Army Vet Refused Gun Permit For 42 Year-Old Drug Misdemeanor


A Texas man who served for 20 years in the U.S. Army after being convicted for a minor drug charge in 1971 was turned away from a local Walmart after attempting to purchase a .22-caliber rifle and failing a Federal background check for his 42 year-old offense.

According to a report from CBS Houston, Ron Kelly incurred the drug charge while still in high school and was sentenced to a year of probation. He enlisted in the Army two years later, and went on to obtain a top-secret security clearance.

“It is amazing that they won’t let me buy a gun for a misdemeanor 42 years ago,” he told The Houston Chronicle. “I am ashamed of the way my government has treated me. The government may have the greatest of intentions with the [law], but they messed it up.”

A Texas Rifle Association representative said it was “crazy” that such a minor blemish in the life of an American veteran – one who went on to fire cannon and machine guns as a soldier – could place him in the same company with felons and traitors as one who doesn’t meet the government’s standard for owning a firearm.

More troubling is the mystery surrounding how the FBI, which conducts Federal background checks, knew of the decades-old conviction. When the Chronicle checked with the North Carolina courthouse, police department and District Attorney to obtain a record of Kelly’s bygone run-in with the law, the paper was told records that old weren’t stored in a computer database, and very likely couldn’t be located.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • squeeze127

    Didn’t know a misdemeanor prohibited a gun purchase, thought it was a felony that banned one from buying a gun. They don’t say what it was he did though.
    Soon you’ll see all combat veterans that see a doctor for anything be denied any gun permit. That’s how they’ll get even on defeating gun control.

    • Dcp5674

      Been hearing about more vets turned down over nothing. The Feds will do whatever it takes to screw the vets, gun owners, patriots, and conservatives. “Thanks for your service, now we can’t trust you, so no guns. We’ll think of some reason later”
      Good luck my friend, hope things turn around for you soon. The just might.

    • Jeffrey T

      its a felony or any drug charge wether it be either or

  • manuel

    Too bad this fella doesn’t live in Chicago where buying a weapon seems to be no trouble at all. If this does not tell us enough about how the federal government is encroaching on our liberties, nothing will. The state does not have a record, but the almighty feebies do.

  • Alan

    That’s truly disgusting! For a misdemeanor??? These a**holes break countless constitutional amendments every day and they have the gall to refuse him a gun? Just unbelievable!

    • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

      Whats more disgusting is the fact that it was 42 yrs ago and after he has proven to be responsible to hold positions as soldier and security clearance but cannot own a gun to hunt or defend himself as a civilian.

      I hope all the current American soldiers and youth who are thinking to join the military are paying attention to how the American Government will treat them as they return to civilian life as a vet labeling them dangerous and domestic enemy for having knowledge of and experience in military training. They have joined the military to serve their Country and do a duty for their Country only to be treated by idiots in Washington as dangerous domestic terrorist and national security threats after they have served their masters.

      During your tour, you are considered a soldier and a defender of the Country. Finish your tour and move on with your life outside the Governments controls as a vet and an individual civilian and your status converts from defender to enemy.

      • Alan

        I totally agree. And there is something patently wrong with that. The government fears what it creates because it understands that the training it’s issued them may be put to use against them at some point. You’d think they’d want to keep them on their side by not alienating them in such fashion. Oh what a crooked web they’ve woven…..

      • Major Domo

        There is a questionnaire being circulated asking soldiers if they would fire on Americans if asked to. Maybe he answered no. This is the type of backwards logic that seems to be prevalent in our Washington leaders.

        • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

          Yes I’ve heard of this litmus test, where it asks if as a American soldier would you fire upon a fellow American on American soil. But I doubt this guy would have answered or been asked this question since he is a vet and not active duty. But yes totally agree about backwards logic, but not just from DC its coming from the left in general especially the liberal left that basically mimic’s what ever they here come from CNN, MSNBC Obama or one of their retarded congressmen or women.

