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Prohibited Persons

An Update on Range and Challenges to the Felon Prohibitor

Posted by on September 20, 2023

As described in a recent SCOTUS Gun Watch update, the government has sought and received an extension of the deadline to seek certiorari in Range v. Attorney General (the petition, should the government seek certiorari, is now due on October 5).  While it’s not unusual based on past practice for a party to pursue, and […]

Scholarship Highlight: Guns and Marijuana, Second Amendment Debates, and Intergovernmental Immunity

Posted by on September 8, 2023

The scholarship highlighted in this post does not necessarily represent the views of the Duke Center for Firearms Law. In a new paper posted to SSRN and forthcoming in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Nicholas Goldrosen examines the connection between marijuana legalization and gun restrictions premised on drug use.  Goldrosen performs an empirical […]

Litigation Highlight: Fifth Circuit Panel Strikes Down Federal Unlawful User Ban

Posted by on August 23, 2023

On August 9, a unanimous Fifth Circuit panel invalidated the federal ban on unlawful users of controlled substances possessing firearms, as applied to a habitual user of marijuana, in United States v. Daniels.  While a handful of district courts had reached similar conclusions on this provision of federal criminal law—including the February decision in Harrison […]

Thoughts on Judge Carlton Reeves’ Critique of Text, History, and Tradition

Posted by on July 19, 2023

On June 28, District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a decision in United States v. Bullock granting a motion to dismiss by a criminal defendant charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  Judge Reeves found that the government had failed to offer sufficient historical support for the federal ban on felon gun possession (as […]

Litigation Highlight: En Banc Third Circuit Holds Felon Prohibitor Unconstitutional in Certain Applications

Posted by on June 21, 2023

In a June 6 decision in Range v. Attorney General, a majority of judges of the en banc Third Circuit held 922(g)(1)—the federal statute banning possession of firearms by convicted felons—unconstitutional under the Second Amendment as applied to an individual convicted of making a fraudulent statement in an application to obtain food stamps.[1]  Last November, […]

SCOTUS Update: Rahimi Amicus Brief Summary

Posted by and on June 14, 2023

Seven amicus briefs were filed in support of the federal government’s petition for certiorari in United States v. Rahimi, which presents the question of whether 922(g)(8)—the federal ban on those subject to certain domestic-violence restraining orders possessing firearms—is constitutional under the Second Amendment. We previously covered the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Rahimi here and here.  […]

Student Note Scholarship Highlight: The Modern Relevance of the Militia, and a Proposal to Close the “Boyfriend Loophole”

Posted by on June 7, 2023

This post is the second in our mini-series highlighting recent law student notes on firearms law topics (see the initial post here).   William Reach of William & Mary Law School has written a note for the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal evaluating the continued relevance of Miller, Presser, and a militia-related right to […]

The Most Disputed Federal Law Post-Bruen

Posted by on May 3, 2023

One federal law has generated more dissensus in the lower federal courts post-Bruen than any other: 18 U.S.C. § 922(n). That provision bars individuals under felony indictment from shipping or transporting guns or ammunition in interstate commerce or receiving guns or ammunition that have been shipped or transported in interstate commerce. Just over a week […]

Litigation Highlight: En Banc First Circuit Clarifies Rehaif’s Application to 922(g)(9) Prosecutions

Posted by on April 14, 2023

In its March 24, 2023 en banc decision in United States v. Minor, the First Circuit wrestled with the application of Rehaif v. United States to Section 922(g)(9) charges – the heart and soul of the federal domestic violence initiative. In a nutshell, 922(g)(9) prohibits the possession of firearms and/or ammunition by a person convicted […]

Litigation Highlight: Eighth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Illegal-Alien Prohibition at Bruen Step One

Posted by on April 12, 2023

On April 4, the Eighth Circuit issued a published decision in United States v. Sitladeen rejecting a post-Bruen challenge to the federal ban on “alien[s] . . .  illegally or unlawfully in the United States” possessing firearms.  The decision employed a different “step one” analysis than the Fifth Circuit panel in Rahimi, ultimately focusing on […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 3/20/23

Posted by on March 20, 2023

There was major news from the Supreme Court on Friday, as the federal government filed a petition for certiorari in United States v. Rahimi.  In Rahimi, a Fifth Circuit panel struck down as unconstitutional § 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8)—which prohibits gun possession by those subject to certain domestic-violence protective orders issued after notice and a hearing (we covered […]

Can the Federal Legislative Efforts to Combat Domestic Violence Survive Bruen?

