How Can You Lose Your Right to Own a Gun?

How Can You Lose Your Right to Own a Gun?

By Reason Foundation , Free Minds and Free Markets - 12 Hours Ago

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit cast doubt on the constitutionality of a 1996 federal law that bars anyone convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence from owning a gun for the rest of his life. Other courts, including the 10th Circuit, have concluded that the law is consistent with D.C. v. Heller, the 2008 case in which the Supreme Court declared that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms.

"Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority in Heller, "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill." But as the 7th Circuit noted in a case involving a man who was caught with a shotgun a year after he was convicted of domestic battery, Heller did not address the constitutionality of taking gun rights away from people convicted of misdemeanors.

To justify that policy, the appeals court concluded, the government must do more than assert its constitutionality. Since the shotgun in this case was used for hunting (as opposed to self-defense in the home, the issue at the center of Heller), and since the challenged restriction applies only to people convicted of certain crimes (as opposed to all citizens, as in Heller), the 7th Circuit decided that "intermediate scrutiny" is the appropriate standard. Accordingly, it sent the case back to the trial court for consideration of whether "the challenged law is substantially related to an important governmental interest."

CBS News.com correspondent (and Reason contributor) Declan McCullagh notes that the law at issue in this case is not the only conviction-related restriction on Second Amendment freedoms that can reasonably be challenged now that the Supreme Court has recognized gun possession as a fundamental, pre-existing right guaranteed by the Constitution. He cites a recent Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy article—titled "Why Can't Martha Stewart Have a Gun?"—that questions the justification for denying nonviolent felons the right to arms.

"In an age when Americans can be non-violent felons for possession of a short lobster or sharing MP3 files," McCullagh asks, "is a lifetime ban constitutional?" Although Heller suggests the general ban on gun possession by felons is constitutional, it does not actually uphold that policy, which was not at issue in the case. So it's conceivable the Court will at some point ask whether the Second Amendment allows the government to permanently deprive tax evaders, pot growers, and online casino operators of their right to arms.

16 Comments

5 years 2 weeks ago, 11:23 AM

Gregory

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To give or not to give

One must always consider the source. Is the person getting the gun unstable or psychotic? Is he a rapist or a stronger arm robber? Does he have a record for violence and lose his cool easily? Instead of stereotyping or labeling people, it should be on a persons history. After all does a Gun shop really want to sell a shady guy a gun they may or may not come back and shoot them with one day?

5 years 2 weeks ago, 1:10 PM

greg az

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Some of the best people i know own gun shops, and have found in my travels that if your looking to meet good folks in a town, stop by the local gun shop. I've found this true all across our great country. I also know that they DONT WANT to sell guns to someone unstable. I've had a buddy tell me that he has his own rules, if some one is drunk, stoned, or acting wierd in anyway, then no sale gets made. period end of story. Like most good people, he takes responsibility for his actions. Not because of fear of law suits, but because he has a deep and abiding belief in whats right and wrong in life.

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
5 years 2 weeks ago, 2:18 PM

hellsvampbiker

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gun laws

gun laws are there for the benefit of man to read because without enforcement laws are useless........a gun can be purchased most anywhere by anyone.....a gun is still dangerous whether bought illegal or legally.......a gun is never heard about until someone commits a crime.enough said......guns will never be erraticated..........hellsvampbiker

5 years 2 weeks ago, 2:25 PM

zx12rmike

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commiefornia, United States

The only time the Liberal media reports on anything to do with guns in a positive manner, would be the coverage of the Olympics. There is never a report on National Championships anywhere. I didn't even know they held Nat Championships in Kali, nothing is ever reported. A few other times is when someone uses a gun to defend themselves, news always puts a negative spin. You would have to finish up the story yourself by doing research. Then you would find the person was justified, but they don't report that. Of course this is Kalifornia.

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:11 PM

Gregory

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We will be

"Kali" is a very liberal state and we worship obamlini, so naturaly everything the media says is a lie to see things their way. If you dont they tell you, that you are an ignorant hill billy and that learned people such as themselves are the only ones that deserve to live, oh and the welfare and social cretins.

5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:18 PM

zx12rmike

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Gregory You live in Kali?

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:21 PM

Gregory

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Yes

I live currently at China Lake Naval Base which is located in southern california, very dry and very hot most of the year. Work for the DoD as a contractor on F-18s and all sorts of airplanes at the Navy base, meh pays the bills.

5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:25 PM

zx12rmike

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I know China Lake, I lived in SoCal most of my life. The company I work for, either does, or used to do, the refrigeration at the commissary.

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:27 PM

Gregory

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Awesome!

I dont hate it here but it sure wears on the spirit, I figure if I can live here I can live anywhere.

5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:31 PM

zx12rmike

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No doubt, I have been to Needles, Ca at the Colorado many times and the temp there gets to 127f. My first born was there when he was 9 mos old and it was 127f. We kept his diaper full of that cold river water and kept him in the shade and he didn't mind at all. I was friggen dying!

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:33 PM

zx12rmike

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What's the chances of getting a tour and touch an F18?

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:37 PM

Gregory

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Hmmm

If I was DoD it would be no problem, but as a contractor I have no pull except for within my Department Code. I will ask some Blue badges (DoD Goverment workers) though and get back to you on it.

5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:38 PM

zx12rmike

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I would love to take my son, don't want to make any waves though, Thank you.

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:43 PM

Anonymous

Gregory

Welcome to the site. Belive it or not my First name is also Gregory, But the name I go by is jonwain or jon in the world but on the site here I go by Snake. Any ways, just thought I would just say Hi and welcome to gunslot.

5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:48 PM

Gregory

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Mike and snake

Mike it wont cause any problems asking around, It might take me a while since im updating the AV-8B avionics software this week, so probly next week I can get ahold of someone to see if and when they do tours.

Snake thank you I am glad I stumbled upon this website. Also I love Metal Gear Solid hah! Recognized Fox hound Command immediatly.

5 years 2 weeks ago, 3:55 PM

Anonymous

Gregory

Im glad to hear your a fan of MGS too. That makes 3 people on the site that I can think of thats a MGS fan, Me you and Toosk. I hope you enjoy it here.

Snake.

samD's picture
Posted by: samD
5 years 2 weeks ago
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