Range v Lombardo -- U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals upholds ban on firearm ownership for Bryan Range who pled guilty to making a false statement to obtain food stamps assistance more than 25 years ago, which was then a misdemeanor offense. While Mr. Range served no time in prison because of this conviction, the crime to which he pled guilty was punishable by up to five years' imprisonment. As a result, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) prohibits him from owning a weapon.
District court strikes down 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), which prohibits people subject to DVPOs from possessing guns. Last week, in United States v. Perez-Gallan, W.D. Tex. 11/10/22, a federal district court in Texas ruled that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) was unconstitutional. Applying “Bruen’s new framework,” the court looked at historical practices concerning domestic violence and gun rights. It found that in the nation’s early years, domestic violence was barely prosecuted, and even in the nineteenth century, “removing firearms from an abuser—through government intervention or otherwise—was still not a prevalent occurrence.” It rejected the Government’s analogy to other historical measures targeting dangerous people, while acknowledging that it is difficult to know how similar a historical provision must be before an analogy to a contemporary regulation is valid. Decision Appealed to U.S. Fifth Circuit Appellate Court 11/15/2022
District court strikes down 18 U.S.C. § 922(k), which prohibits people from possessing guns with obliterated serial numbers. Another recent case, United States v. Price, S.D.W.V. 10/12/22, found that 18 U.S.C. § 922(k) was unconstitutional. The court noted that serial numbers on firearms did not even exist in 1791 when the Second Amendment was ratified, so a prohibition against removing them is not consistent with a historical approach to the Second Amendment. Like the Perez-Gallan court, the Price court wrestled with various potential analogies, ultimately concluding that “that the only types of analogous regulations would be those that required firearm owners to keep an identifiable mark on their firearm . . . . I am not presented with evidence that any such regulation existed, nor has my research uncovered any.”
District court strikes down 18 U.S.C. § 922(n), which prohibits people under felony indictment from possessing guns. Another post-Bruen opinion is United States v. Quiroz, W.D.Tex. 9/19/22, where the court “conduct[ed] its own historical inquiry” concerning restrictions on gun rights for persons charged with, but not yet convicted of, serious crimes. It found nothing directly comparable until the federal statute itself was enacted in 1939, and concluded that none of the analogies suggested by the Government were sufficiently comparable.
District court partly enjoins enforcement of Delaware law targeting “ghost guns.” In Rigby v. Jennings, D. Del. 9/23/22, a district court considered a Delaware law criminalizing the manufacture, possession, and sale of certain unserialized firearms, sometimes called “ghost guns.” The court found that the plaintiffs challenging the law were likely to prevail on their Second Amendment arguments concerning the portions of the law regarding manufacture and possession of unserialized guns. The court noted that the Attorney General “offered no evidence that these statutes are consistent with the nation’s history of firearm regulation.” Accordingly, it and issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the above-described portions of the law.
District court enjoins enforcement of New York law banning guns in certain locations. In Antonyuk v. Hochul, NDNY 10/6/22, a federal district court issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement of a New York law that sought to bar concealed carry in a number of locations, including on public transit, at public event venues, at medical facilities, in parks and playgrounds, and in Times Square. The court found inadequate historical support for these limitations, though it did find support for a smaller number of premises limitations, including schools, polling places, and places of religious worship.