An End to the Lautenberg Amendment?

An End to the Lautenberg Amendment?
By Jeff Knox

Manassas, VA – -( The Federal Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently accepted the Second Amendment as valid grounds for reversing a conviction under the infamous Lautenberg Amendment, barring possession of firearms from anyone ever convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

That's good news, but don't fire up the band just yet.

The actual conclusion of the 7th Circuit panel was that prosecutors had failed to effectively argue that Lautenberg does not violate the Second Amendment – which is a far cry from declaring the law unconstitutional and throwing the case out.  The court reversed the guilty verdict and sent the case back to the lower court to give federal prosecutors another chance to build a better case.  Included in the decision are rather detailed instructions explaining what arguments the prosecution needs to make if they wish to prevail.  Like a child's game, the court said, “You forgot to say ‘Mother may I' so try it again – and this time say ‘Mother may I.'” If prosecutors carefully apply the lessons laid out in the 7th Circuit's order, the case should result in another conviction that would then be upheld on appeal.  On the other hand, the court also dropped a hint or two for the defense.

The case against defendant Steven Skoien, who was sentenced to probation in 2006 for misdemeanor domestic violence, is pretty straightforward.  After being alerted by the game department that Skoien had purchased a deer tag, police went to his home where, in his pickup parked out front, they found a freshly killed deer, a shotgun, and ammunition.  Skoien admitted that he had been hunting that morning.

In court Skoien argued that he only possessed the gun for hunting and that denying him the right to arms was a violation of the Second Amendment.

Prosecutors pointed to a comment made in the Heller opinion to the effect that the decision “should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill.” They argued that this should be recognized to include persons prohibited under Lautenberg, and that the government had a compelling need to restrict guns from domestic violence abusers because such abuse is an indicator for future acts of violence.

The three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit rightly pointed out that a person convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor is not a felon, and concluded that the government's arguments supporting the assertion of “compelling need” simply weren't good enough.  The panel also concluded though that since the defendant claimed to only possess the shotgun for the purpose of hunting and did not assert a self-defense argument, his situation did not warrant the full protection of the Second Amendment.

The important issues in this case all hinge on two problematic positions taken by the panel:

  1. That the extraneous comments made in Heller are binding.
  2. That guns possessed for self-defense deserve more protection from the courts than those involving guns possessed for other purposes.

There are three standards a court uses in judging arguments, referred to as levels of scrutiny.  The highest and most rigorous of the three is “strict scrutiny” – applied to issues of fundamental rights – wherein prosecutors must demonstrate a compelling need to interfere with a person's rights, with minimal interference to meet that compelling need, and prove that the governments action effectively does meet the stated need.  “Intermediate scrutiny” is applied when there is only limited involvement of civil rights and no direct impact on any fundamental rights.  The government is given much more leeway under this standard.  The third, “rational basis” is applied when neither civil nor fundamental rights are at issue.  Under this standard the government has little requirement to prove need or effect.

In the Skoien case, the 7th Circuit concluded that intermediate scrutiny was appropriate because self-defense was not raised as an issue.  They also suggested that if the issue of self-defense had been raised, the court would have to move up to a strict scrutiny standard for reviewing the case.  This conclusion begs anyone wishing to use the Second Amendment as a legal defense to be sure to invoke the right to arms in a self-defense context and suggests that the court has injected the words “for self defense” into the Second Amendment.

If the remanded case is not dismissed, prosecutors will no doubt build a case tailored to the court's instructions for stricter scrutiny, and the defense will assert that Skoien also possessed the shotgun for self-defense purposes.   Meanwhile, it is to be hoped that the Supreme Court will have rendered a favorable decision in the McDonald v. Chicago case and that that decision will clear up some of the ambiguities surrounding Heller.

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:

  • 73 thoughts on “An End to the Lautenberg Amendment?

    1. The only reason that a lot of people complain about this amendment, is that they are military / law enforcement, they are the most effected.

      These people are the biggest offenders of D. V. and should not have a weapon anywhere near them.

      But as I have learned, these same people think that only they should have weapons.

      1. I just learned that I am subject to the Lautenburg ammendment. In 2011 I accepted a deal that brought charges down from all kinds of insane charges to simple battery. Legally it’s irrelevant that I never touched this woman, but to me it’s an important distinction. In fact, on the date I allegedly committed these acts I was out of town with my entire department at work. Regardless of this, my attorney told me that it would cost me up to $60,000 that I did not have to challenge the original charges, and I would be risking life in prison. My attorney told me that by pleading guilty to misdemeanor simple battery I would be avoiding any aspect of a domestic violence charge, and that I would be able to continue to possess firearms along with maintaining all of my other civil rights. Flash forward to 2015, and I get rejected when I attempt to purchase a new Glock for home defense. Our home had been broken into a few weeks earlier. Now because a woman I used to date decided to take revenge against me for trying to get her to seek help for an addiction to opiates I can never own a firearm again. In the State of Florida your rights are not taken away for a misdemeanor, so they can never be restored according to some courts. If you have already been convicted of a crime, even a minor violation such as driving with a suspended license, you can’t get the crime expunged. And, good luck trying to get a pardon for a crime of “domestic violence” from any governor. It would be the last official act of any politician I think. Now because I did not have enough money to afford a decent attorney to defend myself against a crime I didn’t commit I will forever have my right to bear arms taken from me. While I am a firm believer in our 2nd amendment right to bear arms, I do believe that there should be some limitations. I can understand limiting some people from owning firearms in order to preserve others rights such as the right to life. This, however, should not be done lightly, and it should not be done without legitimate recourse to have that determination overturned.

