An Iowa man lost is gun rights decades ago over a weapons charge. After keeping his nose clean for decades, he applied to get his gun rights restored, just as any of us would likely do. After all, the man was a farmer, which means he actually needs firearms in the performance of his work. Like it or not, guns are necessary on a farm as wildlife is not conducive to maximizing crops and predators aren’t known for making friends with livestock.
Unfortunately, it didn’t go well for the farmer.
An Iowa farmer caught possessing firearms after asking the governor to restore the gun rights he lost decades ago has been sentenced to 18 days in jail.
[Allan] Phillips lost his gun rights for life in 1978 when he was convicted of a misdemeanor weapons charge. He’d been out of trouble for four decades when he applied in 2017 to the governor’s office for clemency to restore his firearms rights.
State agents conducting a background check as part of the clemency process found during an announced home visit in February that Phillips had three shotguns, a long gun and ammunition. Phillips was charged with illegal possession of a firearm as a felon, even though he’s not a felon.
He was convicted of another misdemeanor gun charge.
The truth of the matter is, though, this should never have been an issue. I don’t know what the previous charge was, but if it didn’t rise to the level of a felony then Phillips should never have lost his gun rights in the first place.
That’s especially true when you consider what he did for a living, namely being a farmer. As I noted before, guns are a way of life on the farm. They’re necessary to protect crops and livestock from various threats. I’ve seen fields that have been visited by wild hogs, for example, and it’s not pretty. Further, that’s money out of farmers’ pockets.
I’m not surprised Phillips had guns.
Now, a case could be made that he was stupid for having them where they could be found, but I don’t know if they were hidden and discovered after a search or if he had them out.
Either way, it shouldn’t have mattered. There’s no way Phillips should have needed to apply to get his rights back then and there’s no reason he should have to apply for them now. If what he did was so egregious that it warranted him losing a civil liberty then it was egregious enough to warrant a felony conviction.
If it wasn’t that bad, then Phillips should be released from prison immediately and given his weapons back (assuming they were taken, of course). He should also be free to purchase any other firearms he wants that are available on the open market, just like the rest of us. So far, this man has only run afoul of gun control laws, apparently. This isn’t a violent criminal we should be concerned about and this is beyond stupid.
You’d think Iowa wouldn’t be so knee-deep in the stupid, but there you are.