Why was Norfolk rampage shooter allowed to keep guns after previous assault on officer?

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Norfolk, Va. - One question that has come up in our team coverage of a tragic shooting in Norfolk that claimed the lives of a 17-year-old and a Norfolk officer is how the shooter, James Brown, could walk around with a gun on his hip even after he was convicted of assaulting a sheriff's deputy.

Brown served a year in jail back in 2010, but was allowed to keep his guns.

In 2012, he was convicted of carrying a loaded weapon with more than 20 rounds

Having the weapon was legal, but not with that many bullets.

Even so, he was again allowed to keep his guns.

In Virginia for purposes of buying or owning a gun, a misdemeanor conviction for assaulting a police officer is not a disqualifying offense.

There are other misdemeanor convictions that would result in losing your guns, but assaulting an officer of the law just isn't one of them.

If that's something that isn't sitting well with you, contact your lawmakers about this issue here.


Norfolk Police officer, student, and gunman killed in shooting spree

Norfolk Police Chief briefs City Council on fatal shootings that killed officer, teen

Widow of slain Norfolk officer: ‘He is a hero’

Neighbors reveal more about the Norfolk police shooter

Flags at half-staff to remember Officer Brian Jones gunned down over the weekend

Man who killed Norfolk officer, teen previously convicted for assaulting Norfolk deputy


  • Steve Campbell (@campbellstevend)

    Your article is misleading. By the way, why are you even asking this question when you gave us the answer in your previous article: “Court records show Brown was sentenced to a year in prison in January 2011 for assaulting a police officer the previous October. At the time of sentencing his charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.” https://wtkr.com/2014/05/30/two-police-officers-involved-in-norfolk-shooting/ Obviously the judge or DA is responsible for this guy getting a misdemeanor instead of a felony conviction as he should have which would have removed his right to keep and bear arms.
    I believe you’re being intentionally misleading in order to further gun control legislation.

  • Mike Weston

    Actually this assault on a police officer is misleading. The assault was on an officer true, but he was acting as a rent a cop as a local bar doing security. Maybe (no way that I know, just hypothesis) this is why it was reduced.

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