Non-Violent Offender Upset He Can't Own Gun In Oklahoma

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 10:46 pm
By: News 9

Non-violent offenders no longer allowed to own guns are speaking out. Felons, who say their offense doesn't match up to the punishment want their gun rights back.

As language is cleared up on a new bill that could restore those rights, non-violent felons are coming forward saying they've served their sentences and probation. For some, years later, they still can't legally own a gun.

"I was young, and going through a divorce, and decided to choose alcohol, and get behind the wheel, probably the worst mistake I've ever made," said a two time DUI offender, who did not want his identity revealed.

The offender, trying to get his life back on track after making some big mistakes, feels like he's been stripped of his second amendment right. Even today, 15 years after his last offense, he's still not comfortable showing his face.

"There was no guns or anything involved, just because I did make a bad decision when I was 22-years old, I don't think you ought to strip me from being able to protect my family, myself, or my house," said the offender.

"He's not a violent person, you know, he doesn't want an AK-47 or an AR-15, he just wants a hunting rifle," said his father, Richard Keene.

It's been more than a decade now since Keene, a Vietnam war Veteran, has had a single gun in his home simply because of his son's past.

"If he comes over to the house, and the police show up for some reason, whatsoever, and he's there, and there's guns there, then he's violating his parole," said Keene.

Richard says he misses hunting with his sons.

"Oh yeah, I miss it a lot," said Keene. "I can't experience going hunting with my son, and my other son, where all three of us go hunting together."

"I think I've done my time, I've done what the courts asked me to do in a timely manner, if not earlier," said the offender. "I've paid my dues back I feel."

The DUI offender says he's tried getting a pardon from the Governor, but has yet to hear back. The bill was placed on hold Wednesday at the state capitol after clear opposition from members of a House panel.

2/13/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma House Bill Allowing Some Felons To Own Guns Now On Hold