The way plumbing contractor Adell Hardiman sees it, his 2001 felony conviction for double-voting shouldn't keep him from getting a Jackson County concealed-carry permit.
But the Missouri concealed-carry law bars felons, and the sheriff's office has turned down his application. He's going to court this afternoon to try to win the permit.
"I have a business, for one thing," Hardiman, 53, told me. "The other part of it is, you've got so many people who are just totally crazy anymore. And I like to hunt."
Hardiman was placed on probation after voting twice in four elections in Blue Springs and Kansas City. He said he owned homes in both cities, registered under the same name and Social Security number. He claimed he didn't know it was wrong to vote in both places.
In 2004, just as Hardiman was getting off probation, he read in The Star that the man who prosecuted him, assistant county prosecutor Phil LeVota, himself had voted in two elections in Independence in 2004 after moving to Lee's Summit in 2003.
Intentionally voting where you don't live is a class-one election felony in Missouri. LeVota, now chairman of the Jackon County Democratic Party, was not charged. Unlike Hardiman, LeVota cast only one ballot in each election.
"Does the sword have a double-edge?" Hardiman asked me at the time. "Does justice cut both ways? He's an attorney, which I'm not, of course, but if he screws up and does something wrong, does he get the same thing, just like I got?"
Update: No luck for Adell. 1) Vote-related felony convictions in Missouri are never expunged. 2) There's no wiggle room in Missouri laws barring felons from owning guns, as to type of felony.
Judge Margeret Sauer and sheriff's office attorney Stacey L. Mortimer were both sympathetic. But the law was clear.
"This is a good example of what I used to tell my students when I was teacher," the judge told him. "Things you do in your life can have consequences forever."