        1. After 30years of no police contact, and a substantial amount of money in an Expungement, I am still prevented from owning a firearm. The Lautenberg Amendment is foolish at best. If they at least had some department to get relief through we wouldn’t be screaming so loud. But that department (ATF) is no longer funded. Who’d have thought a decade before the amendment came out, that a bad decision to plea bargain down a felony to a misdemeanor would haunt me for the rest of my life. If I had kept the felony, it would be expunged by now. If we can’t get this ridiculous Amendment repealed, maybe we can at least get an avenue of relief through a new department?

        2. I had a dui and I also had past of domestic violence even tho the guy hit and cracked my skull and I have the Lauren urge amendment plus mental I’ll so can’t use or possess so I know how u feel. Hopefully our government can change things for us

          1. I also have had a TBI, as well as been classified as depressed at times. Fine now, so wth? Now, I do have a felony DUI on my record from 2002. I suppose it is irrelevant that I’m sober now. But I can’t get a DUI expunged in ks. This is corruption at its best, this state Govt had my number. Always trying to get me for something I have not done wrong, and out of boredom and retaliation. Isn’t this the Govt I’m supposed to be able to protect myself from. I fear them, they’ve taken my DNA, and for a DUI. National database now. Never a sex or violent crime one! How the He’ll are they getting away w this?

        3. Matt, sorry about that crap. Question as I am facing the similar. In ny of the lesser charges was a DV charge included? and, did they “consolidate” the charges?

        4. That’s a federal gun law put in place that violates the second amendment rights. The four founding fathers says no government can override right to bear arms. It’s a right and not a privilege. Congress, legislators and Libby’s are responsible with infringing and violating your civil rights. Trump, AG and new team of pro gun will make 2A Great Again and pound the Feds for scrutiny of the peoples civil rights. Do your research and use various keywords to dig up the new changes coming soon in 2017. Second amendment will be restored with anti federal gun ban laws. I’ve found everything I’ve mention above online.

      2. I was arrested for simple assault back in 1991 for grabbing my wife’s wrist and placing her on the ground after she had taken a swing at me , as I had taken her abuse for the last 1 1/2 of our 2 1/2 years of marriage I was 20 years old at the time.
        After going to my arraignment I was not asked if I wanted an attorney or if I could even afford one “nothing”. the Judge ( if you can call him a judge) asked how I plead, I plead not guilty which in this case is supposed to go before the grand jury which it didn’t, I was asked if I had any witnesses in the courtroom ,and I didn’t so therefore in this kangaroo court I was questioned by the district attorney and gave my story , and then I was allowed to question my wife on the stand. after about 15 min of B.S. I was told by his Honor that if I simply paid my wife restitution within 30 days the case would be thrown out and never placed on my record.
        Well I paid the restitution and with receipt in hand I went before the Judge, and guess what? I was found guilty not by a jury of my peers ,but by his dammed honor, and the district attorney also. So I received 11 months and 29 days suspended sentence + 11months and 29 days probation, also I had to pay the court cost, as well as a $50.00 fine for total of $200.00 not to mention with receipt in hand I had to repay the court the restitution that I had already paid to my wife all over again for a total of $645.00 WTF.
        I’m a U.S. Army vet and since divorcing that women I remarried and have been for the last 23 years without any problems my ex remarried and guess what? her husband has been arrested 3 times for DV what does that tell you. If you are a women your always right, if your a man you are always wrong, in a court of law, “especially in small hick town TN”! How many other men and yes women have been convicted by people that probably paid good money to pass there bar exam because they could not otherwise pass it , and are now banned from owning or possessing firearms.
        this laughtenberg law is not only unconstitutional ,but immoral. And should be repealed.
        Next we will not be allowed to possess a firearm if you have been convicted for any and all misdemeanors, other than traffic citations and then the traffic citations will come into play and disarm us all ,except for those that want to control us.

        1. Thats it wife at the time was drunk with empty cans in trash.i went to funeral home that afternoon wanted her to go.yes i was angry had words because her drinking kept her from going.i was the sole provider she started early that day.before left she had pulled my hair while i was in bath tub along with the common curse words.
          I left went to funeral home.she then poored my tea in a cup all over me trying to fight.i pickec the cup up.had a coaster stuck on bottom from water flew off made of wood hit her in face area.
          She walked out.said she was calling of coarse the police.i sat there waited on them.i thought shes drunk they will see what im dealing with.
          They get there i explain it all.wife comes out one small drop of blood on lip.damn im shocked im then jail bound!
          Went court wife told judge she was wrong pms problems and wanted drop charges.
          I pleaded not attprney never asked if i had one didnt think in gods sake i needed one. I got 6 months jail dropped.and had take the class with also 6 months probation.
          It was simple domestic violence 19 yrs ago in ms in southaven ms court house.
          Judge didnt treat me right.hell no.i had until that a clean now 62 yrs old and a violent man as the courts and my federal records show with 6 grandchildren and same wife of 42 yrs of marriage.
          I tried buy a gun to protect us in a bad area we live now at 62 yrs old.
          If i die from not able to be armed i pray someone tells this.maybe damn courts and lobbyist will wake up!!!

    2. This law was part of a omnibus finiancial bill, it was attached at the end of a huge piece of legislation which had nothing to do with violence or gun rights. It is unconstitutional on about 5 different points, the most important one being the fact that it is enforced post-exfacto. This is the real dangerous stuff that is going on,, ironically it was passed in 97, 0r 98 yet not enforced to post 9-11, How do I know, I broke a window in 94, plead guilty, paid for the replacement of the window and was informed in 2001 I had to sign over my firearms… I have kind of dropped out since then, I mean why help pay for a illegal war….

    3. Richard everybody is affected not just cops and military, what is next losing your second amendment rights for speeding tickets. Why do you label the police and military as the biggest abusers. Might I remind you that if it werent for our vets that you would have no freedom or any rights for that matter. I agree with what everybody else says you are a liberal.

