Skip to main content
U.S.

Appeals court says gov’t can’t ban nonviolent convicts from owning guns

Share

Media Landscape

MediaMiss™This story is a Media Miss by the right as only 17% of the coverage is from right leaning media.

Learn more about this data

Left 40%

Center 43%

Right 17%

Bias Distribution Powered by Ground News

A federal appeals court has passed a ruling on Second Amendment rights. The court ruled that people convicted of nonviolent crimes do not automatically lose their Second Amendment right to possess firearms. 

Bryan David Range pleaded guilty in 1995 to food stamp fraud by concealing his income in order to receive more than $2,000 in benefits. It’s a crime punishable by five years in prison. Range didn’t receive any jail time. But as a convicted criminal, he lost his constitutional right to bear arms.

Range took his lifetime gun ban to court. And Tuesday, June 6, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ban. The court sided with Range, saying that the lifetime ban violated his rights. 

Supreme Court: Gun laws must comport with historic regulations

This is the first time, since the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer expanding gun rights protections, that a U.S. appeals court has found that people convicted of nonviolent crimes shouldn’t automatically lose their civil rights to owning firearms.

The Supreme Court said that gun laws must comport with the United States’ historical tradition of firearm regulations from the founding.

Feds failed to show ban was consistent with historic treatment

The Department of Justice argued that only citizens who are law abiding and responsible are protected by the Second Amendment. The Philadelphia-based appeals court said the government can’t impose a lifetime gun ban on a man who committed food stamp fraud, and that the feds failed to show the ban was consistent with “founding-era” treatment of people convicted of nonviolent offenses.

Court: Nonviolent convicts shouldn’t be treated like violent ones

Other than a few minor traffic, parking and fishing infractions, Range has had a clean criminal history. He said he wanted to be able to buy a hunting rifle and a shotgun to defend himself.

The court said Range remains one of the people protected by the Second Amendment, and shouldn’t be punished like a murderer, sex offender, domestic abuser or other violent criminal. 

Judges dissenting in the case pointed to prior Supreme Court rulings suggesting a felon gun ban is presumed to be lawful.

Tags: , , ,

 

KARAH RUCKER: A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT RULED PEOPLE CONVICTED OF NON-VIOLENT CRIMES DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY LOSE THEIR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT TO POSSESS FIREARMS. 

 

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT REVERSES GUN BAN FOR NONVIOLENT CONVICT

 

BRYAN DAVID RANGE PLEAD GUILTY IN 1995 TO FOOD STAMP FRAUD BY CONCEALING HIS INCOME IN ORDER TO RECEIVE MORE THAN 2-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN BENEFITS. A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY FIVE YEARS IN PRISON. RANGE DIDN’T RECEIVE ANY JAIL TIME. BUT AS A CONVICTED CRIMINAL, HE LOST HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. RANGE TOOK HIS LIFETIME GUN BAN TO COURT. AND TUESDAY, THE THIRD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS REVERSED THE BAN. THE COURT SIDED WITH RANGE, SAYING THAT THE LIFETIME BAN VIOLATED HIS RIGHTS. 

 

SUPREME COURT: GUN LAWS MUST COMPORT WITH HISTORIC REGULATIONS

 

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME – SINCE THE SUPREME COURT’S RULING LAST SUMMER EXPANDING GUN RIGHTS PROTECTIONS – THAT A U.S. APPEALS COURT HAS FOUND THAT PEOPLE CONVICTED OF NONVIOLENT CRIMES SHOULDN’T AUTOMATICALLY LOSE THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS WHEN IT COMES TO FIREARMS. THE SUPREME COURT SAID LAST YEAR THAT GUN LAWS MUST COMPORT WITH THE UNITED STATES’ HISTORICAL TRADITION OF FIREARMS REGULATIONS FROM THE FOUNDING.

 

FEDS FAILED TO SHOW BAN WAS CONSISTENT WITH HISTORIC TREATMENT

 

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ARGUED THAT ONLY CITIZENS ARE LAW ABIDING AND RESPONSIBLE ARE PROTECTED BY THE SECOND AMENDMENT. THE PHILADELPHIA-BASED APPEALS COURT SAID THE GOVERNMENT CAN’T IMPOSE A LIFETIME GUN BAN ON A MAN WHO COMMITTED FOOD STAMP FRAUD AND THAT THE FEDS FAILED TO SHOW THE BAN WAS CONSISTENT WITH “FOUNDING-ERA” TREATMENT OF PEOPLE CONVICTED OF SUCH NONVIOLENT OFFENSES. 

 

COURT: NONVIOLENT CONVICTS SHOULDN’T BE TREATED LIKE VIOLENT ONES

 

OTHER THAN A FEW MINOR TRAFFIC, PARKING AND FISHING INFRACTIONS, RANGE HAS HAD A CLEAN CRIMINAL HISTORY. HE SAID HE WANTED TO BE ABLE TO BUY A DEER-HUNTING RIFLE AND A SHOTGUN TO DEFEND HIMSELF. THE COURT SAID RANGE REMAINS ONE OF THE PEOPLE PROTECTED BY THE SECOND AMENDMENT, AND SHOULDN’T BE PUNISHED LIKE A MURDERER, SEX OFFENDER, DOMESTIC ABUSER OR OTHER VIOLENT CRIMINAL. JUDGES DISSENTING IN THE CASE POINTED TO PRIOR SUPREME COURT RULINGS SUGGESTING A FELON GUN BAN IS PRESUMED TO BE LAWFUL.