  • Chester

    While those records were never put on a local computer system, and quite possibly have been destroyed at the local level, they would have turned up during the original background check for entrance into the military,and again when they did the full records check for the top secret clearance. Have never known a federal office to lose any personnel records, unless it was to their benefit to do so.

    • Mike Butler

      I worked for a company that was under contract to the DEA. You had to fill out an SF-86 and have a background check before you could be hired. Over a 2 year period they lost 21 SF-86 forms twice. After the second time we required them (the DEA) to sign for them. After being threatened to be fired if I did not provide them with information that I had already provided to them 2 1/2 years earlier. I told them to get themselves if they wanted it, and threatened to go to the media with the facts of them losing all of the SF-86’s and they backed down rather quickly. It is amazing how the Government agencies back down when someone stands up to them when they are wrong.

  • boyscout

    An absolute disgrace.

  • Mike Butler

    I personally have no problem with being turned down when trying to buy a gun. I will just get one the same way that the gang-bangers get theirs, off the street. That way the feds have no record of it.

  • Alex

    Our mercenary soldiers are trained to kill while fed a steady diet of hatred and violence. Keeping one more dangerous person from purchasing a firearm is a small but welcome step.

    • Mike Butler

      Go to hell, I’ll gladly pay your way to Afghanistan, then tell the people allowing you to spew your crap what you think of them. F**ing coward.

      • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

        Pay his way to Afghanistan? I’d prefer to pay the purported Mercenary soldiers he speaks of to come to him and confront him. Getting rid of one more dangerous liberal moron from procreating and/or brainwashing others with his ignorance is a small but welcome step.

    • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

      Mercenaries get paid a lot better than the American military. Take your liberal ideas and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine. Military members have fought and died to give you the right to speak so stupidly. You are a disgrace to America.

  • Don Davis

    It was a misdemeanor, not a felony.

    • rbrooks

      most criminal convictions are now included as infringements. there are two felony’s that are not included.

      • Average_Joe56

        “It is amazing that they won’t let me buy a gun for a misdemeanor 42 years ago,”
        There is no removal of rights for a misdemeanor.
        As usual rbrooks, you need to remove your head from your posterior…and maybe take a remedial reading course.

        • rbrooks

          well, obviously there is an infringement for misdemeanors. try to keep up with the infringements you support.

          • Average_Joe56

            Yeah,you do that Goober…..

        • Major Domo

          From the tone of your post it sounds like you support this idiocy.

          • Average_Joe56

            Please define: “this idiocy”.
            I can’t possibly tell you if I support something…until I actually know what that something is. Please clarify.

            The quote is from the article. And there is no removal of firearm ownership for conviction of a misdemeanor. I see no reason for him not to be allowed to own a firearm.

          • Major Domo

            Then we are on the same page. I too see no reason to deny him.

  • rbrooks

    most of you complaining have been supporting infringements on the 2nd amendment. including criminal convictions.

    in 1971, you could be drafted, or enlist, with a felony conviction. be granted a security clearance. and serve 20 years.

    depending on which month he was charged and which month he joined the military, he might not have had the right to vote.

    he did not have the right to drink at that time in texas.

    his conviction would have been discovered during his required fbi security back ground check. the fbi would have maintained that conviction in their data base.

    amazing how ignorant the author, and his supporters, have proven to be.

  • peggy

    Obviously this man served His country well in Vietnam, and continued to serve them. too bad we now have idiots running things–Not to mention Government snooping in all areas==How did they have a record of a local offense that happened 42 years ago, and maybe we ought to start digging into their lives back 4 decade–I vote we start with obama and holder.

  • Ibn Insha

    That is the reason I say everybody should be allowed to keep a gun without any government involvement and the system will take care of dangerous people itself.

  • Major Domo

    What has been happening is that the feds instead of passing sweeping reforms which are fought in open forum, they are quietly passing restrictions in the background to limit gun ownership. Many things disqualify a person from buying a gun. The really stupid thing here is that he could buy one on the street, and since he is not a felon, has every right to own it. Just wait until the NSA database records all our conversations permanently. They will use this as well.