The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a trial judge’s dismissal of charges against a man accused of violating the state’s prohibition on gun possession by convicted felons.
Arthel Ford Harris pleaded guilty in 2001 to a felony for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. He was arrested in 2011 for unlawfully possessing a .38-caliber revolver, and a St. Louis grand jury returned an indictment against him in 2012. But Missouri in 2001 only banned gun possession by people convicted of dangerous felonies, which did not include Harris’s conviction. The law was broadened in 2008 to cover all felonies. Possessing a gun as a felon is a felony that carries a prison sentence of up to seven years.
A trial judge in St. Louis dismissed the gun case against Harris, concluding it amounts to an ex post facto law when applied to him. A unanimous Missouri Supreme Court reversed the dismissal and sent the case back to the trial court.
"ALL felonies" seems a bit excessive. I would exclude non-violent white collar crimes but include drug dealing convictions.