MADISON, Wis. – Of the many stories that defined 2019 one of the most hopeful was the impact of the Madison-based organization We Are Many United Against Hate. And we draw on the organization’s name for our Holiday editorial. For what is the message of all the rich cultural and religious holidays we celebrate in December than standing against hate?
Masood Akhtar and Ed Wall appeared on WKOW-TV’s “Capital City Sunday” program on December 8, 2019.
The Rev. Mwangi Vasser received a pardon from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers in October, but when he returned home to Georgia the FBI refused to accept that his right to own a firearm had been restored because Georgia will not accept another state’s pardon unless it specifically states that the intent is to restore the right to possess a firearm. After intervention by the newly created Pardoned Citizens Assistance Program, started by Masood Akhtar and Ed Wall, Vasser was able to get a letter from Evers that reiterated his pardon was “full and unconditional,” and specified that the pardon “grants, among all other rights and privileges, the right to receive, possess or transport a firearm, the right to vote, and the right to hold or run for political state office.” He received the clarifying letter Nov. 25 after Akhtar and Wall advocated on his behalf to get the letter from Evers’ office. Just over a week later, the FBI ruled that his rights were fully restored.
A letter from Gov. Tony Evers seems to have pushed Georgia to recognize that a man’s gun rights were indeed restored by a Wisconsin pardon. The Rev. Mwangi Vasser received a pardon from Evers in October, but when he returned home to Georgia the FBI refused to accept that his right to own a firearm had been restored.