    4. Tony Gibart a is worried that this case might leave a wrong impression that firearm restrictions imposed on those convicted of domestic violence are somehow different in kind from similar restrictions on felons and those deemed mentally incompetent. The truth is they should be different. The key word here is misdemeanor. They can be trusted to hold public office, to vote and sit on a jury, but they cant own a gun, makes a whole lot of sense. Tony Gibart claims to have all this evidence, that seven victims have been killed with firearms with previous DV convictons. Guess what they still got there hands on guns. Out of all statistics shown I wonder if they ever show any about those being previosly convicted staying out of trouble lets say ten or twenty years, I doubt it because they claim that is goes unreported, and they feel that it give them justification to judge everybody the same. The truth is not everybod with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction comes home on a daily basis and manipulates every aspect of there spouses lives. I wonder if the statistics of those with felony and misdemeanor convictions are separate, if not they should be because they are different classes of offenders. The statistics that are shown are only partial truths. If Skoines crime was severe enough to lose his second amendment rights he should of been charged with a felony he was not, this is a failure of the judges if they are failing to do so. Good people are losing there right to bear arms as something as a silly argument. I know a few women that claim that they are tired of people like tony gibart meddling with there lives over someting as silly as a argument with there spouse. If any type of intervention was required it should have been classified as a felony. Right now it is easier for violent felons to get there second amendment rights restored than those convicted with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. I guess it is okay to take a risk of someone being a menace to an entire society over family issues. To strip one of there rights over what they think he or she might do is purely unconstitutional. To treat felons better that misdemeanants is unconstitutional. The lautenberg goes far beyond domestic violence take this terror watch list for example, they are talking about putting returning veterans from iraq and afgahanistan on it that could strip them of there second amendment rights. This is a slap in the face to our men and woman serving in uniform. Might I remind Tony Gibart that if it werent for our veterans that they would not be able to exercise any right. It is time that the government and people like tony gibart to stop micro managing americans life. They are trying to strip away the second amendment slowly with amendment after amendment. To sentence one for exercising his constitutional right is tyrany. How can one lose a constitutional right when the offense was not severe enough to lose core civil rights. The ex po facto thing has been argued time and time again, how can memebers of congress dare say that losing your god giving constitutional right is not considered punishment. America please wake up.

      1. Thank you! I have a 16 yr old misdemeanor that wasn’t even DV and I can’t purchase because “I could have served up to a year in jail”. Stupid laws.

      On June 27, in the case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the Supreme Court found that Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to individual police protection even in the presence of a restraining order. Mrs. Gonzales’ husband with a track record of violence, stabbing Mrs. Gonzales to death, Mrs. Gonzales’ family could not get the Supreme Court to change their unanimous decision for one’s individual protection. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN FOLKS AND GOVERNMENT BODIES ARE REFUSING TO PASS THE Safety Ordinance.

      (1) Richard W. Stevens. 1999. Dial 911 and Die. Hartford, Wisconsin: Mazel Freedom Press.
      (2) Barillari v. City of Milwaukee, 533 N.W.2d 759 (Wis. 1995).
      (3) Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982).
      (4) DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 489 U.S. 189 (1989).
      (5) Ford v. Town of Grafton, 693 N.E.2d 1047 (Mass. App. 1998).
      (6) Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. 1981).
      “…a government and its agencies are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen…” -Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981)

      (7) “What makes the City’s position particularly difficult to understand is that, in conformity to the dictates of the law, Linda did not carry any weapon for self-defense. Thus by a rather bitter irony she was required to rely for protection on the City of NY which now denies all responsibility to her.”
      Riss v. New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579,293 N.Y.S.2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 806 (1958).

      (8) “Law enforcement agencies and personnel have no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others; instead their duty is to preserve the peace and arrest law breakers for the protection of the general public.”
      Lynch v. N.C. Dept. of Justice, 376 S.E. 2nd 247 (N.C. App. 1989)

      New York Times, Washington DC
      Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone By LINDA GREENHOUSE Published: June 28, 2005
      The ruling applies even for a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation. (

    6. Ok this law is like all sex offenders to register. I have a friend who was 19 and was dating a girl that was 17. Her parents pressed the charges. So for his whole life he has to be on the sex offenders registry. They need to classify the offenders to the crime. I lost my gun rights due to a misdemeanor DV conviction. I was not aware of what I was losing. I could not afford a lawyer, so like an idiot I took the plea. Yet after taking it I completed a DV offenders class and found out that guy who did more violent actions got diversion agreements. Now that is how how system works…flat out they had lawyers. Now my kids get the blunt of the deal because I cannot take the hunting.

    7. Left something out I need peoples input on this so please let me have it.

      I was brought up looking at guns as a tool to put food on the table. I have a family of five and have a job where I get laid off in the winter months and unemployment is impossible to live but yet is too much to get assistance so hunting was how I put food on the table.

      How fare is it to steal that right. This needs to all be considered where rich politicians put laws on the books that effect all people not just people who abuse their rights when a firearm is involved!!!

    8. First of all, if Mr. Skoien had any idea that he would be subject to a background check in VA if he applied for a hunting license, then he should have done his hunting in a state that does not do background checks for such sporting licenses (like here in MA and NH). Personally, I think that his downfall was his mouth (as it usually is when the police get “anonymous tips”). If he was a prohibited person under Lautenberg, why wasn’t he flagged as such and denied under NICS when he purchased the shotgun? Something is missing here.

    9. Lautenberg was merely a way to restrict firearms ownership among those who would obey the law. Criminals will still access weapons that they are not legally allowed to have because, hey, they’re criminals.

      I’ll be glad to see the end of this lunacy.

