Rep. Todd Russ says he filed a measure so someone who made a mistake early in life and committed a nonviolent crime could have the chance to have a gun — to take a child hunting or to keep a rifle or shotgun handed down by an ancestor.
He wasn't prepared Wednesday when he was told by another lawmaker that nonviolent offenses included bombing, possessing child pornography, child prostitution, drive-by shootings and all drug offenses, which include trafficking and distributing.
“I was horrified when I saw that in our statutes these … things are nonviolent offenses,” said Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, who brought up the nonviolent crimes during the committee hearing on Russ' measure, House Bill 1775. “There occasionally have been cases where somebody was overcharged … but there are also a lot of people out there who are bad guys, and I'm sorry, I don't want them to have any gun.”
Russ, R-Cordell, said he had in mind nonviolent crimes such as writing a check with insufficient funds. He agreed to stop a committee hearing on his HB 1775.
He told members of the House of Representatives Public Safety Committee that he would streamline the measure to target specific nonviolent crimes in which a person who has completed the sentencing and probation would be able to possess a firearm.