Monday, April 12, 2004

The Mind Boggles

This article in the Durham paper caught me by surprise (and I thought I had long since stopped being surprised by the strength of the gun lobby and the idiocy of the people that let such legislation stand). To quote from the article (I haven't looked up the actual statute):

It is not illegal in North Carolina for convicted felons to carry rifles or shotguns in their vehicles. Nor is it illegal for them to keep as many guns as they like in their home, as long as the weapons are not fully automatic.
When enacting the statute against the possession of guns by convicted felons, N.C. legislators inserted this clause: "Nothing ... would prohibit the right of any person to have possession of a firearm within his own home or on his lawful place of business."

In addition, the law makes it OK for convicted felons to drive around with guns having barrel lengths of at least 18 inches and overall lengths of 26 inches or more. That includes rifles and shotguns.

And even if a convicted felon takes a rifle or shotgun out of his vehicle and walks down the street with it, he could be prosecuted only for "going armed to the terror of the people," a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment would be four months in jail.

Under federal law, it is "illegal for convicted felons to possess any kind of gun anywhere, including in their home" so it apparently depends on who does the prosecution? Weird (and frightening).


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