    10. in US v Larry W.Campbell, the federal judge stated that state judges use male gender profiling per all protection orders and congress wanted the federal courts to support such male gender pro- filing , no contact with the ex for 10 years, Some persons do abuse protection orders to have control over the father who wants to be a father to his children, of course, all Dad’ are dead beat dad; and all males do bad thing to women

    11. so Iv’e been convicted of a future crime? based onthis statement.Prosecutors pointed to a comment made in the Heller opinion to the effect that the decision “should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill.” They argued that this should be recognized to include persons prohibited under Lautenberg, and that the government had a compelling need to restrict guns from domestic violence abusers because such abuse is an indicator for future acts of violence.
      I didn’t realize that this is legal.
      here is my story and there are very many more like it.
      I am so tired of this whole issue. Even in my line of work I am affected by events that occurred over 20 years ago. If I had know then the impact on my life those incidents could present I would have picked a different way (legally) to handle it. But since those laws were not in affect how could I? Because of a dv conviction over twenty years ago I can’t even wear protective armor ie bullet proof vest. As a paramedic that works in a 911 service I find that rather disturbing not to mention the fact that my family is concerned that I can’t even protect myself when the opportunity is available. I could go on for hours about this and all points are sound and reasonable. Growing up in a local community where rowdiness was part of the accepted behavior made it hard to fully develop into a truly acceptable member of a regular society. I made the necessary changes and have never repeated those behaviors however several years later some laws were changed that affected me for the rest of my life. I was never afforded the full benefit of being able to weigh all the consequences therefore I was not given my full right to fully defend myself. I can’ t help the fact that I feel as if I’ve been stabbed in the back and my assaulter was not man enough to even face me first.

    12. Let’s imagine this, a person (gender un-important) is convicted of a misdemeanor DV violation in court with out the use of any weapon. At a later date this same person, is pushed to limit again, grabs a 10 inch kitchen knife and kills their spouse/etc. What did the Lautenberg Ammendment accomplish? Nothing at all. Now lets say you have a minor and their friends that hate their parents/step-parents/gaurdians beccause these same adults try to do the right thing by ensureing that the minor goes to school, doesn’t get involved in drugs/alcohol, doesn’t get involved in crimal activities, and this same minor is a ‘large child’ (6′, 300-325 lbs) and the parents/step-parents/gaurdians are more ‘petite. So this ‘large’ minor attacks the adult and because of the size difference the adult just tries to push the minor away to avoid being harmed. The police are called, and when everyone is court, the minor and friends lie, so you have several against one and the adult is convicted of a misdemeanor DV when they were actually inocent? Well that happened to me, and with the billions of people in the US, I highly doubt that I am the only one that this has happened to. So where are my rights, and why are my rights violated? Also, did I already mention that I am in my mid 40’s with nothing more on my record then a few speading tickets, and an exemplory military record/career.

      1. Yo Please Check this out, I Really Enjoy and Agreed with your Comment. I could Not agree More Just listen to what happened to me By the Way Thank you for your Service and Sacrifices you have had to make Army Strong hooah

        I Am 33 Years Old My Full Name Is Michael Anthony Perry And Yes I Am A Faithfull Believer In Jesus Christ and I Pass … and No I was Not Arrested for Domestic Battery-HA But had to serve Probation for 8 months in Hammond Indiana through the court house and had to go to court and the case was closed and Dismissed by the Honorable Judge Jeffrey A. Harkin and Now I must get This Expunged So that I can join the Army. The Army recruiters Told Me That “If I could Get This Expunged According to The (LautenBerg Amendment) The Only Thing they could Do as a Final Option” “would be to Send It Up for Review” and that “The Battallion Commander XO In Charge would be the One to Ultimately Make The Descision” to Either Bless (Accept) or Deny (Reject) It would be Entirely Up-to Him or Her What Can I do??? How Can I get This Domestic Battery-HA Expunged??? There Must be A way to Clear my Name I Still Want to join The U.S. Army and be an 88Mike for Transportation so That I can Learn How to Drive Truck The Only reason i had to Suffer this is Because My Wife who I Have Now been Seperated from for well over 2 years now That I remarried or Someone in Her Family Lied About me to Everyone and wanted to Destroy my Career for the Army and now have because I must be able to get this Expunged Immediately Before they will ever work with me and yes my kids are with my Ex-Wife Rachel and No I have not seen them in over 4 years now!!! Praise God Anyhow I know He Can Turn This All Around and for the Better!!! Army Strong!!! Hooah If you Have any Information that Could Help me I would Appreciate it or if you know anyone who might could help? I must get my FireArm Privileges Reinstated Immediately and get this Expunged Immediately I am Old and tired and running out of time Please Help!!!

    13. Im sorry to sound rather blind and not being able to fully understand this article so please bare with me. I was convicted of a domestic violence charge over a year and a half ago and found out after my probation that i was unable to bare firearms. Now if i understand this article correctly could this put an end to the amendment and allow me to possess my firearms again or is this something that is highly unlikely to happen? Again i appoligize for not being a little more intelligent about these things.

    14. I heard they finalized it yesterday, skoien lost so did the rest of us watching this outcome. Hey the only brightspot is this, freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose. I do not suppose the “legal” owners and firearms will be the ones left around for the endgame.

    15. Read the “Other Lautenberg ammendmant” This guy made a career of running game around the constitution, His only real fans live in ISREAL, I no longer wonder at the diversity of people who have had problems with thoes people existing.

    16. I pled no contest in Texas to this in 2003. My wife, kids and I were living with my mother (hard times) and we were about to move out. She forced the issue early and I grabbed her by the neck (no choking), and screamed at her. The cops came and charged me with misdemeanor assault family violence. I didn’t have the money so I was given a court appointed attorney. I didn’t plea down and I talked to him for all of 5 minutes on the preliminary hearing. On the day I went back to see the judge my attorney didn’t even show up. The judge was going to reset, but I told him I wanted to plead no contest and pay the 100 dollar fine. No probation, nothing. I think they put 7 days of jail on my record but the judge didn’t’ make me serve them (deferred them?).

      Well, now it seems I have lost one of my fundamental rights guaranteed under the bill of rights… for the rest of my life. If I can’t get it back, can’t they just take the rest of my rights away while they are at it? This country is a joke. They pay lip service to due process and freedom, but in the end our rights are so tenuous that they can disappear with a rider attached to a funding bill sent through congress in the middle of the night. What a joke.

