Yes, It’s Insane

Everyone should read this account of a person who’s questioning why he’s lost his right to bear arms after a non-violent conviction as a young man, and after many years of being an upstanding citizen, is unable to protect himself or his family.

There exists, as part of the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986, a process by which people convicted of certain crimes can petition ATF to have their firearms rights restored.  The idea of this was so that people who have been convicted of non-violent offenses could have their right to bear arms restored, if they had kept their noses clean in the intervening years.  In 1992, Congress cut off funding for ATF to be able to process these applications.  For the sake of guys like Jay, I think Congress ought to reconsider funding this program, even if they want to stipulate that it not be used to restore rights to people convicted of violent crimes.

5 Responses to “Yes, It’s Insane”

  1. SayUncle says:

    I thought the NICS improvement act provided funding?

  2. Sebastian says:

    For mental health relief. Not for felony relief.

  3. Chris Byrne says:

    Actually, the way I read it it restored funding for the existing rights restoration process, prohibited denial of funding, and established new funding for the new process.

  4. Sebastian says:

    I’ll have to reread it.

  5. Jay says:

    The NRA fact sheet on this says:

    MYTH: The bill’s “relief from disability” provisions are useless because Congress has defunded the “relief” program.

    FACT: The current ban on processing relief applications wouldn’t affect this bill. The appropriations rider (promoted in 1992 by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)) only restricts expenditures by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. H.R. 2640 requires relief programs to be set up and operated by agencies that make adjudications or commitments related to people’s mental health. BATFE doesn’t do that, but other agencies—especially the Veterans’ Administration—do. Naturally, NRA would strongly oppose any effort to remove funding from new “relief” programs set up under this widely supported bill.