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Prohibited Persons

Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban on Possessing Guns While Subject to a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Posted by on November 16, 2022

On November 10, Judge David Counts of the Western District of Texas issued an opinion in United States v. Perez-Gallan holding unconstitutional 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), the federal ban on possessing a firearm while subject to a court order that “restrains [the possessor] from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner . . . or child  . […]

District Judge Considers Appointing an Expert Historian to Evaluate Arguments under Bruen

Posted by on November 9, 2022

In a six-page order issued on October 27, Judge Carlton Reeves of the Southern District of Mississippi directed the parties in a case challenging the constitutionality of the federal felon-in-possession ban to submit briefs on the issue of whether the court “should appoint a historian to serve as a consulting expert.”  Judge Reeves noted that […]

The Coming Clash Between Medical Marijuana and Gun Rights

Posted by on November 7, 2022

On October 28, Delaware Governor John Carney vetoed a bill intended to allow individuals with a valid medical marijuana prescription to possess a gun under state law.  The bill, H.B. 276, would have “ma[de] clear that an individual is not disqualified under Delaware law from possessing a firearm because the individual is a registered qualifying […]

What do Recent Decisions on Federal Group Prohibitions Signal for Heller’s List of Presumptively Lawful Regulations?

Posted by on October 3, 2022

In a September 19 decision in United States v. Quiroz, a judge in the Western District of Texas struck down the federal law barring those under indictment for a felony offense from receiving firearms, finding that the ban “departs from this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” One notable aspect of the decision is its […]

Worrying Trends In the Lower Courts After Bruen

Posted by on September 30, 2022

There are several extremely worrying trends from what I’ve seen in the still nascent post-Bruen Second Amendment case law. These concerns don’t arise from disagreement with constitutional originalism or with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment. They are concerns about lower courts’ capacity (and perhaps willingness) to apply a historical method in a […]

Justice Thomas’ Dissent in Voisine and Non-Felon Prohibitions

Posted by on September 19, 2022

As litigators and judges grapple with Bruen’s historical tradition test, one issue that is sure to surface repeatedly is the status of group prohibitions on gun possession.  Notably absent from the list of “presumptively lawful” restrictions in Heller is the federal prohibition on gun possession by those convicted of domestic-violence misdemeanor offenses, codified at 18 […]

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act: What Does the Law Do and How Might It be Impacted by Bruen?

Posted by on July 15, 2022

In the aftermath of tragic mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, a bipartisan committee introduced the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” (or BSCA) in the Senate on Tuesday, June 21. By week’s end, the bill had passed the Senate. The House of Representatives followed suit on Friday, and the bill was signed into […]

Litigation Highlight: Juzumas and Second Amendment Challenges to NY’s Longarms Surrender Requirement

Posted by on June 30, 2022

Last month, in Juzumas v. Nassau County, a Second Circuit panel ruled per curiam that New York’s statute governing licenses for firearm possession mandated that the defendant surrender his longarms once his pistol license was revoked. However, because the County policy purporting to implement this policy was unclear, the Court vacated the district court’s ruling […]

Von Lossberg v. State: State Liability for Gun Suicides & the Background Check System

Posted by on June 8, 2022

The Idaho Supreme Court recently held that the state could be held liable in a wrongful death action for negligently failing to add a name to the database used in gun purchase background checks.  In Von Lossberg v. State, the parents of a young man who committed suicide with a gun sued the state, the […]

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Federal Firearm Prohibitions For Aliens Unlawfully Present

Posted by on May 27, 2022

On May 23, in United States v. Jimenez-Shilon, the 11th Circuit rejected a Second Amendment challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5)(A), which prohibits firearm use or possession by any “alien” who is “illegally or unlawfully in the United States.”  The holding itself is in some ways unremarkable – it joins every other federal circuit court […]

Shinn, Jimenez-Shilon, and the Hierarchy of Rights  

Posted by on May 26, 2022

Earlier this week, in United States v. Jimenez-Shilon, the Eleventh Circuit rejected a Second Amendment challenge to the federal law barring undocumented immigrants from possessing firearms. Dru Stevenson will be guest posting about the case on this blog. But I want to highlight a few aspects of Judge Newsom’s majority and separate concurring opinions—and compare […]

Time To Live: Safer Gun Safes and Smarter Smart Guns

Posted by , and on May 20, 2022

Katrina Brees Tells Her Mother’s Story I know my mom didn’t shoot herself because she wanted to be dead. She did it because she was in unbearable pain and in the throes of a psychiatric episode. My mom, Donna Nathan, loved her life. She loved to dance to Cajun music and The Beatles. She’d grab […]

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down CA’s Law Restricting Young Adult’s Ability To Purchase Rifles

Posted by on May 18, 2022

Last week, in Jones v. Bonta, a split panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that California’s restriction on rifle purchases by 18- to 20-year olds violates the Second Amendment. The case is a major victory for gun-rights proponents, but that victory is likely to be short-lived. The en banc Ninth Circuit tends to reverse panels […]