    17. Sense the average citizen are not legal professionals, It should be “LAW” the Justice System explain the charges against you and what rights are at stake during the procedures.

    18. It is NOT illegal to own/use an Airgun because they are not “firearms”. They have been developed to a fine art in Germany and elsewhere, due to its restrictive firearms laws. I became involved with airguns while in the military. There are many types and they have been used to kill game as large as Bison. An excellent revolver for self defense is the Evanix AR6. Check it out the Evanix pistol, a six shot, can fire a 28 grain “pellet” at 700 feet per second muzzle velocity! It’ll go through a 1×4″ board like butter and hit a dime every time at 30feet!

      I was never informed of my Miranda rights when I was arrested for dv in 1996. I wonder if that could be sufficient justification for an appeal to my Iowa conviction?

    19. I was convicted of DV, to wit pulling on my ex’s arm until it hurt, in 1996. Suddenly in 1997, when they passed Lautenberg, I became a criminal. After the law was passed and for the rest of my life. For a misdemeanor? My crime had nothing to do with guns. Lautenberg is a SOB for sneaking this “rider bill” at the end of a large bill. Because he knew it wouldn’t be able to pass on it’s own merit. So much so, many states like Texas has made it a point to override on the state level. Texas says, among other granting liberties, that after a person has served out his sentence, five years after state supervision, that he can possess a gun. What did I loose out of this Lautenberg Admendment? Fourteen years of military and 11 years as a peace officer. Frank Lautenberg had no forethought or no care about the inequities he caused people in this country. And there’s a special place for politicians like him in hell. No one cares about me or people like me. Every time someone brings it up, some bleeding heart starts to howl about wife beaters and catagorize you. America, home of justice or maniplulation?

    20. Re: Mark Devaux’s comments on “ISREAL”

      “…I no longer wonder at the diversity of people who have had problems with those people existing.”

      It’s good that an illiterate and ignorant XXX like you can’t have firearms.

      To bad you’re allowed to have kids.

      Dumb XXX like you making comments like that make it worse for actual human beings that have been screwed by Lautenberg.

    21. i was charge with dv when i was 19 prior to that never been introuble since then now im 28 and wnt to be a arm security guard but branded a criminal for life and im not i dont gang bang or do drugs i had one bad day i nve caused bodily injury i pleaded guilty to get out of jail i was scared and nvr informed that i would loose my rights for life while felons could get there right to bare arms in ten year after .its not fair im a law abiding citizen and i love my country …but i guess justice is blind

    22. Actually the extraneous comments in the decision are not binding on anyone. They are what are known by attorneys to be “dicta.” Dicta is not binding because it is simply the court dithering until they make a decision on the case before it. I completely agree that the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting. It is about the security of a free state, personal defense and opposing tyrany. And I’m here to tell ya there’s plenty of that these days.

    23. This amendment also affects those convicted of misdemeanor assault charges. I got into a fight with a complete stranger 40 years ago. I went to court ant the ripe old age of 18, I didn’t think I even needed a lawyer. Needless to say, I was found guilty, fined a small fine and went on my way. I served in the military, married, raised a family… Never had any problems with domestic violence, but I am now being told that I cannot own any firearms. I applied for a handgun permit in NC and was denied because of the assault charge that happened 40 years ago!

    24. Is their any update to this stupid lautenberg amendmendment this year. Took a plea in jan 96 while station in Alaska before this amendment was even thought of and now after 16 years I cannot have a license. Talking about ex post facto, and on top of that Alaska don’t have a expundgement or seal record so I’m screwed all around unless this law get changed. After 16 years never even had a parking ticket.

    25. I was convicted in FL in 1985, and like others. Wife was in the court room and I thought she was going to drop charges like some other cases before mine did. She punched my in the mouth and I slapped her and now, almost 30 years later, I cannot legally own any kind of firearm. The only trouble I’ve ever been, other than this, has been two speeding tickets. FL doesn’t allow expungements for cases that are convicted. I’ve remarried and have two wonderful kids and a wonderful wife, and retired from a decorated military career. I didn’t have to carry firearms while in the military so I wasn’t discharged. I hope that some day before I become too old to enjoy hunting that this law will be repealed.

    26. Like many others, in 1997 I got into a VERBAL argument with my ex. Police were called, both of us were arrested for Misdemeanor Domestic Disorderly Conduct. Haven’t gotten into any trouble since then. 15 years later, denied on purchasing a 22 caliber weapon.

      I’ve checked all the avenues I can think of. Unfortunately for misdemeanors, there is no actions we can take to get our rights restored.

      Even looked into getting a Pardon, but upon looking into it, this is what I found: “The pardon process has been suspended indefinitely.”

      If anyone has any new information on this subject, please share.

      Thank you for your time.

    27. I too have checked every possible way to restore my 2nd Amendment rights and there is only one way that can happen. That is if the Lautenberg Amendment is done away with. Richard posted a link to a petition to repeal the Amendment. I am asking all my friends, family, and co-workers to go sign it. I am also posting the link on every related blog that I can find. If we all do the same, there may be a chance.

    28. You people that support this stupid amendment are clueless. There are many people like me that are not violent. We got into a relationship with a crazy person. In my case, my ex was a meth user and attacked me after I brought her daughter to school for no reason. I say on her and held her arms to settle her down while she continued biting me and kicking me. I got up when she finally calmed down and was heading to the phone to call the police. She ripped the phone cord out of the wall. I went to the front desk of the motel and had them call the police. The police came and arrested both of us. She got off of the charges because one of her “customers” from the strip club paid for an attorney. I was going to fight the charges, but after sitting in jail for 30 days and still no court date, my attorney told me I could get time served if I plead no contest. He never said anything about my gun rights or I surely wouldn’t have plead.

