LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A bipartisan group of Arkansas legislators are pushing for nonviolent convicted felons to have an easier path to regain the right to own guns.

State Rep. Vivian Flowers (D) and State Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R) filed a version of this bill in each’s respective branch. Flowers said she got the idea from a constituent who wanted to hunt with his kids but cannot despite being out of prison for nearly two decades.

“You make this mistake when you were 19, 20 years old, 30 years old, and now you’re 50 or 60 and you cannot own a gun,” Flowers said. “You cannot possess a weapon whether for hunting or protecting your home.”

The legislation would allow people to file a petition 10 years after the completion of their sentence. This would discharge, dismiss and seal the felonies on their records. This would only pertain to people with nonviolent felony charges, and assault-related misdemeanors would also be a disqualifier, Flowers said.

“If a person is still a threat, then maybe they should be in prison,” Flowers said. “If we all agree they shouldn’t be in prison, then why would we continue to punish them this way?”

Flowers said she has a concealed carry license and owns multiple firearms. She said she fully supports measures to regulate gun ownership and qualifications in light of the country’s mass shooting problem. She said this particular discussion is different than that.

“I think they’re different,” Flowers said. “This is a Second Amendment issue and also a great criminal justice reform issue.”

Flowers said the Prosecutors Association and Arkansas State Police were both involved in the legislation language. She said she anticipates widespread support when the General Session begins early next year.