One of Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry’s charges comes with a possible prison sentence of 99 years behind bars, but that might not be his biggest hardship. According to Texas and federal law, NRA dreamboat Perry has probably lost the right to buy guns or have a concealed carry permit during the period of his indictment. Should he get convicted, he’ll lose his right to own guns altogether for at least five years after he gets out of prison. The Perry family asks for your prayers during this troubling time.
According to an article published in the Austin American-Statesman, federal law prohibits a person under indictment from carrying a concealed weapon or from acquiring new weaponry (whether by purchase or as a gift) if their charges call for more than a year in prison – a margin Perry’s charges beat by roughly 98 years.
Austin American-Statesman writer Ken Herman explains:
It’s right there in federal law, specifically the federal law known as 18 USC 922(n), and I quote:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person (1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.”
Thanks to last week’s indictment, your fun-with-guns governor is now in that category.
And there’s more. As an indictee, Perry’s state-issued Concealed Handgun License, assuming he still has one — his office didn’t know as of Tuesday afternoon — will be suspended until the case against him is decided.
So, for example, if fellow Texan Ron Paul wanted to give Perry an AR-15 as a gift (as Paul has been known to do) that would be a crime. So too would be receiving a rifle on stage from the NRA. How is a conservative politician supposed to do a photogenic publicity stunt with all these restrictions?
If you’re reading this and thinking “So, Perry can’t have guns for a while, so what?” you do not know Rick Perry. Besides his new glasses, guns are all he has.
The National Rifle Association grades politicians based on their support of gun rights and their image as “pro-gun,” – Perry consistently gets top marks. In 2010, right before his last reelection, the gun rights group gave Perry a resounding A+ score and asked him to be a speaker at their annual NRA convention. During his speech, Perry brought the house down by showing footage of him using an assault rifle at a shooting range played to the riffs of Ted Nugent’s guitar (yes, NRA conventions are strange, surreal things).
The consequence of being a rock star in the pro-gun movement is that the NRA gives generously to Perry’s political campaigns. In 2010 alone, the group reportedly donated over $500,000 to ensuring Perry was reelected.
Perry is hanging up his Governor’s cowboy hat after this term, but losing his ability to tote guns can still be bad news for the Republican politician. Numerous sources say that Perry – assuming he isn’t in prison – has an eye on the White House in 2016. It will be interesting to see if the NRA falls in line for Perry now that he lost the right to buy the one thing they care about. His pro-gun record is still stellar, but it’s just not the same as being able to carry a shiny new gun on his hip.
But maybe Perry knows something we don’t, because his mugshot is all smiles.