Posted by on March 17, 2023

In the aftermath of the Bruen decision, some courts have struck down legislative initiatives passed in recent decades specifically designed to combat domestic violence. (Andrew Willinger and Jake Charles summarized one such recent decision, United States v. Rahimi, here and here.)  These federal, state, local and tribal initiatives share one overarching goal: to protect domestic […]

Scholarship Highlight: Bruen, Retconning, and Noncitizen Exclusions

Posted by on March 10, 2023

This is the third post in our series summarizing new legal scholarship regarding the Bruen decision (see the earlier posts here and here).  First, in an article titled “Retconning Heller: Five Takes on New York Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen,” Brannon Denning and Glenn Harland Reynolds summarize and critique Bruen.  Among other criticisms, […]

The Third Circuit Wrestles with “Inherently Dangerous” Felonies

Posted by on March 1, 2023

In a November 16 panel opinion, the Third Circuit upheld the application of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the federal ban on felon possession of firearms, to an individual convicted of making false statements when applying for federal welfare benefits.  We covered that opinion in Range v. Attorney General here, and this earlier post by Dru […]

Litigation Highlight: Western District of Oklahoma Strikes Down the Federal Ban on Gun Possession by Unlawful Users of Controlled Substances

Posted by on February 24, 2023

On February 3, a federal judge in the Western District of Oklahoma struck down 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3)—the federal provision banning possession of a firearm by “any person . . . who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance”—in United States v. Harrison.  The defendant in Harrison was apprehended while out […]

Judge Higginson and the Role of the Solicitor General in United States v. Quiroz

Posted by on February 22, 2023

On February 8, 2023, the Fifth Circuit heard oral argument in United States v. Quiroz to consider whether 18 U.S.C. § 922(n)—receipt of a firearm while under felony indictment—can withstand a Second Amendment facial challenge. Below, Judge Counts in the Western District of Texas had dismissed the government’s indictment, under Bruen, holding that “unlike the […]

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Domestic-Violence Prohibitor in United States v. Rahimi (Part 2)

Posted by on February 8, 2023

Andrew’s post on the Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in United States v. Rahimi summarizes it well and criticizes some of the more problematic aspects. I want to take a step back and see what light it sheds on Bruen’s test. To my mind, there are two levels at which to consider the Fifth Circuit’s decision: […]

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Domestic-Violence Prohibitor in United States v. Rahimi

Posted by on February 6, 2023

On February 2, a Fifth Circuit panel ruled in United States v. Rahimi, striking down the federal law prohibiting gun possession by anyone subject to a domestic violence restraining order issued after notice and a court hearing.  A district judge in Texas previously held 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) unconstitutional in November, in a decision we […]

Litigation Highlight: Tennessee Judge Upholds Federal Felony-Indictment Ban and Notes Outstanding Post-Bruen Questions

Posted by on January 19, 2023

On November 16, Judge Aleta Trauger of the Middle District of Tennessee issued a decision rejecting a Second Amendment challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(n), which prohibits receipt of a firearm while under felony indictment.  Judge Trauger first summarized Bruen and its doctrinal framework.  She observed that: The modern world is different from the world […]

Third Circuit Issues Per Curiam Decision Rejecting As-Applied Challenge to Felon-in-Possession Law

Posted by on November 30, 2022

On November 16, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a per curiam, precedential opinion in Range v. Attorney General, applying Bruen to a challenge to the federal felon-in-possession law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).  The case was brought by an individual convicted of making false statements when applying for a welfare benefit, a misdemeanor under […]

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 […]