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Second Amendment Rights Lost For Army Vet

ron kelly second amendment

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A Texas Army veteran lost his Second Amendment rights over a 42- year-old petty misdemeanor. Ron Kelly is an American hero, having defended his country for 20 years in the Army. He retired from the military in 1993. Although a minor marijuana violation in 1971 did not prevent him from serving in the Armed Forces and fighting for freedom, it will now stop him from ever buying a gun again.

Ron Kelly walked into the Tomball, Texas Walmart looking for a new .22 caliber rifle. He found the weapon he wanted and promptly headed to the checkout counter. While the Army veteran stood at the register, money in hand, a background check was initiated. Imagine Kelly’s shock when the Walmart worker told the career military man that his named had been flagged. The no-jail-time arrest after getting caught with a small amount of pot in high school had come back to haunt him.

A report about Texas Army veteran Ron Kelly in the Houston Chronicle reads:

“According to the FBI, which runs the background checks known as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the law states that a person can be prevented from owing a gun if they are convicted of a misdemeanor in which they could spend more than two years behind bars.”

Then teenage Kelly was given one year probation for his youthful indiscretion and went on to serve his country valiantly, but none of that apparently matters. The Army veteran has contacted Texas Republican Representative Michael McCaul and GOP Senator John Cornyn for help with the loss of his Second Amendment rights. Kelly noted that he would be content with a waiver which would allow him to regain his gun ownership rights.

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Although the now viral story about Ron Kelly losing his right to own a gun details the trials of just one man, there are likely hundreds (if not thousands) of current or retired military members who will find themselves faced with the same nonsensical restrictions.

During an interview with the Houston newspaper, Kelly said:

“I am ashamed of the way my government has treated me. The government may have the greatest intentions with the law, but they messed it up.”

North Carolina officials searching for the criminal record of the former resident have come up empty handed. Ron Kelly’s marijuana arrest was so minor and so old, no information pertaining to the charge still exists. While serving as an infantryman, the retired soldier fired about 100,000 rounds of government-issued ammunition. It is both baffling and infuriating that a man, one who passed a background check before his induction into the Army and put his life on the line for his country, now can’t make a simple rifle purchase at the local Walmart.

Earlier this year, Navy veteran Jeff Schrader also had his Second Amendment rights revoked. Schrader had been arrested for a fight during his youth and was ordered to pay a $109 fine. When the Navy veteran attempted to purchase a gun 45 years later, his minor arrest came back to haunt him as well. The law pertaining to the long ago misdemeanor crime has changed, and it now carries the possibility of at least two years in jail. The retroactive punishment disqualified Jeff Schrader from ever owing a firearm again.

veteran lose second amendment rightsVeteran Ron Kelly appealed the gun ownership denial. He recently received a letter from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) explaining the misguided reasons why he was disqualified from legally owning a gun for the rest of his life. According to a Reason report, the Second Amendment rights denial might not be legal under current law. The statute currently states that gun ownership is denied to American citizens who are convicted of felonies and misdemeanors involving domestic violence. The retired soldier did not commit a felony, nor did he hit a woman during a domestic dispute; he merely has a small baggie of pot in his pocket as a teenager.

An excerpt from the federal firearms statute pertaining to Second Amendment rights revocation reads:

“A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this chapter if the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored [if the law of the applicable jurisdiction provides for the loss of civil rights under such an offense] unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.”

The Reason report went on to note that the only other possibly gun ownership disqualifying factor which even remotely relates to Ron Kelly is the “unlawful use of or addicted to any controlled substance” statute. To truly justify the addiction reference, the government should have to possess more than a four decades old probation-only misdemeanor. The federal government essentially nullified such an argument and forgave the insignificant youthful mistake when they allowed him to join the Army and handed him a machine gun.

It disgusts me that a man the government deemed acceptable to stand on a wall and protect us is no longer able to carry a gun to protect himself. The same government which allowed Ron Kelly to fire tanks and machine guns now says no to the ownership of a .22 caliber rifle. There is just no way to make sense of such reasoning. The Texas Army veteran stated recently that at first he was really embarrassed about the high school pot baggie arrest and background check flagging, but that he is now outraged. Kelly rightfully believes he should not be denied full access to the Second Amendment rights that he spent so many years in uniform defending.

The Ron Kelly case clearly illustrates the absurd manner in which background check criteria are applied. The loss of Second Amendment rights is probably something the medical marijuana card holders in states which had the good sense to stop attempting to legislate private behavior even thought to consider. If a background check reveals current marijuana usage, they too will lose their gun ownership rights.

Texas Army veteran Ron Kelly has vowed not to give up and noted that he wants to own a gun. What do you think about the revocation of Second Amendment rights for minor (an often times decades old) misdemeanor convictions?

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  1. How many more rights are they going to try and take from us? (ALL of them) THIS is the criminal part. Folks, we better start standing and fighting for our rights in the political arena or we’ll have to start standing and fighting for real just to stay alive! I’m SO disgusted with what this country has turned into.

  2. Second hand smoke

    Your right to slef defense is unalienable.They can neither grant it nor take it away.Of course this is betrayed all the time.But if some human like yourself can take away a right granted to all living things by nature itself,then a human like yourself can just take it back.

  3. Hmmmm…Yet there are pictures of Obummer smoking weed AND can’t prove he has any history at all…and he gets to control the might of the entire armed forces of the USA! Where is the justice? Seriously…

  4. As a 10+ yr. veteran of my beloved US Navy, let them take away my 2nd and see if they don’t experience deep-water warfare! I can’t defend myself while “they” have armed bodyguards, secret services, Blackwater corporate wingnuts, etc.???

  5. This is no longer America, it has morphed into the United States of Israel.

    ‘When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.’ Thomas Jefferson

  6. I think you are all missing the point. This man is a former user of a psychotropic hallucinogen and as such could mentally warp into a diabolical criminal at any moment, thereby harming himself, his family, property or neighbors! What if a friendly cop happens to be driving by and this crazed lunatic, pot smoking monster with military training takes pop shots at this innocent cop with his .22 rifle? What if he lives down the street from an elementary school, pops a few prozac or whatever old farts are taking these days and wipes out a kindergarten? This isn’t about Obama and Holder trying to take away your second amendment rights so the Obama storm troopers can lock you up in a FEMA camp! This is about the safety of our communities. And I for one would never buy a gun from a Chinese toting outfit like Wal-Mart. No real patriot buys anything from Wal-MArt, much less a .22 rifle. What kind of self-respecting American veteran would want a Chinese made .22, or buy from a store that sell 99% of its products made in a communist country? You people talk about liberty then go down and buy your junk food and garbage from Wal-Mart. Get a life.

  7. All Firearm Laws Are Unconstitutional. Unconstitutional laws are void. Our federal government has turned criminal not us. These men should just ignore these “laws.” If I were in Texas I would give Mr. Kelly one of my guns.

    If Mr. Ron Kelly is reading this article (or anyone who knows him) and he was in the 82nd Airborne and was stationed at Fort Bragg in 1976 then him and I were friends. I’d like him to contact me, R. Root, email: mrwmnhtr at yahoo and/or at gmail.

  8. So, does that mean when my estranged husband created a false e-signature on a 2010 tax return I know contained false information ( thus my reasoning for not signing them) in my name without permission and is declared a civil offense will have to hand in all his weapons he is hiding at his son house and made it look as though his son bought them going to loose his guns plus the one he refused to hand over to me I owned before we were married. Is he going to loose his arms license as well?

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