      The moral of the story is good, honest, non-violent people get affected by this dumb law from scandalous women that lie to police when it was them in the wrong. I’ve never been arrested for anything violent or even been in a fight my entire life. This was the only blemish and I left her immediately afterwards. It has affected my life and I did nothing wrong. I wanted to join the army and couldn’t. I wanted to be a police officer and couldn’t. This law is meant for violent people, not people like me. It needs to be changed before other non-violent people’s lives are effected like mine…period.


      According to the Government ATF website listed above:
      Q: Is an individual who has been pardoned, or whose conviction was expunged or set aside, or whose civil rights have been restored, considered convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?

      No, as long as the pardon, expungement, or restoration does not expressly provide that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.

    30. So from what i am reading if i understand this right if i have a DV on my record in MA and its more than 15 years old I can have my record sealed and my rights will be restored??? Has anyone done this and is that true??

      btw, it was something my ex’s fling said to charge me with to get back at me. Now i am paying for my past association with a crazy ex… I think that is the main reason i have no trust in women or the judicial system.

    31. Justin to answer your Q – Federal Gov. controls/overides State laws! Its communism! The Feds dont let States enforce their own laws! Originally yes a Set aside/expungement 1203.4 would restore gun rights after a 10yr. restriction mandated by the State but the Feds stepped in and said NO! Felons can get their rights back from a Gov. pardon but you cant get a Gov. pardon for a misdemeanor and a 1203.4, thanks to the Feds, it isn’t valid. There are three requirements any which one must be met to qualify as banned. You can find them out upon further research. This is a total POS “law” ex-post facto and all! F-lautenberg!

    32. I was 21 when I got into an argument with my drunk girl friend. She attacked me and all I did was hold her down long enough to tell her to stop and let me leave. The police arrested me and charged me with Domestic Battery! I tried to tell them what had happened, that she was drunk and trying to scratch my face (as she had already done prior to this) and wouldn’t let me leave but they sided with the girl as they often do. Because of this incident many many years ago I cannot own a gun. How is that right? I’m married now and other than a DUI seven years ago I haven’t had any contact with the police and my wife and I never argue. Do I sound like the kind of person who will be violent in the future? I wish someone would do something about this law. I agree that repeat offenders should lose their rights and would even support a temporary ban up to 5 or 10 years but to lose your right to own a weapon for life is insane! My biggest regret is that I listened to the prosecutor and plead down the conviction rather then fighting it. He told me simple battery would not effect my rights and I needed this to go away prior to shipping out for Basic Training so I took the deal. I just wish I would have stood my ground and if I knew then what I know now I would have.

    33. I was 19 and she wasn’t even my girlfriend just a female friend she was drunk and got upset and called the cops, I am now 34 and I still can’t get one.

    34. to J : Most states allow even felonies to be expunged (removed) from your record if you have been a good boy for the last 10 years or so….get a lawyer.

    35. David, Fed. Gov. overrides State laws so even an expungement/set aside granted by a superior court judge will NOT help. The Feds are going to block it! And now with the new NICS system, instant background checks are mandatory. You can however obtain info from “DOJ” on how to appeal it but more likely than not you wont and then the Feds will notify local police about you and they may pay you a visit in the middle of the nite. Its really pretty sad! I have a feeling we the people will have our day in court and win, at least on the ex post facto issue and gain an appeals process, GOD willing! I try to tell everyone I can about this stupid “law”. My boys know just to run away from crazy emotional bitches!

    36. Hi everyone.
      Time to write your elected Congressman, and Senators. The squeaky wheel gets greased.
      Copy and paste this letter. Not many know about this law. Time for it to go away.

      I request you to pass legislation to Repeal the Lautenberg Amendment
      (section section 658 of Public Law 104-208 ) that Bill Clinton signed into
      law back in 1996. It serves no purpose other than to create very thin and
      questionable criteria to permanently ban citizens from their “Right to
      Keep and Bear Arms”.
      Soldiers, police officers, and anyone who has been judged to have
      committed a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence has incurred a lifetime
      ban to own or possess firearms.
      As you know, a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence need not involved a
      physical crime, but a mere verbal exchange, with the punishment sometimes
      being only a $10 fine. In many metro areas, a second phone call to a
      house over a family altercation will result in the standard police
      procedure of automatically arresting the male occupant, regardless of who
      is at fault or whether any threats were made.
      Just as bad, this legislation associates gun owners with “wife beaters” as
      if the two are some how linked, which they are not. It is an intentional
      slander to law abiding citizens, a breach of Constitutional freedoms, and a
      hindrance to our military and law enforcement services. Many soldiers and
      police officers have lost their jobs over their legal ban on carrying
      weapons because of this dishonest law.
      And I won’t even bother going into its unconstitutional ex-post-facto
      characteristics. Next all Misdemeanor convictions will result in a lifetime gun ban.
      If a Convicted Felon can have gun rights restore a person with a Misdemeanor conviction should have the same opportunity.

      Please work to repeal the Lautenberg Amendment.

    37. Is it tru that if you were not represented by a lawyer
      And waved your rightes you might have a chance to restore
      Your gun rights. I dnt know how tru it is but if someone knows about
      This please post

    38. Some who have a domestic violence conviction have in fact been domestic violence abused by the very same “victim” that brought their conviction and more often. The “victim” has gun rights and the convictee doesn’t. Its especially hard when the act that brought the first conviction was actually self defense but an unscrupulous appointed attorney pushed for a plea bargain, cause it was easier on him. Want the case number just ask??

