS denial?  Is the Attorney General empowered to create a process here?  No.  This is a meaningless exemption without some kind of idea of how the exemption is asserted.  DiFi isn’t stupid.  She wouldn’t write up a bill with an actual process, because that wouldn’t create an ever growing class of people who can’t exercise their Second Amendment rights.

UPDATE: Thinking more about it, if DiFi is so peeved at Small, why is she passing a law where Small would have eventually fallen under the exemption anyway.  In fact, it’s hard to say what foreign convictions would qualify, since many Civil Law jurisdictions don’t do trial by jury, and don’t allow, for instance, confronting your accusers in all circumstances.  Even in other Common Law jurisdictions, there can be some limitations on jury trials that don’t exist in the United States.  How much deviation would be considered enough to render the foreign conviction moot?

This really opens up a rather large can of worms for the courts when it comes to someone brought to trial for felon-in-possession where the felony is from a foreign court.  Taken literally, it would actually require American Courts to stand in judgment of the legal process of foreign courts.  It will be very difficult for people in this category to know whether they are prohibited or not, so the likely practical effect will be they are prohibited, unless they can establish as an affirmative defense that they fall under the exception when brought up on charges and brought to trial.

But I suppose that’s the idea.  Which is why I will argue the exception is virtually meaningless, and still largely amounts to a prohibition in practice, if not in strict legal fact.  Doing this “correctly” would be a significant regulatory effort, in order for people to understand what foreign convictions are prohibiting and which ones aren’t.  Aside from that, anyone with any foreign conviction, whether legitimate or not, runs the risk of being arrested, jailed, and put on trial — forced to explain why his conviction falls under the exemption.   That might be good government in DiFi’s world, but not mine.

7 Responses to “DiFi Looking to Expand Prohibited Persons”

  1. Ken says:

    Is this a throw-away bill, or one likely to pass?

  2. Sebastian says:

    So far you only have 5 cosponsors. Durbin, Gilliturncoat, Lautenberg, Schumer, and Whitehouse. Introduced right before recess… I would suggest DiFi doesn’t believe it’s going anywhere. But it’s one to watch for sure.

  3. Ian Argent says:

    What, they couldn’t get both NJ Senators to sign up? Or is Menendez holding out for more than DiFi is willing to pay?

  4. workinwifdakids says:

    I’ll send her a letter. Her staff already has a special place on their workroom bulletin board dedicated to my rants, sort of like the urban legend of the man who keeps writing the Smithsonian.

  5. Ronnie says:

    DiFi and many of her fellow Senatorial Democrats are radical leftist statists – the sovereignty of these United States doesn’t mean all that much to them. The ends justify the means to these folks.

    Statists like DiFi would rather see a Marxist one-world government become an eventual reality anyway, so that’s why they are all too happy whenever they see their brethren American radical leftist judges citing foreign laws in their rulings from the bench.

    Being that radical leftist statists like DiFi also seek to disarm as much of the populace as they possibly can, since it’s far easier to oppress the masses this way, it should come as no surprise that DiFi now wants to use convictions from foreign courts to bar Americans from being legal firearms owners. (See my above reference about that whole ends/means thing.)

  6. Tom says:

    Anyone got a gun totin’ congress type who represents them? See if they can sneak on an amdt banning pols from having armed guards, and for other reasons.

    oh, wait, “and for other reasons” isn’t required? Sorry, reading all the horse-flop their special (anti-rights) interests churn out has gotten me too used to it.

  7. Matt Groom says:

    The only good thing about this kind of legislation is that it would be nearly impossible to check for every person. Most of the time, legal immigrants backgrounds are not checked against criminal records in other countries, because it would take years and cost thousands per applicant, and could easily be flawed, mistaken, overlooked, or intentionally left out because of bribes by the applicant, which is perfectly reasonable.

    Generally, the burden of proof in a case where a person was convicted of possessing a firearm while having been a felon in a foriegn land would be entirely on the prosecution, and they would likely have to go to these places to find evidence to support their case. This would make the law totally ineffective as anything but a scare tactic, and any judge worth their robe would throw these cases out as soon as they appeared.

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