Officer Moszer's killer given gun rights back by State of North Dakota

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Fargo, ND (Valley News Live): Within the last five years, the State of North Dakota gave back to Marcus Schumacher his right to own a gun. Schumacher shot and killed Officer Jason Moszer last week, and had also been convicted in 1988 of shooting and killing another man.

Schumacher was convicted of a felony in 1988, which automatically meant he could not buy a gun. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) says Marcus Schumacher’s rights were restored at some point by authorities here in North Dakota and it was all because of a change in the law.

One week ago, shots rang out in north Fargo and Officer Jason Moszer lay helpless on the street. Many of you have been asking, as a convicted felon, how did Marcus Schumacher get the gun that killed Officer Moszer?

Valley News Live Reporter Bradford Arick spoke with the ATF Thursday afternoon, who confirmed they have been investigating how Schumacher was able to get a gun. Since he was convicted of a felony, he should have been prohibited from purchasing a gun because he would have been flagged in national databases. The ATF says that at some point, Schumacher petitioned in District Court to have his rights restored and that petition was approved. This was made possible because of a change in to the North Dakota Century Code in 2011.

Former Representative for District 14 in North Dakota, Duane DeKrey, proposed the changes to the Century Code as a legislator in 2011. Those changes included amending the Code to include: an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a conviction of a felony may petition the District Court where they live for a restoration of the individual’s firearm rights.

Valley News Live Reporter Bradford Arick contacted former Representative Duane DeKrey late Thursday, asking why the law was changed. DeKrey said he couldn’t remember why it was amended, but says it was widely supported and that if this is the case, some judge somewhere in the state agreed to Schumacher’s request.

The ATF directed Valley News Live to contact the North Dakota Attorney General’s office for information and clarification. Nobody was available late Thursday to speak to the issue.

Stay with Valley News Live for updates on this developing story.

Click the link next to this story to read the specific clause of the Century Code permitting a petition to restore a person’s gun rights.