Media fad issue: Florida no-retreat and felons
Background: of course felons are generally forbidden to possess firearms. But if put in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury, they have the same right to self defense as has anyone else.
Then there comes the rare case where a convicted felon is not in possession of a firearm at the outset, someone puts (or allegedly puts) him in reasonable fear of death, the felon manages to obtain a firearm that he did not previously possess, and defends himself. Did he become a "felon in possession" in that instant? The cases of this are rare, I can recall 2-3 at the Federal level, with splits resulting.
In looking at this issue we must also bear in mind that (1) defendants may argue it when it is bunkum and (2) prosecutors anxious to win may respond in kind and push the envelope of reason.
Florida has a "no retreat" law, which provides that a person put in reasonable fear of death need not retreat before responding with deadly force. There are exceptions, one of which is that the defender was "engaged in unlawful activity" at the time. Some imaginative Florida prosecutors have taken to arguing that, in the case of a felon who argues self-defense, this does not apply, since by taking possession of a firearm he "engaged in unlawful activity" and is outside the statute. (I believe Florida was "no retreat" even before the statute, so I'm not sure this makes a lot of difference anyway). The lower Florida courts have split on whether this argument flies, and its Supreme Court has accepted the question in order to resolve this split.