Court denies Coeburn convicted felon right to possess firearm

A Coeburn man originally convicted for eight felonies in 2009 will not be allowed to possess a firearm, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp.

Floyd Mack Monroe Smith, 29, was convicted for eight felonies, including breaking and entering, grand larceny, conspiracy, and delivery of a firearm to a prisoner. Gov. Terry McAuliffe restored his civil rights on Dec. 6, 2016. Smith then requested that the Wise County Circuit Court grant him permission to possess a firearm. Slemp filed a formal written objection opposing the petition, citing public safety risks and concerns that McAuliffe’s restoration of Smith’s civil rights was invalid.

Slemp announced Wednesday that the Wise County Circuit Court granted the Commonwealth’s motion to dismiss the petition filed by Smith.

“My office will continue to strenuously oppose petitions like the one filed in this case by violent felons seeking a right to possess a firearm,” Slemp said.

Evidence showed that Smith broke into a Wise County business in 2008 and stole several items, including firearms. Smith then gave three stolen guns to a convicted felon who was serving a sentence on home electronic monitoring at the time.

When Smith’s civil rights were restored by McAuliffe, he was still on probation for his crimes.

“Cases like this should concern us all,” Slemp added. “Governor McAuliffe rushed to restore the civil rights of a violent felon who was still on probation at the time.  The Governor’s rush to judgment puts the safety of our Commonwealth in jeopardy because it clears the way for requests like this to be made for a violent felon to possess a firearm.  To be clear, I strongly support the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I also support the idea of redemption, rehabilitation, and forgiveness for those who have paid their debt to society.  I am pleased that the Court dismissed Smith’s case today.”



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