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Prohibited Persons

Litigation Highlight – U.S. v. McGinnis

Posted by on April 24, 2020

Earlier this week, in United States v. McGinnis, a Fifth Circuit panel upheld 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) against a Second Amendment challenge. That provision prohibits a person subject to certain types of restraining orders from possessing guns or ammunition while the order is in effect. With this decision, the Fifth joins a chorus of other […]

Michigan Legalizes Marijuana, Loses Its “Permanent Brady Permit” Status With ATF

Posted by on March 18, 2020

In twenty-two states, ATF allows licensed firearm dealers (FFL’s) to accept a state concealed carry license or permit (in Michigan, the terminology is Concealed Pistol License, or CPL) in lieu of a federal background check, because those states have concealed carry permit requirements at least as stringent as the federal background check requirements (see the […]

Litigation Highlight: Ninth Circuit Upholds Lifetime Ban on Firearm Possession for Man Involuntarily Committed to a Mental Institution Twenty Years Ago

Posted by on March 13, 2020

In an opinion issued this past Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit in Mai v. United States rejected an as-applied challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4), which prohibits firearm possession for anyone who “has been committed to any mental institution.” The ATF interprets the provision to cover only those who have been involuntarily committed, but the statutory […]

Firearm Policy and Alcohol Abuse

Posted by on February 26, 2020

In my forthcoming article, The Complex Interplay Between the Controlled Substances Act and the Gun Control Act, I focus on 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(3), which in its current form incorporates the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by reference and thereby prohibits violators of the CSA from possessing a firearm. This statutory intersection currently results in more than […]

Legal Marijuana & Gun Possession

Posted by on February 19, 2020

ATF Guidance Documents and Enforcement In September 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives released an Open Letter to All Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL’s), providing regulatory guidance as to the intent of 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(3) and its interaction with state laws that legalize marijuana in some way. The guidance document reminds FFL’s that […]

The Federal Prohibitor and Unlawful Drug Users

Posted by on February 13, 2020

I’m reading a draft of a fantastic forthcoming article by Dru Stevenson on the how federal drug law operates as what he calls one of the primary forms of gun control today. Under federal law anyone “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is forbidden from possessing firearms. So those […]

Litigation Highlight: Holloway & As-Applied Challenges

Posted by on January 31, 2020

A new Third Circuit case, Holloway v. Attorney General, sheds more light on how that circuit will consider as-applied challenges to the federal felon prohibitor—18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Consistent with its fractured opinion in Binderup v. Attorney General, the Holloway court reaffirmed that seriousness, not violence, is the proper measure for whether an otherwise disqualifying […]

Cert Petition Highlight: Beers v. Barr & Prohibited Persons

Posted by on January 17, 2020

In his telling, Bradley Beers was having a really bad day in 2005 when, as a 19-year-old college student, he returned home “deeply overwhelmed and stressed” about school. He threatened to take his life, so his mother took him to a local hospital for mental health treatment. The hospital committed him on an involuntary basis. […]

Two New Second Amendment Cert Petitions

Posted by on September 26, 2019

In the last few weeks, two new cert petitions have been filed asking the Supreme Court to review recurrent issues in litigation over the right to keep and bear arms. Below are links to the petitions and excerpts of their Questions Presented. We’ll be watching these as the Court comes back to a new Term […]

Miniseries, Part III – Felons and Persons with a Mental Impairment

Posted by on June 27, 2019

[Ed. Note: As we discussed here, this post is part of a three-part series on gun laws in the Center’s Repository of Historical Gun Laws, written by Center research assistant Catie Carberry. This post, like the Repository, is exemplary and not exhaustive.] Felons Were bans on convicts possessing firearms “unknown before World War I?”

Miniseries, Part II – Disarmament of those Disaffected to the Cause of America

Posted by on June 26, 2019

[Ed. Note: As we discussed here, this post is part of a three-part series on gun laws in the Center’s Repository of Historical Gun Laws, written by Center research assistant Catie Carberry. This post, like the Repository, is exemplary and not exhaustive.] Who was disarmed at the time of the founding?

“A Rogue’s Gallery of Offenses”: Implications of Rehaif and Davis for Prosecuting Gun Crimes

Posted by on June 25, 2019

In the past week, the Supreme Court issued two decisions likely to have a major impact on gun prosecutions: Rehaif v. United States, in which the Court tossed out an immigrant’s conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm, and United States v. Davis, in which the Court tossed out a pair of convictions for possessing […]

Miniseries, Part I – A Brief Overview of Laws Addressing Nonresidents and Aliens

Posted by on June 25, 2019

[Ed. Note: As we discussed here, this post is part of a three-part series on gun laws in the Center’s Repository of Historical Gun Laws, written by Center research assistant Catie Carberry. This post, like the Repository, is exemplary and not exhaustive.] Are laws banning aliens from keeping guns a “post-World War I phenomenon?”

Mini-Series on Historical Gun Laws: Felons, Foreigners, and Others Deemed Dangerous

Posted by on June 24, 2019

This week, we’re fortunate to have a three-part series by one of the Center’s excellent summer research assistants, Catie Carberry. Catie’s posts will provide an overview of the historical gun laws in the Center’s Repository of Historical Gun Laws, the largest publicly available single-site compilation of historical regulations of firearms. The Repository is the result […]

Is the Seventh Circuit Quietly “Breaking New Doctrinal Ground”?

Posted by on June 11, 2019

As this blog highlighted last week, the Seventh Circuit in Kanter v. Barr rejected a fraudster’s attempt to have the court declare 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the felon dispossession statute, unconstitutional as applied to him. It did the same thing last Thursday in Hatfield v. Barr. But did it also upend its normal inquiry?

The Other Supreme Court Challenges

Posted by on June 3, 2019

The Supreme Court in January agreed to hear its first Second Amendment challenge after a decade of (relative) silence. But other than New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York (NYSRPA), there are—by my count—five other pending petitions asking the Court to review lower courts’ Second Amendment (or related firearms) rulings, […]

Dangerous, Unvirtuous Felons and the Scope of the Second Amendment

Posted by on May 29, 2019

In Kanter v. Barr, decided this March, the Seventh Circuit rejected a non-violent felon’s as-applied challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), which prohibits those convicted of (nearly) all felony offenses from possessing firearms for life. The majority decision, and the dissent, highlight a fraught debate about the historical justification undergirding these types of prohibitions.

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