Partial Weakning of Lautenberg

I’m not sure how much practical significance this is going to have, but at least some federal courts are willing to recognize that the Second Amendment has consequences.  Basically, the court is demanding a jury instruction in § 922(g)(9) cases that allow a defendant to assert that “that the individual charged under § 922(g)(9) posed no prospective risk of violence.”  This doesn’t really legalize anything, just gives your attorney more options in arguing your defense before a jury.

We’re going to be very hard pressed to ask the courts to solve all our problems with gun rights, as they will be reluctant to stand up for Second Amendment rights for wife beaters.  My problem with Lautenberg has always been more that it was retroactively applied, rather than only applied to new convictions.  I think it should be found unconstitutional on that ground.

12 thoughts on “Partial Weakning of Lautenberg”

  1. This not about wife-beaters. Any so called domestic violence conviction will cost your rights. As an example two brothers get into a fist fight somebody calls the cops. They both get arrested. Lautenberg is dangerous law.
    If a man beats up his wife he should be charged with agravated assault which is a felony.

  2. Harp,

    I agree with you, but the problem is, wife-beaters will be the rhetoric the opposition will use. The imagery they can paint with this issue is very difficult to counter. That’s why it will be very difficult to get Lautenberg repealed outright. Even reform will be difficult.

  3. I have no problem with firearms restrictions for convicted felons under due process of law. But a misdemeanor seems excessive, and a court order is NOT law, and therefore not due process. To deny any person of their rights, liberty and property on the basis of a court order instead of full due process is unconstitutional! Plus, the national government has no jurisdiction over local, domestic disputes (10th Amend.); Lautenburg is unconstitutional on that basis as well! Makes me want to buy another gun!

  4. the problem with a constitutionality challenge is that in the felons in possession cases, the courts have ruled that possession of a gun is a current act, therefore the banning of possession is not retroactive…

    the same argument will be used for Lautenberg cases…

  5. Call me idealistic, but if a felon has been deemed safe enough to be let out of prison and amongst society, then he should be safe enough to be allowed a gun for self-defense, a right he possesses as much as we. If he is not safe enough to possess a gun, then do not release him from prison (lengthen the sentence).

  6. Plus one on that Arnie, if these people are considered safe enough to be on the streets they should be considered full citizens with all rights again.

    If we don’t think they can be trusted in public as a citizen then they shouldn’t be let out.

  7. Thanks, Kevin. It is encouraging to know I’m not the only one who thinks that way. It just seems like common sense to me, but as they say: common sense is not very common.

  8. I’m sympathetic to the argument, but the fact of the matter is the criminal justice and mental health systems routinely put people out on the streets who are dangerous.

    I think that it’s probably constitutional to take away someone second amendment rights because of being convicted of a violent crime. I’m less convinced that non-violent felonies and misdemeanors justify removing second amendment rights.

    I also don’t agree with it being a general law, but rather ought to be part of the conviction. It should be unconstitutional to retroactively apply a firearms disability to certain offenses, as Lautenberg did.

  9. Harp
    How funny, because the exact scenario you stated is what happened to me in 1992. I got into a fight with my brother at his apartment, We were 18 and 19 yrs old at the time. His now ex-wife called the cops and we were both arrested. Several years later I joined the AF and served 8.5 years. I had an honorable discharge. I have held a TS clearance from 1998 till this day. Several years ago I decided to purchase a gun because our neighborhood was going downhill. I was shocked when the gun dealer told me I was denied. I didn’t know why because I was in no trouble with the law. I soon found out the reason why and about this whole bs law. My wife did purchase a gun but we do not have the gun in the house because that would be a felony for me. That gun is at my fathers house, who happens to be a sheriff and who was shocked when I explained to him why we could not keep the gun. I’ve thought about appealing this but think that would involve too much of my time. I tell my wife and friends that I feel like I’m still in trouble for what happened 17 years ago, although I thought I have served my punishment already. It’s ridiculous and does not keep a true criminal from obtaining a gun. They will get it regardless.

  10. Spence or anyone else with a domestic violence conviction should try to get off your record. It could cause bigger problems down the road.

  11. What Harp said. It’s probably well worth it to speak to an attorney about expungement. You’re a good candidate for it, and should have no problem getting one. Once you’re expunged, it’s like it never happened. You get your right to bear arms back.

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