The North Carolina Court of Appeals has upheld a 2004 law widening a ban against felons owning weapons.
But yesterday's split decision opens the possibility that the prohibition on owning nearly any kind of gun could be overturned.
The law was changed in 2004 as part of an anti-domestic violence bill. The earlier version had barred felons from owning or possessing pistols and short-barreled weapons that are easy to hide.
Judge Wanda Bryant says the 2004 law protects the public. Judge Linda McGee agreed with Bryant. But Judge Rick Elmore dissented, saying the 2004 changes make the law unconstitutional by punishing felons rather than just regulating some guns.
Barney Britt of Wake County says there should be a procedure to get some gun rights restored for convicted felons.