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How You Get Two Years for Firing a Shotgun at a Shooting Range

2nd Amend.

How You Get Two Years for Firing a Shotgun at a Shooting Range

So here is Anthony, a two-time felon at 23, stripped of his Second Amendment rights, locked in a cage for two years, and treated like a child or as long as a decade afterward. All without committing an actual crime.

Last month Dallas Anthony received a two-year prison sentence for firing a shotgun at an outdoor shooting range in Charles City, Virginia. To understand why, you have to understand how drug prohibition, mandatory minimums, and stupid gun laws interact to produce absurd results.

Four years ago, Anthony was caught with a small amount of marijuana and two bottles of painkillers. He pleaded guilty to felony possession of a controlled substance and received a suspended three-year sentence. But under state and federal law, that felony conviction barred Anthony from possessing firearms. Anthony broke that rule by firing his father’s shotgun at the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area’s shooting range one Sunday afternoon last January. Virginia imposes a two-year mandatory minimum sentence on people who violate the ban on gun possession within 10 years of their original conviction, no matter how brief or innocent the possession and no matter the nature of the first felony. So after Anthony pleaded guilty to that offense in June, he had no hope of avoiding prison.

In addition to the two-year prison sentence, the Hopewell News & Patriot reports, Anthony “will be placed on indefinite supervised probation upon his release for up to 10 years, during which an officer may search his property or vehicle at any time.” Furthermore, “Anthony is to remain drug and alcohol free while on probation and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.” Should he have a drink or a puff of pot during that time and get caught, he could go back to prison.

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