A woman in Utah is seeking the restoration of her gun rights after she was convicted of a non-violent crime many years ago. Melynda Vincent of Wasatch County was accused of writing a fraudulent check amounting to $498.12 at a grocery store in Salt Lake City in 2007 and convicted a year later.
She argues that the second amendment rights of Americans could only be abridged under very limited circumstances as the founding fathers intended.
“Current statutes commanding perpetual punishment with no hope of redemption poorly serve the proper understanding of the Second Amendment. Our Founders understood the right to keep and bear arms to be a fundamental individual right that could only be abridged in narrow circumstances,” the lawsuit reads.
Melynda’s lawsuit notes that based on historical precedents that informed Barret’s dissent in Kanter v. Barr, 919 F.3d 437, 451 (7th Cir. 2019), only those who threatened public safety deserved to have their gun rights taken away.
On personal progress, the lawsuit also indicates that Melynda “forged a new life” and redeemed herself after the non-violent conviction and subsequent successful completion of a two-year probation.
The lawsuit says that the plaintiff has stayed out of trouble for ten years, conquered her addition, and earned two master's degrees. She also founded the Utah Harm Reduction Coalition trying to assist individuals like her to avoid a destructive path.
“Put simply, Melynda Vincent redeemed herself. Like many others, she had lived a life derailed by drugs,” the lawsuit reads.
Melynda believes it’s time to have her gun rights restored based on her progress and the nature of her conviction.
"Justice was served over 10 years ago when I completed my sentence, yet I am denied my inalienable rights as an American citizen because of something I did," she lamented.
Her case resembles that of Lisa Folajtar, recently filed in the Supreme Court by the Firearms Policy Coalition. Lisa’s request to have her 2A rights restored was thwarted by the ninth circuit court of appeals.
Every American has the right of nature to use the necessary tools for self-preservation especially when doing so does not threaten the safety of others. There is no evidence that non-violent offenders misuse firearms after their conviction and the prohibition on gun ownership for such individuals is based on wrongful interpretation of the constitution.
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