- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho Supreme Court has rejected a Pennsylvania man’s attempt to have his gun rights restored under Idaho law.

The justices in a four-page ruling released Wednesday determined that a 4th District Court judge correctly ruled that Todd Rich lacked standing. The justices also said the mechanism for restoring civil rights is through the commission of pardons and parole, not through district courts.

Rich pleaded guilty to felony rape in Idaho in 1992 and in October of that year was sentenced to six years in prison. His sentence was later suspended and he was placed on probation, which he successfully completed in March 2004.

The felony conviction comes with a permanent loss of gun rights. However, his conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor through a 2004 sentencing agreement.

By November 2013, Rich had moved to Pennsylvania where a judge ruled he couldn’t own a gun because of the Idaho rape case. That month in Idaho he filed an action in district court seeking a judgment that, because he was no longer a convicted felon due to the 2004 sentencing agreement, he “may lawfully purchase, own, possess or have under his custody or control a firearm under the laws of the State of Idaho.”

In April 2014 the district court rejected that argument and then Rich’s request to reconsider. Rich then appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court.

The justices cited much of the lower court’s ruling, noting that the lower court pointed out that Pennsylvania had the right to make a decision that Rich is not entitled to possess a firearm no matter what judges in Idaho decide.

“Further,” the lower court wrote in a footnote, “even though Mr. Rich’s conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor, it does not change that he was convicted of rape.”

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