Missouri Supreme Court to hear case on felons' gun rights - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Missouri Supreme Court to hear case on felons' gun rights

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - An upcoming Missouri Court case could set new precedent for how the state handles gun rights when it comes to convicted felons.

As it stands, federal law prohibits felons from owning a firearm after serving time.

But now, some are saying Missouri law protects the rights of the convicted.

Firearms instructor Tom Beardslee feels anyone with a felony conviction on their record should not own a firearm.

"A felon is someone who has made a serious mistake in their life and they have consequences that go along with that," Beardslee said.

The U.S. Code spells it out. Barring a few exceptions, if a person is convicted of felony crime they cannot legally own a firearm.

Now a man convicted of federal drug charges in 1986 is challenging whether Missouri law protects certain felons' rights to bear arms.

He is referring to an amendment Missouri voters passed this summer meant to ensure law makers could not infringe on individual's gun rights.

It specifically allows for gun bans for felons convicted of violent crimes, but does not say anything about felons convicted of non-violent crimes.

Beardslee says people impacted by the gun ban can take their case before a judge in hopes of getting that privilege back.

"Those folks also have recourse through the court," Beardslee said.

Cape Girardeau officer Darin Hickey says crime is crime.

"It can happen anywhere and happen to anyone,” Hickey said. “And anybody can commit a crime."

Hickey says no matter which way the court rules, it all comes down to safety.

"We don't want to see anybody commit a crime with a firearm," Hickey said.

A number of people of voiced their concern on the KFVS Facebook page saying non-violent felons, who served time, should get a second chance.

The Missouri Supreme is scheduled to starting hearings for the case on Tuesday.

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