Wisconsin Felon Fights for Right to Hunt

Thomas Pocian was convicted of forging $1,500 in bad checks 26 years ago when he was 18, and he served his time, but Wisconsin still won’t let him hunt, and he’s fighting for his right.

It’s Wisconsin state law that no one convicted of a felony can hunt. Pocian and his attorney, Craig Powell, just took their case to the appeals court, but the judge found in favor of the state, “upholding a categorical ban on felons possessing firearms,” according to a report on

“There are reasonable restrictions for people with violent records and histories, but that’s not Mr. Pocian and the statute in our view is problematic constitutionally because it sweeps in too many people; it is certainly unconstitutional in Mr. Pocian’s case given his specific record,” Powell said.

Convicted felons can ask the governor for a pardon, which would allow individuals who were convicted of non-violent felonies in their youth to possess firearms for the sole purpose of hunting. But, Powell believes that this violates the equal protection clause of the constitution. The current governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has said that he will not grant any pardons, saying it’s for the court to decide, not the executive branch. Pocian and Powell are not done fighting.

Do you think individuals convicted of non-violent felonies, like Pocian, should be allowed to hunt?

2 Responses
  • Derek

    Yes absolutely agree that non violent felons should still be allowed to posses firearms, some felony charges are for very minor things these days how is that right for them to take away gun rights or traditional practices like hunting for that… I can see if it was a violent crime or weapon related like selling illegal firearms or robbery and ive heard other peoples arguments on this about how certain criminals who got there right back committed crimes but really anyone could of done that felon or not… I say that non violent criminals should have every right to hunt and keep their right to bear arms

    • tracy

      I agree. I have a felony conviction for stolen property on my record. Im not allowed to possess firearms and the likes for a crime that can be as easy to get as buying items from a rummage sale.

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