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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/23/2002 7:16:20 AM EDT
Jan. 22, 2002, 8:37PM

Court to use Texas case on gun rights for felons
By PATTY REINERT
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court decided Tuesday to use the case of an East Texas man to determine whether federal judges should be allowed to restore convicted felons' rights to own guns.

Tommy Bean, a Vidor car salesman and part-time gun dealer, lost his right to own firearms because of a 1998 weapons conviction in Mexico. The courts later restored the right, but now the federal government is asking the Supreme Court to take it away again.

Bean's saga began on March 14, 1998, when he and some friends, who had been attending a gun show in Laredo, drove across the international bridge into Nuevo Laredo to eat dinner.

Bean and his companions had left their weapons on the U.S. side of the border, but Bean had forgotten that he had four boxes of ammunition rattling around in his Chevy Suburban.

After his arrest, he signed a confession written in Spanish, a language he doesn't understand. He eventually was convicted without a trial and sentenced to five years in prison for arms smuggling. At one point, he said he was told that for a $20,000 bribe, he would be escorted back across the border and released.

(more...)
Link Posted: 1/23/2002 7:17:05 AM EDT
He declined to pay and sat for six months in a Nuevo Laredo jail, playing dominoes and sipping orange soda to pass the time as his family and friends in Texas raised money and hired lawyers to try to bring him home.

The case received widespread publicity as U.S. law enforcement officials sought to warn other Americans to avoid taking knives, guns or ammunition into Mexico, which has much stricter weapons laws than does the United States.

Possession of a weapon such as a pocket knife or a handgun in Mexico can result in up to five years in prison, while those caught with firearms or ammunition reserved by Mexican law for military use face five- to 30-year sentences and hefty fines.

The whole mess ended with Bean being returned to the United States during a routine prisoner exchange with Mexico. He immediately set about clearing his name in the United States.

Bean, an avid hunter, wanted to regain his right to own firearms. He also hoped to eventually reapply for his federal license to sell guns, which he had done previously as a hobby and a source of extra income.

Nearly two years later, in 2000, after Bean had spent about $200,000 in legal fees and other expenses relating to his incarceration in Mexico, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans restored Bean's right to own a gun.

Now, at the request of the Bush administration, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider reversing that decision.

"The government could not have picked a worse case to take up on appeal," Bean's attorney, Larry Hunter, said Tuesday.

"He is such an innocent victim. He's not anywhere near the type of felon this law is targeting," he said. "Even the 5th Circuit realized that."

At issue, according to Solicitor General Theodore Olson, is not whether Bean, a 61-year-old who has no prior criminal record, deserves to own a gun. The issue is whether Bean's case should be allowed to set a precedent for other, more dangerous, convicted felons who may now expect the courts to restore their gun ownership rights.

"There is a significant risk that persons who pose a real danger to public safety might be rearmed," Olson wrote in his brief to the Supreme Court.

Felons in the United States are barred from carrying guns after they are released from prison, but they can ask the government to make an exception. Since 1992, however, Congress has prevented the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from spending money to process those requests, and they have been piling up at ATF.

Bean sought to break the logjam by suing, and he won. The 5th Circuit panel deciding his case said that Mexican officials had unfairly arrested and imprisoned him for what the judges considered a "simple oversight," not an intentional crime.

Olson said such cases are better handled by the ATF than by the courts, noting that in Texas alone, 80,000 people were convicted of felonies in 1999. If a significant number of them seek to reclaim their gun ownership rights, he indicated, the courts could be deluged.

Hunter dismissed that concern, calling it a "hyperbolic claim" in his court filings.

Olson's argument "paints an eye-catching image of federal district judges dispensing gun permits like candy to tens of thousands of marauding Texas felons," he wrote.

The justices are expected to hear arguments next fall.
Link Posted: 1/23/2002 8:24:31 AM EDT
Can you provide the link to this story? I'm in Law School and taking gun control courses, this would be interesting to the class.
Link Posted: 1/23/2002 10:27:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2002 10:35:22 AM EDT by cnatra]

Originally Posted By Minman72:
Can you provide the link to this story? I'm in Law School and taking gun control courses, this would be interesting to the class.



www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/nation/1222487

Houston Chronicle

don't think it will last past today, you must be a subscriber to access their archives

EDITED to add: WHAT THE FARCK IS THE BUSH ADMN.
DOING ???????

