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?
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.