U.S. appeals court to reconsider ban on nonviolent felons owning guns

  • The 3rd plenary session on February 15 will consider the issue of the ban on possession of weapons
  • The case follows a landmark Second Amendment decision by the US Supreme Court

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court said on Friday it will reconsider next month whether a federal gun ban is constitutional following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that expanded gun rights. .

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has voted to grant a full trial in the case of a Pennsylvania man convicted of welfare fraud, arguing that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.

A three-judge panel ruled against Brian Range in November, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which he argued was unconstitutional.

In that case, a 6-3 majority of conservative justices declared for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a gun in public for self-defense.

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The ruling, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, directed courts to determine whether gun restrictions are “consistent with the historic tradition of firearms regulation.”

The case will now be heard on February 15 by the full 3rd Circuit, where seven active judges are appointed by Republican presidents and six are appointed by Democrats.

“We are very pleased that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will take up this important issue,” said David Thompson, Range’s attorney at Cooper & Kirk.

The US Department of Justice did not respond to requests for comment.

Range, who pleaded guilty in 1995 to fraud in Pennsylvania to obtain $2,458 in food stamps, cited the high court ruling in his appeal.

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He said the ban on gun purchases by felons in the Gun Control Act of 1968 prevented him from buying a shotgun because his attempted purchase had been flagged by the federal background check system, and that, but for the ban, he can buy a gun. for self-defense.

The three-judge panel, in an unsigned opinion, cited “history and tradition” in determining that those constitutionally entitled to bear arms are “law-abiding and responsible citizens.”

That category, the panel said, “properly excludes those who have demonstrated disregard for the rule of law by committing felonies and felonies equivalent to that, whether or not those crimes are violent.”

The panel includes US District Judges Patty Schwartz and Sheryl Ann Krause, both appointed by former Democratic President Barack Obama, and Jane Richards Roth, former Republican President George H.W.

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The case is Range v. Attorney General of the United States, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 21-2835.

For the range: David Thompson of Cooper & Kirk

For the United States: Kevin Souter of the US Department of Justice

(NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from Range’s attorney.)

More information:

Judge doesn’t need a historian to discuss gun laws, prosecutors say

Court allows New York to impose gun restrictions on private property

Americans under criminal charges have the right to buy guns, court rules

US Supreme Court Expands Gun Rights, Strikes New York Law

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Nate Raymond

Thomson Reuters

Nate Raymond reports on federal court and litigation. He can be reached at [email protected]

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