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http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/SB/48

Appears the bill redefines forcible felony as well as prohibiting restoration of rights to own a firearm after being pardoned for a forcible felony. Proposed new definition follows.

(3) 'Forcible felony' means any felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any person and further includes, without limitation, murder; murder in the second degree; burglary in any degree; robbery; armed robbery; home invasion in
any degree; kidnapping; hijacking of an aircraft or motor vehicle; aggravated stalking; rape; aggravated child molestation; aggravated sexual battery; arson in the first degree; the manufacturing, transporting, distribution, or possession of explosives with intent to kill, injure, or intimidate individuals or destroy a public building; terroristic threats; or acts of treason or insurrection.
I don't really expect this bill to get out of committee in the senate, but it is probably worth keeping an eye on.
 

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It merely moves the definition to another section without changing it. The substantive change is that those who are pardoned will still be felons in possession. In addition, no relief from disabilities in Georgia for such convicts. It appears that first offenders would still be able to possess guns even if it is a forcible felony.
 

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I hope it fails. Pardoned felons should have all their rights back.
Even a murderer, rapist, or armed robber. IF (and that's a big "if") they deserve a pardon at all, they deserve to be treated (officially, in the eyes of the law) like regular citizens.
That's assuming pardons are rare, based on merit or justice in very unusual circumstances, and NEVER sold or used to appease special interest groups who wield political power.

That being said, I don't really think the legislature should get too much involved in the details of pardons and paroles. That Board is a constitutionally-created entity and should have inherent authority to make exceptions to the general rule (as set by statutory law or Board's own policies) in the right kinds of cases.
 

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Sledgehammer
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I don't really think the legislature should get too much involved in the details of pardons and paroles. That Board is a constitutionally-created entity and should have inherent authority to make exceptions to the general rule.
I'll go a step further and say the bill, if enacted would be unconstitutional. The legislature lacks the power to make a certain person "pardon proof," with the exception of certain crimes. The bill goes beyond the certain crimes.
 

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. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this Paragraph, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles shall be vested with the power of executive clemency, including the powers to grant reprieves, pardons, and paroles; to commute penalties; to remove disabilities imposed by law; and to remit any part of a sentence for any offense against the state after conviction.

http://law.justia.com/constitution/georgia/conart4.html
 

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I'll go a step further and say the bill, if enacted would be unconstitutional. The legislature lacks the power to make a certain person "pardon proof," with the exception of certain crimes. The bill goes beyond the certain crimes.
If passed it would only be unconstitutional if someone had the standing and funds to fight it to the point of having it ruled thus.
 

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Sledgehammer
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If passed it would only be unconstitutional if someone had the standing and funds to fight it to the point of having it ruled thus.
That's an odd notion of constitutionality. What if a pardoned forcible felon applied for a GWL and the probate judge said, "Looks like your pardon does not allow you to possess a firearm under this new law, so how can I issue you a GWL? The pardonee says, "Oh, the legislature lacks the power to prevent the BPAP from restoring my rights to possess firearms, because the BPAP derives its power from the Constitution, and not from the legislature." The probate judge agrees, and issues the license. The probate judge has read Perry v. Ferguson, and realizes that the SCOGA opinion in that case applies equally well in this one.

No standing, no suing, no funds.
 

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That's an odd notion of constitutionality. What if a pardoned forcible felon applied for a GWL and the probate judge said, "Looks like your pardon does not allow you to possess a firearm under this new law, so how can I issue you a GWL? The pardonee says, "Oh, the legislature lacks the power to prevent the BPAP from restoring my rights to possess firearms, because the BPAP derives its power from the Constitution, and not from the legislature." The probate judge agrees, and issues the license. The probate judge has read Perry v. Ferguson, and realizes that the SCOGA opinion in that case applies equally well in this one.

No standing, no suing, no funds.
I would say that fellow got damn lucky. And as far as the case I hope Ferguson had to pay for your fees. Seemed fairly obvious that Perry's rights had been restored.
 

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Our current Constitution grants the Board the same broad authority, with some additional exceptions not applicable to Perry, see Ga. Const. of 1983, Art. IV, Sec. II, Par. II (a), and the General Assembly still may not enact statutes that limit the Board's powers, see Art. IV, Sec. VII, Par. II (providing that the "powers and duties of members of constitutional boards and commissions provided for in this article,
except the Board of Pardons and Paroles, shall be as provided by law" (emphasis added).

 

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Sledgehammer
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Seemed fairly obvious that Perry's rights had been restored.
Yeah, but that's the point I'm making in this thread. If you went strictly by the statute, Judge Ferguson was correct. But the argument in that case was that the statute cannot be read to be the exclusive means of restoring rights, because the constitution gives the BPAP the power to restore rights independently from what the legislature does.

So for SB 48, the legislature cannot purport to take away that independent power to restore rights. In Ferguson v. Perry, there was an alternative means of reading the statute so as not to rule anything unconstitutional. SB 48 leaves no such room.
 

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I seem to recall a non-published decision from the Probate Judge of Forsyth County, ruling in a similar case that the Board's old (decades-old) pardon of a person was controlling even if it didn't meet every jot and tittle of statutory law.

THE NEXT IMPORTANT QUESTION is this: Will today's Board of Pardons and Paroles actually USE their constitutional authority to grant full pardons with restoration of gun rights if that is in conflict with a state statute and against the intent and will of the General Assembly?
(I hope so.)
 

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THE NEXT IMPORTANT QUESTION is this: Will today's Board of Pardons and Paroles actually USE their constitutional authority to grant full pardons with restoration of gun rights if that is in conflict with a state statute and against the intent and will of the General Assembly? (I hope so.)
I think we already know the answer to this.
 
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