No matter how much you hate the ATF, it’s probably not enough.
Besides the fact that a name like “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives” should be the name of a retail outlet, there’s the fact that they don’t just try to regulate the industry. They actively oppose your right to keep and bear arms.
We’ve seen numerous cases of the bureau trying to infringe on people’s rights, even violating the law in some cases in order to do so.
But their latest stunt is potentially even worse.
The way Jeramy Wilburn sees it, he only messed up once. The poor decision-making of a child shouldn’t determine one’s freedoms for the rest of their life, he argues.
The 34-year-old Allen Park resident was known for making YouTube videos about gun safety. He’s also a fan of sport shooting and until this past November was free to partake.
Then the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency took away his firearms because of a past domestic violence conviction which happened years ago. This, despite having the conviction expunged in 2022.
Wilburn’s conviction was a misdemeanor in 2008. As punishment, the judge put him on probation and ordered him to take a domestic violence class – no jail time. And in February 2022, that one mistake was wiped from his record.
Wilburn’s record was expunged. Legally speaking, it was like his conviction never happened. It was wiped from his record.
Unfortunately for him, though, the ATF seems to feel otherwise.
But, in a federal lawsuit brought by Wilburn and Morris, the two argue that isn’t the case. They argue Wilburn should be allowed to possess a firearm. But the feds say Wilburn could still be convicted of domestic violence again.
“It’s unfair for them to say he should be forever barred, forever prohibited from carrying a firearm just because he potentially could get a second offense,” said Morris.
Honestly, this is a terrifying argument that, if allowed to stand, could eventually set a precedent for all kinds of other problems.
Could Wilburn be convicted of domestic violence again? Hypothetically, sure. The fact that he’s gone 15 years without doing so suggests what happened was isolated and he’s unlikely to do so again, but it’s also largely irrelevant.
We don’t punish people based on what they might do, only what they’ve done in the past.
Had the conviction not been expunged, that would be one thing, but it was. His record was wiped clean. This is essentially him getting his rights restored, only that probably wasn’t an option since he only had a misdemeanor charge.
Yet let’s understand that taking his guns because he might be convicted of domestic violence again isn’t all that different from deciding you or I can’t have guns because we might get convicted for domestic violence at some point in the future.
They don’t have the authority to do this, which is why Wilburn is taking the ATF to court. I’m glad he’s doing so and I pray that he doesn’t have to wait too long to get his guns back. They never should have been taken from him in the first place based on the facts we know.
So no, it’s probably not possible to hate the ATF enough.