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Holloway v Garland - Non-violent misdemeanant lifetime 2A ban


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Does a lifetime firearms prohibition based on a nonviolent misdemeanor conviction violate the Second Amendment?


Because Heller deemed felon disarmament laws "presumptively lawful," ... many lower courts have held that felon bans cannot be challenged -- even by misdemeanants affected by such bans.


Holloway is subject to a lifetime firearms ban due to a 2005 misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence -- although he retained all firearm rights under state law, his conviction falls within the scope of the federal felon ban.


In 2005, Holloway pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) at the highest blood alcohol content, a misdemeanor under [PA law]. Because Holloway had an earlier misdemeanor DUI charge from 2002 -- which was later dismissed -- the 2005 offense became a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to five years' imprisonment. ... Notwithstanding the maximum possible sentence, Holloway received only the mandatory minimum sentence; 90 days' confinement on a work-release program, a $1,500 fine, 60 months' probation, and a drug and alcohol evaluation. ... He completed his jail sentence in March 2006. ... Since his 2005 conviction, Holloway earned a bachelor's degree in psychology, worked as an educator with juveniles housed in residential treatment centers, and has been a law-abiding citizen with no further alcohol-related or legal issues.


Holloway's conviction never prevented him from purchasing or possessing firearms under Pennsylvania law. ... But because the 2005 misdemeanor was punishable by more than two years' imprisonment -- regardless of the mandatory minimum sentence he actually received -- Holloway is forever prohibited from possessing firearms under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). In 2016, unaware that he was a prohibited person, Holloway applied to purchase a firearm, and his application was denied. He appealed the denial to the Pennsylvania State Police, which affirmed the denial based on the 2005 misdemeanor conviction.


The case is currently scheduled for conference 16 April.

Edited by Euler
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