Monday, August 06, 2012

Felon-in-possession conviction affirmed; NM law does not fully restore civil rights

U.S. v. Molina, 2012 WL 3065281 (10th Cir. 7/30/12) - By operation of New Mexico law (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-16(A)), a felon's right to possess firearms is restored after the passage of 10 years following completion of the imposed sentence. The rights to vote and serve on a jury are restored by operation of New Mexico law after service of the entirety of the sentence imposed for a felony conviction. However, a person convicted of a felony is not qualified to be elected to public office unless a gubernatorial pardon has been granted. Because all four rights must be restored in order to show full restoration of civil rights under 18 USC § 921(a)(20), Mr. Molina was properly convicted of felon in possession. The court also rejects Molina's void-for-vagueness argument as to § 921(a)(20) and his argument that he had a Second Amendment right to possess firearms.