      1. The deceit goes even deeper. You can get domestic violence charges much like I did, not only with a spouse or partner, but with a parent. My father was an abusive alcoholic who regularly hit me, closed fisted, until I defended myself at the age of 18. Plead no contest to DV in 1990, and 6 years later I lose my gun rights without a judge, jury or even a letter from the court. My father and I developed a great relationship in the last years of his life, and he tried to give me guns from his collection before he passed. I told him he couldn’t and why. He was devastated. They all went to my brother, all $30,000 dollars worth. No lawyer. No jail time. No diversion. No community service. No prior convictions, and none since. I work in the juvenile court with kids like me, with drug addicted parents who abuse them. Two college degrees. A wife. A child. All who I cannot protect from harm… I hope Frank Lautenberg’s family suffers a terrible death, each and everyone of them.

    39. Imagine a 50 something military veteran misdemeanor domestic violence convictee who can go to the gun range with his 20 something daughters but can’t legally target practice with them nor even by example show them the proper way to hold the gun, tyranny? injustice? both?

    40. Hello folks – Merry Christmas! Well I recently discovered during my research that the 9th District Circuit of Appeals Court has ruled in Officer Shireys’ Favor!!! The EVIL anti – American opposition tried desperately to ban the results from being publically published as to keep US in the dark, but the Judge in the case refused!!! BING (B238355)! This is EXACTLY what most of US have experienced with this EVIL j-w gun control “law”! This states that officer Shirey of the Los Angeles Sheriffs dept. Sued the Labor board and WON over Lautenberg MCDV (Unconstitutional = Ex Post Facto) infringement of his 2A civil Liberties! Also BING – “Does PC 242 ban guns for life”! This should effectively FORCE the State of California DOJ to re-instate gun rights to denied persons, BUT the 10 yr mandatory is still in effect, which I personally don’t have a problem with! Also – it’s ALWAYS a good idea to have a 1203.4 expungement applied to this after a conviction for at least employment reasons! You CAN do a 1203.4 W/O an attorney! Just get the forms/info off the internet! Good Luck, Be Good and Just Walk AWAY!!!

    41. I am a convicted felon who has had his civil and firearm rights restored and I am denied gun rights for a misdemeanor dv how does this make sense to anybody I can restore on Felons bt not a misdemeanor

    42. Yes , the narrative is the same over and over and over. This wonderful UNCONSTITUTIONAL VAWA which corrupts the police , courts and DA’s with huge amounts of FEDERAL CASH ! FEDERAL CASH from GRANTS FROM THE VAWA. They don’t give a #hit about your rights, they don’t go to jail on minor DV charges WE DO ! Corrupt lawyer and judges and DA’s laugh at how stupid we are, and they are the criminals in suits.

    43. Good day to all. It’s Sept 11, 2016. In 2005, when I was 17, my dad had moved back with us (mom, sister, me) after one year apart. It was an emotional time. I really never got along with him. Anyhow, both my parents started ganging up on me like they always did, my mother is tough so she would get in my face so I pushed her face, went to my room, took out a knife, stood at my doorway and told them to leave me alone. I then closed the door. My little sister got nervous and called the police. While I was cuffed sitting down on my bed, the two officers in charge just stood there deciding whether to take me or not. Well, they did and I did like 4 months in a youth prison and like 3 months in a half -way house with all older men who were twice my age. For this I got a 2ND Degree Threatening and Disorderly Contact on my record that has been rejected by the Connecticut Board of Pardons to be expunged in 2013. Since 2005 I’ve been lost, no direction, no real options or hope for a real career and good pay. I was honor role all the way until New Britain High School where I got rebellious and dropped out as a sophomore. Even if I went to college, I couldn’t live my dreams to serve with a Police Department and military. I had to settle for dead end jobs and have been struggling ever since. Even when I let the Board of Pardons know that I was married and had children and have hit hard times because of this road block, they still rejected my request for my pardon and wrote back that not enough time has passed since the conviction. I did plead guilty to not risk doing one whole year. My question is where is the logic in not giving a young man with potential, goals and a family a fresh start in his adult hood? What would the state loose by setting me free so I won’t have use $12, 000.00 a year in food stamps because I don’t qualify for a real job with good pay because of my record? Truth is I’ve felt like a prisoner all these years and not a full citizen. I’ve felt less than human and have questioned my existence many times. Earlier in 2005 I did fight my dad because he grabbed my neck when I cursed at him. I was given a misdemeanor charge that was expunged. This factor was used against me. How does leaving a young man with a family frustrated better a community and save money? Truth is this is used to keep communities down and is cruel and unusual. I’m living in the community anyways, I’m here and want to serve, how are you trying to reduce crime and repeat offending again? This law has to end. Too many youths are going to waste and are funding the criminal justice system. This law is clearly against sound logic and is counter productive. In New Britain, CT there was a man who stranggled his wife to death then tied a sweater around her neck to make sure she would stay deaf when he left. Mind you, this was a felon who had committed murder 15 years prior to this incident and was banned from owning a firearm. Hands are considered a weapon by police and if you are caught by them strangling a person they have a right to use lethal force. Anything can be used to murder. On self-defense, I had to live in public housing for two years which was hell. Been threatened by gangs, was told I was not going to be killed yet for walking at night by a teenager with a pistol in his waist. I have no mental defect and have not been arrested as an adult or been a danger to society. I don’t smoke, drink or party and enjoy a quite family life. Found out there is hope in real estate investing. Still can get in shape, eat good, go to college and learn to fight. All will keep me at 100%. Board wants me to do community service. In my town of New Britain, CT there was a guy who started stabbing another guy while doing community service. CS does not change anyone and once you have done time after the crime you have paid your debt to society for that crime. I have a lengthy resume that includes being trusted to watch over various facilities as a security officer including banks and medical laboratories and protecting VIPs. If police and military are notorious for domestic abuse and still get to serve than what’s the difference between me and them as far as qualifying to own a firearm? My wife has a clean record and is working towards becoming a Police Officer and can own firearms. Guess where she’s going to keep them, that’s right, in a safe right next to my bed. Who do you think is going to respond to a break in during the middle of the night with a firearm? It sure ain’t my wife. Better that they shoot towards me and not my family. Fuck prison. You see, this Lautenberg act makes crminals. I no longer fear prison like I used to. Being desperate and in agony to live a real life for years takes its toll. I’m not doing nor plan on doing anything illegal because I who I am but my family and I have been homeless twice and the jobs I qualify for that pay more I can’t get because some law makers who would bail out their children in a heartbeat thinks I’m property and can be kept down. If people with domestic charges are more than likely to repeat then I think keeping them from quality employment because of no pardon which creates financial problems is not the way to end fights in the home. Domestic cases are a personal problem and should only be interceded only when someone’s life really is in danger, not to burn someone like woman like to do. These problems can be handled by mandatory couples counseling and at maximum 2 years ban from owning a firearm if you really think a cool off period is needed. Truth is my second amendment right has been kept from me even when I don’t live with my parents anymore and I’ve been a legal adult for over a decade with no legal issues. Reason has to be put into play here and my right to own a firearm has to be reinstated. I no longer want to be kept from living the life and career I have dreamed of. I simply want career options, self defense means and to serve my country in some capacity. I firmly believe every citizen should serve at 18 like in Israel. Is there anyone willing to let reason and common sense have her stay? If not give me a good reason why I should burn for the rest of my life. To crimials it’s medals to have a record, to me it’s sores and weights I’ve been carrying for years. This effects me so much because I’ve always had the desire, ability and mind to serve to such a degree that I no longer produce tears for this. Being born and raised to be morally straight and an American citizen, it burns me to not live fully the full right to life, liberty and the pursuit to happiness. Also, this is cruel and unusual punishment. Knowing I’ve been a model citizen all these years and knowing my dreams and family situation you still want me to burn puts the state in a weird position because it’s costing them money and for other people even more when they go back to prison because of lack of employment in society and a booming profit margin in the street. Not me, I’ll keep fighting until I’m heard by an official body. This nonsense has to stop. The Lautenberg act is doing more harm then good. It just seems the best way in this feminist media and society. If you’re asking if I repent, the answer is yes. I’ve lost some of my best years to misery but I still fight on. I only had to apologize once and that was to my family. I paid my debt with prison time and taxes which I’m apparently still good for. My family forgave me the same day I offended. This problem has destroyed my family and we no longer speak. My parents just want to see me prosper. Why doesn’t the state think or feel the same way? The Lautenberg act just made a one time altercation worse and brought down hopes and sacrifice. I wish to move on with my life with at least my 2ND Amendment rights fully restored. No felonies ever or arrest since then, no history of mental illness, patriotic, loyal, dedicated and ready for a second chance to serve. [email protected]