Scholarship Highlight: New Research and Arguments about the Second Amendment

Posted by on May 11, 2022

There’s been a spate of new Second Amendment scholarship, including a just published piece by the Center’s own Joseph Blocher (with co-author Eric Ruben). There are also a couple of wide-ranging student pieces skeptical about/supportive of different gun regulations. Eric Ruben & Joseph Blocher, “Second-Class” Rhetoric, Ideology, and Doctrinal Change, 110 Geo. L.J. 613 (2022) […]

Scholarship Highlight: Impact of Rehaif on 922(g) Prosecutions

Posted by on March 11, 2022

We’ve written a number of times about the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Rehaif v. United States and its aftermath. That decision requires the government to prove, in order to secure a conviction for unlawfully possessing firearms, that the defendant knew he belonged to the category of persons who is prohibited from possessing firearms. A […]

Illegal Firearm Possession: A Reflection on Policies and Practices that May Miss the Mark and Exacerbate Racial Disparity in the Justice System

Posted by on January 19, 2022

Introduction Justifiably, there has been considerable attention and focus by the public, scholars, policy makers, and criminal justice and public health practitioners on violent crimes involving firearms. However, much less attention has been paid to the crime of illegal possession of firearms. Part of this reflects dramatically different definitions of this behavior across the states […]

“The People”, Citizenship, and Firearms

Posted by on January 13, 2022

The relationship between citizenship and gun rights continues to vex federal courts.[1] In turn, the answer to whether gun rights are citizen-only rights implicates other core constitutional protections. Accordingly, courts and commentators must critically re-examine the alarming judicial trend towards excluding noncitizens from the ambit of the Second Amendment. The Court’s 2008 District of Columbia […]

New RAND Report on Gun Policy Disagreement

Posted by on December 22, 2021

The RAND Corporation just released a new report, The Magnitude and Sources of Disagreement Among Gun Policy Experts. Both Center faculty co-directors, Joseph Blocher and Darrell Miller, participated as experts. The Report’s key findings include: (1) experts were divided on whether they favored more permissive or less permissive policies, with sharp differences on select laws […]

Scholarship Highlight: Felons, Bump Stocks, and More

Posted by on December 10, 2021

Here are some new and interesting firearms law and adjacent pieces of scholarship published recently, including some really insightful student notes and an especially timely and in-depth look at the bump stock ban. Mia Romano & Dru Stevenson, Litigating the Bump-Stock Ban, 70 U. Kan. L. Rev. 243, (2021) From the Introduction: If a law […]

Range v. Lombardo: Is the Third Circuit’s Approach to As-Applied Challenges Too Messy?

Posted by on October 8, 2021

In the recent case Range v. Lombardo, a federal district court in Pennsylvania rejected an as-applied Second Amendment challenge to the federal felon-in-possession statute, 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(1). The case is significant for understanding the Third Circuit’s evolving approach to Second Amendment challenges; it also highlights the conceptual quagmire of applying Second Amendment protections (or not […]

Pieces Reviewing Ayres and Vars’ Weapon of Choice

Posted by on October 1, 2021

The Quinnipiac Law Review recently published a series of essays from a symposium discussion of Ian Ayres and Frederisk Vars’ recent book, Weapon of Choice: Fighting Gun Violence While Respecting Gun Rights. I wasn’t able to find publicly accessible copies, but some excerpts are below (including from our own Joseph Blocher).  Joseph Blocher, Two Concepts of […]

Scholarship Highlight: New Work on Who the Second Amendment Protects

Posted by on September 22, 2021

The past few weeks have led to a host of new scholarship, including ones that centrally focus on issues of who the Second Amendment protects. Ben Ramberg, Prior Involuntary Institutionalization Does Not Justify a Lifetime Second Amendment Ban: An Originalist Approach to 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4), Kansas Journal of Law & Pubic Policy, 2021 Forthcoming Abstract: […]

United States v. Perez and Doctrinal Development

Posted by on September 15, 2021

Earlier this summer, in United States v. Perez, a divided panel of the Second Circuit rejected a challenge to 922(g)(5)—the federal law prohibiting gun possession by undocumented immigrants. I missed the case at the time, but Law360 has an interesting write up on the decision and how it fits into broader litigation regarding immigrants’ gun […]

Stevenson on The Felon Prohibitor

Posted by on September 3, 2021

Friend of the blog (and occasional guest blogger) Dru Stevenson has posted a new article on SSRN, “In Defense of Felon-in-Possession Laws,” forthcoming in the Cardozo Law Review. In an era where the felon prohibitor is under attack from both the left (mainly on policy grounds) and the right (mainly on constitutional grounds, at least […]

What Convictions Serve as Disqualifiers for Firearm Possession?

Posted by on August 6, 2021

Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), most individuals with a criminal conviction that carries a potential term of imprisonment of more than one year are barred from possessing firearms. But there are two fairly large caveats (and a few smaller ones I’ll ignore in this post), one constitutional and one statutory. First, many courts are now […]

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