Man Who Lost Gun Rights Over DUIs Sues To Get Them Restored

No one is going to defend drunk driving.

I mean, I’m sure someone out there will justify their own indiscretions on that front, but actually defend the practice? Sorry, I just can’t imagine anyone arguing in favor of risking the lives of so many with what is clearly an act that endangers others.

Yet let’s also be clear, someone with DUIs isn’t exactly a serial killer, either. They were stupid, but should they have to pay for the rest of their lives for that?

Apparently, one Pennsylvania man has been paying for that since 2000 and he’s tired of it.

A Westmoreland County man who had three drunk driving convictions within five years in the 1990s and 2000 is suing top federal officials to have his right to own guns restored.

Michael Quidetto of New Alexandria, a union electrician, said the federal prohibition on his right to bear arms is an “infringement and an impermissible burden” because his crimes happened many years ago and DUI is “not historically considered to be a serious offense.”

Mr. Quidetto and his lawyer, Charles Fox, are suing the United States, Attorney General William Barr, Byron Jones, head of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Christopher Wray, FBI director.

Mr. Quidetto is asking a federal judge to declare that the federal government is violating his Second Amendment rights and to order the government to pay the cost of his legal battle.

Under federal law, felons can’t have guns, but neither can other people with certain misdemeanor offenses. Among them are repeat DUI offenders, of which Mr. Quidetto is one.

Quidetto pled guilty to DUI in 1996, 1999, and again in 2000. That, for the mathematically impaired, is almost 19 years. Since then, he appears to have been on the straight and narrow.

Yet he’s having to sue to get his gun rights restored.

I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. While I’m not a fan of people driving under the influence, to put it mildly, it’s not something that should result in someone losing a constitutionally-protected right. Yes, three DUIs in that short a timespan suggests some degree of irresponsibility, but if we denied access to guns over irresponsible acts, no member of Congress would ever get a firearm.

There’s absolutely no reason for this. My hope is that Quidetto can get his rights restored. Applying felony penalties to DUIs might well have been deemed necessary, but there also needs to be a time limit for some of that. Quidetto shouldn’t still be paying for that particular crime.

Had someone died, I’d probably feel a little differently, but that’s not what happened. Frankly, I think the process of getting rights restored shouldn’t require attorney fees, either. You shouldn’t have to justify getting your rights restored, the government should have to justify keeping you from having those rights.

The fact that’s not the case is a huge problem.

Again, though, hopefully, Quidetto will get those rights restored. The lack of any DUI convictions in almost 20 years should be all the court needs to know to make this decision.

Frankly, it never should have gotten to that.