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By Jeff Knox

Ricky Spanks Lucy

Common sense has been overruled by the Court, and convictions in cases like a woman slapping a cheating spouse, or a man pushing his way out the door to get away from an argument can loose their rights…

FirearmsCoalition.org

FirearmsCoalition.org

Buckeye, AZ --(Ammoland.com)- The Supreme Court of the US came down with a decision in March that effectively expands the base of people prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms in this country.

In a unanimous decision in the case US v. Castleman, the Court ruled that the law banning possession of firearms by anyone ever convicted of any crime of violence against a spouse or significant other – often referred to as the Lautenberg law – applies not only to crimes labeled as “Domestic Violence” or to such crimes that involve what an average person would consider actual violence, but also to things like pushing, shoving, or grabbing, even when no harm was intended and no injury sustained.

Many states have intentionally drawn a distinction between minor contact among family members during an argument, and violence intended to harm, intimidate, or control. Those states’ common sense approach to the matter has now been overruled by the Court, and convictions for charges like simple assault in cases like a woman slapping a cheating spouse, or a man pushing his way out the door to get away from an argument, will now include the mandatory loss of firearm rights for life – even if the incident occurred decades ago.

What the Court did not rule on, is whether it is a violation of the Second Amendment to have a lifetime loss of firearm rights based on a misdemeanor crime.

The Court noted that this case did not adequately address that point and that this decision does not attempt to answer that question. They said the Second Amendment question will have to be decided in some future case.

Domestic violence is a terrible thing and a complex issue. Extreme emotions can feed uncharacteristic behaviors – including violence from either direction, and also false accusations of violence or other crimes. It wasn’t many years ago that a domestic violence misdemeanor was treated little different than a traffic violation. The accused, usually men, were often counseled by their attorney’s to simply plead guilty, pay the minor fine, and move on – regardless of their guilt or innocence. Years, or even decades later, that counsel has been proven to have been flawed because Lautenberg retroactively applies to anyone ever convicted of any “crime of violence or threat of violence with a weapon” against someone within a domestic relationship, regardless of any extenuating factors or mitigating circumstances. The anti-rights crowd passed and has protected this overreaching law with accusations that opponents of the law want “guns for wife-beaters.” Of course the reality is that we want punishment to fit the crime and justice to rule.

Our legal system distinguishes between a misdemeanor and a felony based on the severity of the crime. By definition, misdemeanors are minor criminal acts which cause little harm. On the other hand, felonies are serious crimes that cause significant harm. Punishment for misdemeanors and felonies reflect this distinction. If a crime deserves felony-level consequences, then the crime should be classified as a felony. If specific acts that can be labeled as “domestic violence” do not rise to the level of felony crimes, then the consequences should not be felony consequences.

Rather than address the problem of serious domestic violence being labeled a misdemeanor in many jurisdictions, the Lautenberg law simply throws an extra consequence onto the misdemeanor – the loss of the right to arms for life. Serious domestic violence should be a felony. Minor incidents of bumping or pushing have always rightly been considered misdemeanors. There is no rational justification for those involved in such incidents being debarred of their rights. It is ridiculous that police officers, soldiers, and avid hunters should lose their livelihoods and pastimes based on minor incidents – especially after decades have passed and they have proven themselves to be responsible citizens. It is equally ridiculous that such individuals should later be arrested and sentenced to extended periods in prison for innocently possessing a hunting rifle or shotgun for recreation – again, often decades after the incident.

We have tried to get Lautenberg repealed, but the charge of “guns for wife-beaters” resonates in the media, scaring politicians and leading gun groups away from even approaching that fight. The next hope lies in one of these outrageously unjust cases eventually making its way to the Supreme Court and having the law declared unconstitutional. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a “sympathetic” plaintiff in any domestic violence case, and there has been a boatload of bad precedents set by bad cases brought before Second Amendment rights were more firmly established in the Heller and McDonald decisions. There have been a few more recent cases that could have shifted the Court’s position, but were not presented or argued correctly – again resulting in bad precedents.

Labeling good people as criminals and taking away their constitutionally guaranteed rights based on minor lapses in the heat of passion serves no public safety purpose. Loss of constitutionally guaranteed rights should be recognized as a very serious matter and should only happen when a clear public interest is served.

One way or another, Lautenberg has got to go.

©2014 The Firearms Coalition, all rights reserved. Reprinting, posting, and distributing permitted with inclusion of this copyright statement. www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

About:
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org

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  • 10 User comments to “More People Made ‘Prohibited’ by Supreme Court of the United States”

    1. It’s a good thing they don’t have the authority to prohibit arms to any person for any reason, or that would be major bummer.

    2. jeff martin on April 17, 2014 at 1:22 AM said:

      Once again the “supreme court” got it wrong!! Whether we like it or not, The Second Amendment doesn’t allow for any infringement including criminal restrictions!! No government entity can make laws or regulations concerning any weapon, Constitutionally!! It would have to be a ballot issue and would probably fall under States Rights for that purpose just as obamacare should have!! The “supreme court” is part of the problem by not following it’s defined duties and instead have become political pawns!!

    3. oldgringo on April 17, 2014 at 4:20 AM said:

      Me thinks the Supreme Court like so many other enities of our government has been corrupted with less emphasis given to individual right vs the rights of big government to do almost as it pleases!

    4. Robby777 on April 17, 2014 at 6:51 AM said:

      Idiocy abounds when the legal system refuses to see the end game of destroying the 2nd amendment. Trumped up minor offenses blown out of proportion to violate constitutional rights. Double DUH!

    5. Jimmy the Greek on April 17, 2014 at 9:19 AM said:

      That is the reason I well not even speak to any one that i think may be a cop caller ! Shun them ! turn your back to them and never have anything to do with that type of low life .

    6. Old Curmudgeon on April 17, 2014 at 9:26 AM said:

      Another case of a new law retroactively punishing some for : A. Owning something they had legally purchased and was legal to own before passage of the law. (new York’s Safe Act). Or B. possessing something that was legal until the new law made possession illegal because of past behavior. It is unconstitutional to pass any law which punishes past behavior. The government can’t pass a law outlawing coffee drinking today and then arrest me tomorrow because I drank a cup yesterday. Whereis the ACLU with their outrage against loss of rights??

    7. may be in jan 14 the senate can remove and replace the un constitutional supreme court judges and yes the senate can have them removed. they need to pick new judges not the scumbag tyrant in the white house. another great idea sense there are elections in NOV it would to place a presidential re call on the ballots in all states which would = by by tyrant

    8. askeptic on April 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM said:

      Perhaps a case in which someone in a “non-traditional relationship” has been convicted of misdemeanor “domestic violence” would provide the courts with a more sympathetic plaintiff.

    9. Just like ObamaCare, if we don’t like the Lautenberg law then we need to repeal it or replace it.

    10. The second amendment specifies people, shall not be infringed. not some people, just people. it wouldnt take long to get rid of the truly bad people if confiscators would stop treating them like victims. Ted Kennedys car killed more people than my gun, and he lived with that for 50 years without punishment.

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