Felon in Possession

I am of the firm opinion that ‘Felon in Possession’ is a very weak prosecutorial charge on its own. It clashes directly with the concept that once you have served your sentence your debt to society is paid. Felon in possession proves that concept hollow and false. That person is no longer incarcerated, allegedly because they are safe to be back in the general public. Why do their rights continue to remain on suspension? Yes, I am aware there are methods to restore those rights but the fact they aren’t tied to the completion of a sentence term means someone who has ostensibly served their time actually hasn’t.

“Do you want violent evil people to have guns!?”

No, I want violent evil people incarcerated, above or below ground doesn’t much matter to me. If an individual is that much of a danger why are they free?

What spurred these thoughts back up again?

Man charged after law enforcement find multiple firearms in his home

HELENA- A Montana City man was convicted and charged for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

A release from the Department of Justice says K. Jeffery Knapp was found guilty and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine with three years of supervised release.

I tried to find more on the case, perhaps there is more on the case that I am not seeing, but from my search the only conviction I can find associated with Mr. Knapp is this firearm charge based off a 1994 felony conviction in Colorado.

So, Mr. Knapp is a felon, I am unsure what the 25 year old conviction was, but Mr. Knapp clearly served a sentence and was subsequently released. 25 years later his home is searched with a warrant. Sixteen firearms and “hundreds” of rounds of ammunition are found, including two pistols by his bedside. I don’t have to point out the fact that “hundreds” of rounds could be a single box from just about anywhere, but I will.

This sounds like a man being prosecuted for having the means to protect his home. How many of our homes would sound exactly the same, or far worse if described in a headline?

What I have been trying to find, and so far failing, is did Knapp do anything else? Did he threaten someone? Did he assault someone? Was there anything other than his possession of the firearms that lead to his conviction and pending reincarceration?

Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell presided. Knapp was released pending sentencing, which was set for April 16, 2020.

Released? Knapp was released for 6 months from now. This dangerous felon who managed to illegally acquire 16 weapons and ammunition is among the populous again.

“Felons who possess firearms are a threat to community safety. Mr. Knapp’s conviction sends the message that persons illegally possessing firearms will be held responsible. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Bartleson, the prosecution team, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office for their work on the case,” U.S. Attorney Alme said.

“Felons who possess firearms are a threat to community safety…”

Yet he’s released until the middle of April? So dangerous we cannot get around to sentencing him to prison until springtime.

Does Mr. Knapp deserve to be imprisoned again for his crimes? I don’t know. I can’t find what those are beyond possession of a firearm, that constitutionally protected crime. Based on the eagerness of most news agencies to juice up a story I would’ve hoped to at least find what the 1994 convictions were. Knapp will face up to 10 years in prison, a quarter million dollar fine, and a three year supervised release afterward. He’ll be nearing 60 at that point.

Knapp might be a royal asshole. A violent man, a domestic abuser, a sexual predator of men or women. He might be a perpetual cheat, liar, thief, or arsonist. There are plenty of things Knapp might be, including a decent man who hasn’t done anything criminal since his release after the ’94 conviction. He might just be a man who was ready to defend his home.

The only thing reported is the Felon in Possession conviction though. Not ‘Colorado Murderer’ or ‘Rapist’ or ‘Robber’ found in possession of 16 guns in Montana, what a headline that would make. Nope, just ‘Felon’.

Call me crazy for positing the theory that ‘Felon’ doesn’t always equate permanently to dangerous. Equally crazy perhaps, but not everyone who is dangerous, and we should be prepared to respond too, has a conviction record. The mass casualty attack cases are filled with criminal history free individuals or pairs.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.