A new bill in the Florida Legislature aims to make it easier to restore a felon’s rights to vote and own guns after they have served time for their crimes. Felons in the Sunshine State are currently prohibited from owning firearms or voting. In order for a felon to earn back his or her right to vote and own a firearm, the person must be pardoned or have the Office of Executive Clemency restore their rights, WJXT reports.
House Bill 903, or the “Economic Redemption and Restoration of Constitutional Rights Act”, was filed in the state House of Representatives last week by Republican Rep. Cord Byrd from Neptune Beach. If passed, the bill would give convicted felons the chance to petition local courts once a year for their rights to be restored after they have completed their sentences, rather than wait years for a board to make that determination.
The Office of Executive Clemency board is comprised of a four-member panel, and Byrd says the amount of pending applications is just too great to overcome.