As reported, a Melbourne, Florida man was reportedly in his home at about 9:30 AM last week when a home invader broke in and attacked. The homeowner fired his Luger pistol in self defense, wounding the attacker and saving himself, according to police. However, this homeowner reportedly has a previous felony conviction, making it illegal for him to own a firearm. Police have reportedly arrested the homeowner, who faces charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. My thoughts are below:
As I’ve mentioned previously, convicted felons are prohibited from owning guns by the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, as well as various state laws. While I don’t necessarily have a problem with prohibiting someone convicted of attempted murder from owning a gun, I am concerned by the fact that many lesser crimes are felonies these days. Historically, felonies were reserved for the wost crimes, such as murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, and arson. But nowadays, many crimes that don’t involve that degree of wrongness are classified as felonies. As an example, in Washington state, it is a felony to engage in an online poker game.
While not exactly on point with this situation, the U.S. V. Skoien case (and the cases that will likely follow it) may end up improving this area of law.