Vietnam vet not allowed to own a gun due to 1968 misdemeanor - FOX 35 News Orlando

Vietnam vet not allowed to own a gun due to 1968 misdemeanor

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A Vietnam veteran can't legally own a firearm due to a misdemeanor conviction 40 years ago. Now, Jeffery Schrader says he wants his Second Amendment rights back.

Back in 1968, just a few months before shipping off to Vietnam, the then-19-year-old Schrader and some Navy buddies got in a fist fight in Annapolis, Md. with some men on the street.

"Hundred dollar fine in court, $9 court fee and the judge told me don't do that again," Schrader said.

After receiving a slap on the wrist for the misdemeanor conviction, Schrader moved on with his life. He served in Vietnam and then settled down, first in Florida and then in the north Georgia mountains.

Schrader said he was always an avid hunter and fisherman.

"I've been buying guns, selling old guns, getting another gun for 40-something years," Schrader said.

But in 2008, Schrader found out he was flagged during a background check; he was now on the federal firearms ban list.

"They contacted me and told me. The ATF officer was apologetic about it. He said, ‘I couldn't believe this. I looked into everything trying to figure this out because it doesn't make any sense.' He says, ‘I'm sorry to have to tell you this but you can't have any guns,'" said Schrader.

Schrader's lawyer says it goes back to the 1993 Brady Bill and the fact that even though Schrader never spent a day in jail, his 1968 misdemeanor arrest could have, under current Maryland law, earned a 2-year prison sentence.

"You can't that anymore. You don't have the right and they treat you just like a felon," Schrader said.

A prominent Second Amendment lawyer is helping Schrader, but so far federal judges have denied his appeal efforts. While his past legal challengers have filed, his lawyer is filing another appeal this week.

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