(The Center Square) – Convicted felons in the state of Wisconsin cannot own guns, even if they didn’t commit a violent crime.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a Milwaukee man with a felony conviction for not paying his child support should not get special dispensation because his crime was not violent.
Justice Ann Walsh-Bradley wrote for the court’s 5-2 majority, asserting Leevan Roundtree’s challenge to the state’s ban on felons owning guns falls short.
Roundtree argued that not paying child support does not pose a threat to the general public, therefore he should have not be banned from owning a gun.
Walsh-Bradley said the Wisconsin Supreme Court is not going to create a “hierarchy of felonies.”
Roundtree was arrested while in possession of a stolen gun, and sentenced to prison under a Wisconsin law that bans felons from possessing a firearm.
Walsh-Bradley wrote there is an argument to be made that a blanket ban on someone’s Second Amendment rights should be reconsidered.
Justice Brian Hagedorn dissented. He wrote that people who are convicted of violent misdemeanors don’t lose their gun rights, so why should non-violent felons?
“Felon-dispossession laws may be permissible under this historical protection, but only where the State shows the restriction substantially advances the State’s interest in protecting against gun-related violence,” Hagedorn stated. “Here, however, the State did not carry its burden to show that Wisconsin’s dispossession law satisfies this standard.”
Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.