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February 14, 2013

Bill would allow some ex-felons to have guns

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

“These are serious offenses,” Osborn said. “I was horrified when I saw in our statutes that these were considered nonviolent offenders.”

Jimmy Bunn, Jr., chief legal counsel for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, testified that under current law, those convicted of a nonviolent felony can have the right to own a gun restored if they receive a pardon from the governor. But Russ said receiving a pardon from the governor was a “monumental” task and that pardons are rarely granted.

The bill also was opposed by the District Attorneys’ Council, a group that represents state prosecutors at the Capitol.

Rep. Fred Jordan, R-Jenks, encouraged Russ to consider narrowing the scope of his bill or perhaps adding a judicial review to ensure that the law wouldn’t end up “putting a gun in the hand of a drug trafficker.”

Russ said he hoped to redraft the bill to address some of the members’ concerns and bring it up in committee again next week.

 

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