My single word? Sue. Just as Konie v LA is perhaps the ideal jackbooted-thugs lawsuit, this situation makes a perfect vehicle for overturning the felon-in-possession law. The fact is, it's remarkably easy to run afoul of our nation's gun laws without any ill intent; the people who do should not lose their right to self-defense because they aren't legal experts or made a non-violent mistake. Criminals can always arm themselves; mostly law abiding citizens shouldn't be left helpless.
Rebecca had owned the gun since escaping from her husband. She bought it after the required 10-day waiting period and registered it in her name. She knew the police couldn't always be around to protect her. A gun leveled the playing field against a man bigger and stronger than she was. Maybe it would save her from becoming one of the 1,300 people killed in the United States each year in domestic violence attacks.
One evening last August, Rebecca was making the long drive home from Mill Valley, where she had to drop off some papers for a client. She stopped at an Albertsons supermarket in Half Moon Bay. She paid for her groceries, picked up the shopping bag and her wallet but left her purse at the end of the checkout counter.
The momentary lapse plunged her into a legal mess that has turned her from victim to criminal. She was arrested for carrying a loaded gun and sentenced last month by a San Mateo County court to 10 days in jail and 18 months' probation. Her conviction means she can no longer possess a gun, and it might jeopardize her participation in the Confidential Address Program.