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7 Craziest Gun Laws in America

Guns in daycare, churches and even gun free zones?

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7. A few states make it easy for even violent felons to get their gun rights restored

The New York Times  conducted an extensive investigation into this issue last year. The story reports that in 11 states, nonviolent felons have automatic restoration of their gun rights while a handful of other states allow felons convicted of violent crimes to regain their gun rights.

In Minnesota, for instance, violent felons can petition a court to regain their gun rights by showing “ good cause.” There is no waiting period. In Ohio, a violent felon need only demonstrate to a judge that he or she has “led a law-abiding life” since they’ve left prison. In Washington State, felons can get their gun rights restored as long as they haven’t been convicted of any new crimes in five years. Under Washington State’s  Hard Times for Armed Crimes Act, judges actually have  no discretion to deny restorationbased on a felon’s character or mental health.

Felons in other states have other ways to get their guns back: Georgia and Nebraska have granted a high number of pardons to restore felons’ right to bear arms even for those convicted of crimes like voluntary manslaughter or armed robbery.

And Montana makes it possible for felons to get their gun rights restored as long as they didn’t use a dangerous weapon in the commission of their crime.


Suevon Lee is a writer at ProPublica.
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