I thought these where supposed to be 2nd ammendment friendly GOP'ers ???

Where is Ashcroft in all of this ???

The guy committed NO crime in the U.S. !!!

He has NEVER been convicted of a crime in a U.S. court!!

How is he a convicted felon here in the states??

I'm pissed! We should start a legal defense fund for him.

Where the hell is the NRA/ILA or GOA ????

Link Posted: 1/23/2002 7:21:23 PM EDT
MinMan72 what the heck type of classes do they teach in law school on gun control?
Link Posted: 1/23/2002 8:10:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/24/2002 5:05:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1GUNRUNNER:
WTF Does some BS Mexican conviction have to do with his rights in the country?



I think that's the point. Why were his US gun rights ever removed in the first place? And why does our wonderful gov't want to take them away again?
Link Posted: 1/24/2002 11:13:16 AM EDT
Your juggling and distracting icon makes reading your post a little hard to read. But I like it. Hope she is single.
Link Posted: 1/24/2002 11:27:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Critters:
Your juggling and distracting icon makes reading your post a little hard to read. But I like it. Hope she is single.



Whew! Glad to hear you say that, I thought it was just me that was distracted. Are those runflats?
Link Posted: 1/24/2002 11:44:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 9:42:31 AM EDT
Logged back on to check out cnatra's icon again. Still cannot read his post with the icon distraction. Patiently waiting for her puppies to fall out. I need a life.
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 1:53:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cnatra:
I thought these where supposed to be 2nd amendment friendly GOP'ers ???


Aren't you glad Bush is President now? Everybody said he would be good for gun rights, and I was gullible and believed them. Shame on me. Doesn't matter which party is in power(except the Libertarians. hint, hint ), they still are going to increase the power of the State.
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 4:28:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Critters:
Logged back on to check out cnatra's icon again. Still cannot read his post with the icon distraction. Patiently waiting for her puppies to fall out. I need a life.



It's not just you dude.

She is a digital goddess who taunts me in my dreams with the lascivious display of her bounding casabas.

Link Posted: 1/25/2002 4:48:18 PM EDT
Everytime I read a post where cnatra has responded I think to myself:


"Oh boy... If I were only a cartoon!"
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 5:28:25 PM EDT
You don't know what purpose this could be serving, rarely is the time when Justices of any court make a blanket ruling. Which is what we all want. They will march him in the court room. Keep his rights restored and limit the ruling to expanding the definition to not include, felons who were convicted of violent crimes.

I doubt they will actually take away his RKBA but they might tighten the situations under which that may happen.

Benjamin
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 5:59:31 PM EDT
Going to SCOTUS is ALWAYS a dougle edged sword.
Forget the fact that Regan got the FOPA passed into law, the machine gun ban and the "assualt" weapon ban, along with the Brady Bill have wiped out most of what Regan did for gun owners.
Hopefully, GW won' t cave in like his father and pass anymore stupid gun laws.

Link Posted: 1/25/2002 6:12:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Troy:

Originally Posted By cnatra:
EDITED to add: WHAT THE FARCK IS THE BUSH ADMN. DOING ???????



Not that I have any inside info, but did you ever consider that this case was chosen SPECIFICALLY because the Supreme Court would UPHOLD the 5th Circuit Court, and thereby setting a precedent? Then Bush couldn't be blamed ("Hey, the Supreme Court said it was okay, not me."). This is how the liberal/socialists often get things done.

Of course, I could be completely wrong.

-Troy



I hope you are right on this one Troy.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 10:08:10 AM EDT
One more lookie before I go. Oh yeah, made my day!
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 12:50:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cnatra:

The case received widespread publicity as U.S. law enforcement officials sought to warn other Americans to avoid taking knives, guns or ammunition into Mexico, which has much stricter weapons laws than does the United States.



and look at what a safe, clean, family-friendly, crime-free, human rights respecting nation Mexico is without a pesky Second Amendment!
Link Posted: 1/27/2002 3:48:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Maynard:

She is a digital goddess who taunts me in my dreams with the lascivious display of her bounding casabas.



LMAO!
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