S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray, P.

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S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray, P.

Postby David Nelson » Wed 29 Jan 2014 8:28 am

According to S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray, P.) (http://le.utah.gov/~2014/bills/static/SB0013.html):

This bill modifies Title 76, Utah Criminal Code, relating to the punishment for theft of property or services.

This bill:
. provides that the penalty for a third theft conviction in 10 years becomes a third degree felony if one of the prior convictions was a class A misdemeanor;
. provides that the penalty for a third theft conviction in 10 years becomes a third degree felony if the value of the property in the current case is more than $500 but less than $1,500;
. provides that the penalty for a theft conviction is a third degree felony if that person has been previously convicted of felony theft; and
. changes the penalty from a felony to a class A misdemeanor for a person convicted of theft for a third time in 10 years.


...and affects theft of a firearm, among other property.
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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby bagpiper » Wed 29 Jan 2014 12:59 pm

Obviously, any felony carries RKBA implications. And my default position is to oppose the creation of new felonies based on the effect felonies have on RKBA. However, on this one I'm torn, personally. Three convictions for theft in 10 years doesn't seem like an unreasonably low standard for moving from a misdemeanor to a felony. There are certainly cases where thieves view the rare, and short jail stint for non-violent theft as just part of the cost of doing business. A felony may be warranted for these habitual offenders.

I'm going to have to give this one some serious thought and get consultation from others.

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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby UtahJarhead » Wed 29 Jan 2014 11:02 pm

bagpiper wrote:Obviously, any felony carries RKBA implications. And my default position is to oppose the creation of new felonies based on the effect felonies have on RKBA. However, on this one I'm torn, personally. Three convictions for theft in 10 years doesn't seem like an unreasonably low standard for moving from a misdemeanor to a felony. There are certainly cases where thieves view the rare, and short jail stint for non-violent theft as just part of the cost of doing business. A felony may be warranted for these habitual offenders.

I'm going to have to give this one some serious thought and get consultation from others.

Charles

There's another bill by Rep. Oda that removes non-violent felons from the restricted persons list. If they BOTH pass, would that negate anything in your opinion?
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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby DaKnife » Thu 30 Jan 2014 12:10 am

Assuming that the second bill by Rep Oda can actually do that in light of the Federal restriction on possession by those with a felony on their records.
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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby UtahJarhead » Thu 30 Jan 2014 7:01 am

DaKnife wrote:Assuming that the second bill by Rep Oda can actually do that in light of the Federal restriction on possession by those with a felony on their records.

Oda's bill would make the change at the state level. We still can't do anything at the Federal level.
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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby DaKnife » Thu 30 Jan 2014 8:47 am

So why waste scarce legislative time on something that will not change a thing as the restriction is still held in place by federal law.

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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby David Nelson » Thu 30 Jan 2014 8:54 am

DaKnife wrote:So why waste scarce legislative time on something that will not change a thing as the restriction is still held in place by federal law.

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The attempt to nullify and interpose federal mandates? Even when N&I fails, or succeeds only partially, the people learn from it. Sometimes, there are silver linings beyond the apparent.

Along those lines, the Missouri Legislature is currently setting great federal firearm-law N&I precedent for the Utah Legislature (and others) to follow. But, aside from a few in the Utah gun caucus, our legislators always seem embarrassed to attempt such measures.
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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby DaKnife » Thu 30 Jan 2014 9:03 am

But this bill makes no attempt to nullify the Federal Restrictions. I have no problem with such nullification laws, if they actually attempt to nullify the law. This would only remove a state criminal charge should such an individual obtain a firearm, but would do nothing to eliminate the federal criminal charges against not only the individual, but also whoever provided the weapon to him/her. In fact this law is dangerous for that very reason. If it passes and the non-violent offender thinks he is now okay to own a firearm, and convinces someone to sell or give him a gun (no ffl will sell him one), not only is the individual now in violation of federal law, but so is the person who transferred the weapon to them. This is not how you nullify federal laws.

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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby gskip33 » Thu 30 Jan 2014 9:13 am

This bill is only changing the law so that it makes it harder to get a felony from stealing. The law used to be that if you were convicted three times for theft then it was a felony.

Now it's three times for theft is a felony if and only if the following prerequisites are met:
1.) if one of the previous thefts was a class a misdemeanor
2.) if the third theft is valued at over $500 but less than $1500 (because $1500 is a felony already)
3.) if the offender had already had a felony theft


Did I understand that right?
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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby gskip33 » Thu 30 Jan 2014 9:16 am

bagpiper wrote:Obviously, any felony carries RKBA implications. And my default position is to oppose the creation of new felonies based on the effect felonies have on RKBA. However, on this one I'm torn, personally. Three convictions for theft in 10 years doesn't seem like an unreasonably low standard for moving from a misdemeanor to a felony. There are certainly cases where thieves view the rare, and short jail stint for non-violent theft as just part of the cost of doing business. A felony may be warranted for these habitual offenders.

I'm going to have to give this one some serious thought and get consultation from others.

Charles


If someone steals a pack of starbursts on three different occasions and gets caught each time (they are a a horrible thief), under the old law that would be a felony.
Now it would not be. Seems fair to me and this is coming from someone who works against retail theft.
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Re: S.B. 13 Theft Amendments (Sen. Thatcher, D. and Rep. Ray

Postby David Nelson » Fri 14 Mar 2014 8:45 am

This bill was passed by the Utah Legislature and has been prepared for the governor's signature or veto.
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