Another Pro 2A Court decision

Garys

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Federal Court Rules Firearms Prohibition Against an Individual for a Misdemeanor Conviction Under Vehicle Code is Unconstitutional

From the Federal Middle District of PA.

As the Court succinctly wrote in its memorandum

This action is about one citizen’s individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The citizen wishes to purchase and possess a firearm. The Government contends that under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the citizen is permanently banned from possessing a firearm because of a 1998 misdemeanor conviction under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. The citizen challenges the federal statute as unconstitutional as applied to him. The citizen wins.
I haven't read the entire decision yet, but I have to wonder if this applies to "Misdefelony" cases in MA as well.
 

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The defendant altered a window tint exemption letter. Presumably he wanted to have a dark tint on his car, but didn’t have a medical condition that would justify an exemption so he faked the letter.

It will be like the Wild West now that the courts are going to allow this scofflaw to have a gun. [rolleyes]
 

Garys

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Not even that complex. He had a letter for his car, traded his car in and wanted to tint the windows. Instead of going through the permit process, he altered the original by whiting out the VIN and then typing the new one over it. There's a bit more to it in the memorandum, but that's the gist of it.

Five year Misdemeanor in PA at the time. Hence he became a prohibited person.

The defendant altered a window tint exemption letter. Presumably he wanted to have a dark tint on his car, but didn’t have a medical condition that would justify an exemption so he faked the letter.

It will be like the Wild West now that the courts are going to allow this scofflaw to have a gun. [rolleyes]
 

Garys

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Not precedent because it's in a different circuit. Can be used as persuasive and go in the Table of Authorities in other circuits. Since it was in a federal district court, it might be appealed, but I have to wonder how much interest the Commonwealth of PA has in pursuing this.

3rd circuit vs MA in the 1st. Does set a precedent to cite, but each circuit may rule differently setting up a split to be reviewed by SCotUS.
 

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The case is Miller v. Sessions.

The 18 USC §922(g)(1) "... crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year"
clause is unconstitutional as applied to specific individuals in the 3rd Circuit if the defendant can prove they've been scrod under the Binderup-Marzzarella framework:
  1. Distinguish himself from the historically barred class of individuals by demonstrating that he was not convicted of a “serious crime”, and...
  2. ...that the Government can't demonstrate that the ban survives intermediate scrutiny.
The individual demonstrates that they were not convicted of a "serious crime" by the court considering:
  1. Whether the state legislature classifies the offense as a felony or a misdemeanor;
  2. whether the offense was violent;
  3. the actual punishment imposed; and
  4. any cross-jurisdictional consensus regarding the offense’s seriousness.
"Unconstitutional as-applied" doesn't mean 18 USC §922(g)(1) is completely unconstitutional,
but rather that it deprives a specific person under specific circumstances of a constitutional right.

No one factor may be dispositive, but Miller was sentenced to a year of probation (out of a max five years of prison) for the non-violent misdemeanor of altering the legally-obtained window tint certificate for his previous car to get out of a window tint bust on his new car. While he couldn't prove that there was a consensus in other jurisdictions that this was a minor crime, he did prove that there was not a consensus in other jurisdictions that it was a serious crime.

I haven't read the whole 25 page ruling, but FPPs like Mass DUI convicts should ask their attorney whether this ruling is a new tool that can be used to restore 2A right. Those individuals living outside of the 3rd Circuit would have to convince their regional courts to follow the 3rd Circuit's logic, which might be a tough row to hoe. But moving to the 3rd Circuit would allow a defendant to petition that court system. (I presume that the 3rd Circuit hasn't ruled on any Mass DUI convictions yet).
 

AHM

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Not even that complex. He had a letter for his car, traded his car in and wanted to tint the windows. Instead of going through the permit process, he altered the original by whiting out the VIN and then typing the new one over it.
Not even that complex. He had a letter for one car, replaced it with a newer car, got busted for heavy tint, and only then used a whiteout-altered original to win the tint trial. Post-trial the arresting officer checked state records and discovered that the second car had never had a letter.

Submitting a forged tint letter to win a trial when he could have claimed that he was entitled to a letter, and losing his gun rights over the fraud, is way out there on the Stupid Game spectrum.
 

Garys

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I agree, but it's not something that should cause one to become a federally prohibited person for life.

Not even that complex. He had a letter for one car, replaced it with a newer car, got busted for heavy tint, and only then used a whiteout-altered original to win the tint trial. Post-trial the arresting officer checked state records and discovered that the second car had never had a letter.

Submitting a forged tint letter to win a trial when he could have claimed that he was entitled to a letter, and losing his gun rights over the fraud, is way out there on the Stupid Game spectrum.
 
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AHM

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I agree, but it's not something that should cause one to become a federally prohibited person for life.
Sure, sure.

I wonder what's more likely -
Congress waters down the Brady Act prohibitions,
or they get tossed by a conservative SCOTUS bench...
 

Garys

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Is that section from the Brady Bili? I thought it predated that, but I'm often wrong. ;)
And I'll take "When is SCOTUS going to decide more 2A cases in our favor? for $2,000.00, Alex."

Sure, sure.

I wonder what's more likely -
Congress waters down the Brady Act prohibitions,
or they get tossed by a conservative SCOTUS bench...
 
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