Ruling could open Pandora’s box

By Richard C. Evey

The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled last week that the state statute making it “unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony to purchase, own, possess, or have in his custody, care or control any firearm”  is unconstitutional.

The party in question pleaded guilty of felony possession with intent to sell and deliver the controlled substance methaqualone (drugs) in 1982. The crime was non-violent and no weapon was involved. The person served his term in prison and was a law-abiding citizen since his release from prison. The North Carolina General Assembly changed the law in 1995 and 2004, making the possession of a firearm by a felon illegal, but with no grandfather clause. The man, Barney Britt, then turned in his weapons to the local law enforcement people.

The court did state that the application of the state statute was unconstitutional “as applied to this plaintiff.”

Side note: this case would not have been heard and it would not be an issue if the government, state and federal, had not made drugs illegal.

This could set a precedent and open the door to hundreds, if not thousands, of appeals by convicted felons of violent nature, incompetents, insane people and people subject to domestic violence orders requesting the right to posses a firearm be granted to them.

If the Supreme Court had narrowed the decision to exclude the violent offenders, insane people, incompetent people and firearms crimes, then the decision could have been, maybe, a winner for the people.

It has opened Pandora’s box.

Just a note: This is a court ruling; Courts and judges make rulings and decisions, NOT law, as some federal, state and supreme court judges have stated and a lot of people in government think. The only people who can make law are the Congress and state legislatures. This decision could be turned by the proper legislation in the N.C. General Assembly.



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