Thursday, March 9, 2017

Form 4473 - and the "Felon" label

The new form 4473 apparently makes it a crime to purchase a gun if you use marijuana. If marijuana users aren't allowed to purchase guns, does that mean law enforcement can take a gun or guns away from someone if they know that individual uses marijuana? Here's a link to a Portland Press story about the new form 4473.

Law-abiding citizens who turn in their guns, or don't purchase them because of this new question on the form 4473, will be helpless against the real criminals. Anyone can get a gun, whether it be through a friend, or through a failed background check as shown below. My husband, Pete, had been labeled a felon, due to a conviction in 1981, but was still approved in 2003 to purchase a gun.

He also purchased guns at K-Mart, Joe Jones, and other dealers. The "felon" label never goes away in Maine, unless you apply for a pardon and it's granted. The state arbitrarily preys upon those who, though they may have made mistakes in the past, might have changed.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Double Jeopardy...or worse.

Maine Game Wardens assisted by other law enforcement officials in April of 2011, raided our home and seized our family's guns, all because of Pete's decades old conviction in 1981 when he was 19 years old. That's like double jeopardy (prosecution twice for the same offense), except you don't get tried the second time...just convicted.

I asked for Intervenor status. Any firearms purchased during our mariage were marital property. Also, I thought it a good idea for Pete to have a Frank's hearing to challenge the search warrant. Law enforcement also
 took guns that belonged to our sons, which we kept in our safe until needed during hunting season. 

A hearing regarding my request to have intervenor status was scheduled in 2013; however I was not notified! Since Pete wanted to get things over with, he never told me, and neither he or his court-appointed attorney went to the hearing, so my motion was dismissed. Pete ended up agreeing to a plea bargain for the supposed crime of being a felon in possession of firearms. He spent a week in jail, lost his guns to the state, has to pay a fine (put on a payment plan), and probably has another felony on his record. 

Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record) has a question on it, 11.e., which asks the applicant if they use marijuana. Despite that your state may have legalized it for recreational use, or even if you have been prescribed it for medical use, you will not be able to legally purchase a gun if you admit to using marijuana. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) explains to Federal Firearms Licencees in this open letter in 2011.