    44. the 2nd Amendment says the government shall not infringe on the right to bear arms. this law defeats my constitutional right.i paid for my crime and did not use a gun and have never owned a gun. LIBERAL judges suck ass.

    45. That’s a federal gun law put in place that violates the second amendment rights. The four founding fathers says no government can override right to bear arms. It’s a right and not a privilege. Congress, legislators and Libby’s are responsible with infringing and violating your civil rights. Trump, AG and new team of pro gun will make 2A Great Again and pound the Feds for scrutiny of the peoples civil rights. Do your research and use various keywords to dig up the new changes coming soon in 2017. Second amendment will be restored with anti federal gun ban laws. I’ve found everything I’ve mention above online.

    46. That’s a federal gun law put in place that violates the second amendment rights. The four founding fathers says no government can override right to bear arms. It’s a right and not a privilege. Congress, legislators and Libby’s are responsible with infringing and violating your civil rights. Trump, AG and new team of pro gun will make 2A Great Again and pound the Feds for scrutiny of the peoples civil rights. Do your research and use various keywords to dig up the new changes coming soon in 2017. Second amendment will be restored with anti federal gun ban laws. I’ve found everything I’ve mention above online.

    47. That’s a federal gun law put in place that violates the second amendment rights. The four founding fathers says no government can override right to bear arms. It’s a right and not a privilege. Congress, legislators and Libby’s are responsible with infringing and violating your civil rights. Trump, AG and new team of pro gun will make 2A Great Again and pound the Feds for scrutiny of the peoples civil rights. Do your research and use various keywords to dig up the new changes coming soon in 2017. Second amendment will be restored with anti federal gun ban laws. I’ve found everything I’ve mention above online.

    48. Here are some links I’ve found online who has a very clear understanding how the “Anti-Second Amendment Groups” who took part of the Lautenberg Federal Gun Law continue to violate, unconstitutional of our civil rights for more than 20 years!!!. The liberals like to do dirty tricks on us and keep getting away and they will ruin our freedom. Trump and NRA, take a look and protect the people’s civil rights now. ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Posted on 12.02.2016

    49. Our new President Trump will Pardon all the federal gun law infringements going on that violates the second amendment civil rights. Keep in mind that previous Presidents played nasty politics behind the door movements to take our rights away. One of the worst of all civil right infringement created and should not be allowed in the 1990’s is your Lautenberg Law. The involved groups will pay for the consequences violating peoples rights and Trump i’m sure will agree to that. We will all be restored and right to bear arms for all law abiding people against low lifers who commit crimes on us.

    50. So am I to understand that a dv offender is banned for life of owning a fire arm… Hmmmm so I guess guns are the only way a person can harm another.. That’s ridiculous.. Next they will say you can’t play air soft or paintball.. So what I’m trying to say is that if a person is violent and accused of dv I’m sure there is another way to inflict harm.. So the law is seriously flawed.. I don’t believe a lifetime ban is fair… 5-10 years if none at all… Believe me.. That law is stopping no one from future offences.. A gun is just an extention of ones hand.. Might as well go back a thousand years and start taking off peoples hands. Sorry for the ranting but the lifetime ban is a serious violation of my civil rights…not to mention I pay my taxes like any other citizen but with less rights… Thanks for reading hope some or all of you agree…

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