Gun Owners of America (GOA) Victory in the U.S. Supreme Court

Decision is a win for private property and the Second Amendment

Gun Owners of America (GOA) Victory in the U.S. Supreme Court
Gun Owners of America (GOA) Victory in the U.S. Supreme Court
Gun Owners of America
Gun Owners of America

Washington, DC -( The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday decided Henderson v. United States — a case where Gun Owners of America and its foundation have been very active.

The Court’s unanimous (9-0) ruling further protects Second Amendment rights and erects a higher barrier against the confiscation of firearms. The case involved Tony Henderson, a former Border Patrol agent with a previous pot conviction. Because of his felony, the government tried to take his firearms collection, which totaled more than $3,500.

“In protecting an individual right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment secures a right of private property in those arms that are protected by the Amendment.” — GOA brief in Henderson v. United States, (p. 19)

Gun Owners of America went to bat for Mr. Henderson and argued he should be able to sell his guns, which at the time, were in the FBI’s possession.

After Henderson had been convicted on an unrelated marijuana conviction, he sold his ownership rights in the firearms to an unrelated third party who was legally eligible to possess the firearms. The third party asked the FBI to turn the guns over to the purchaser, but the FBI refused.

The government used a theory of “constructive possession” to claim that Mr. Henderson's firearms could not be transferred, even to a third party, without violating the felon-in-possession ban. The trial court and the court of appeals agreed with this legal fiction, preventing Mr. Henderson from selling his firearms to the unrelated third party.

Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously sided in favor of Tony Henderson. The high Court held that the government's “constructive possession” theory was unsustainable and inconsistent with the purpose of the statute, which is a position consistent with our amicus brief.

Our amicus brief (Section II) also argued that the government did not have a superior property interest in Mr. Henderson's firearms. This is why, GOA said, the government could not use a forfeiture proceeding to take all of Mr. Henderson’s firearms.

As a “right protecting against both public and private violence,” GOA argued in its brief, it is an “essential principle” that the Second Amendment protect the right of private property in firearms — otherwise, tyrants would be free to “simply tak[e] away the people’s arms” on the basis of any pretext. (p. 20-21)

The court’s decision is a victory for private property rights, and helps to further erect a barrier against the confiscation of firearms.

The only constraint the Court imposed in this case was that a felon could not sell his collection to someone who later would allow him to control the firearms.

About Gun Owners of America (GOA)

Gun Owners of America (GOA) is a non-profit lobbying organization formed in 1975 to preserve and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. GOA sees firearms ownership as a freedom issue. `The only no compromise gun lobby in Washington’ – Ron Paul.

Visit: to Join.

  • 20 thoughts on “Gun Owners of America (GOA) Victory in the U.S. Supreme Court

    1. I didnt think a 9-0 vote on anything was possible with that court ! I’m glad I joined GOA instead of the NRA this year. Although I’m a lifetime member of the TSRA !

    2. “I still have to pay a $10 fee and undergo another check whenever I want to
      purchase a gun. I WISH Colorado had foid cards.”

      One Question…WHY ARE YOU OBEYING ? I make it clear when I buy a
      firearm the its “cash and carry”. You can keep obeying…or start taking
      a stand and not asking “daddy may I please”….the later is more
      dignified to 8-}

    3. This 9-0 unanimous decision by the US Supreme Court is certainly unprecedented in this century; and, I’m quite happy that it favored Mr. Henderson and the Gun Owners of America. It’s about time that SCOTUS recognized the God-given Rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence; that is, the Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, After all, these Rights are unalienable (God given) and cannot be either granted or taken away by government.
      Thank you, GOA, for going to bat for this individual (and, in essence, all law-abiding gun owners) and fighting for him till victory was achieved,

    4. This is not only good for Americans it is good for everybody. It sets a precedent as I see it. The right to self defense and to have property and possessions acquired by production, trade and by gift or inheritance is a human right.
      Human includes non Jewish people of any race. Government must be restrained.

      1. Only non-Jews are human beings? The Constitution and Bill of rights was written for ALL US CITIZENS. And the First Amendment applies to Jews as well as those of any other religion. Even the Muslims who call for death to all free people. Direct your hatred elsewhere. It may be a Jew who comes to your rescue.

      2. Steven, do you really believe that the Jews are not human? I believe you are a troll, here to make the rest of use look like racist, anti-Semitic, Nazi wannabes. You just play into the stereotype that the anti-gunners have of law abiding firearms enthusiasts. I believe in the rights of all to live free from government intervention/interference, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others.

    5. They should have gone after illegal laws prohibiting a citizens right to own guns due to a non-violent crime, even a non-violent felony.
      The Marijuana crime is just a scam. Alcohol is 10 times worse and causes more violent crimes- period! Drunks can own guns, but not happy joint smokers?
      We are being played like idiots.

      1. You are so right. I always say to everyone, how many times have you heard of the cops having to bust up fights where only pot it smoked & no alcohol is present? Prob damn near .1%!!! Alcohol makes more trouble in the world than pot, for sure. I had a friend once who is a far nicer person when she’s smoking. When she used to drink, her & her then husband would get into huge fights. I agree with what you said 100%! I don’t do either but i would rather see pot than alcohol anytime!

    6. Puerto Rico is US territory (STATE) commonwealth , yet here Gun ownership is a PAY for privilege …
      US constitution is not valid ? then why federal law is law of the land ? hypocrisy at its highest level , last underclass citizens ..

      1. Since Puerto Rico is not a state, but a U.S. territory or possession, it is under the sole legislative jurisdiction of the U.S. federal government. The Constitution was written and ratified by the states, to create a federal government, and protect the people of the states from that government. To enjoy the full protection of the Constitution, Puerto Rico must first become a state of the Union, and adopt a state constitution that is in harmony with the federal constitution.

        1. AND its not the case that they haven’t tried. There have been several votes over the years and the PR people voted fair and square they like it the way it is so it is easy to change if the majority of folks there want it to but the few complainers are to few in votes to shift to statehood. Isn’t it cheaper to pay as you have to for guns then to pay income taxes like full out citizens? I :thought” the issue was paying more money if you became a state and not getting enough for the effort and expenses. What really do you want that you don’t have? You get the protection, economy welfare and the like and don’t pay the stupid extra taxes. Pretty win win if you ask me

    7. Then can someone please tell me how Illinois can get away
      With requiring everyone to have a foid card before anyone can
      Own a gun or buy ammo a 2nd amendment right is just that
      It is not a privilege as Illinois would have you believe. This needs to be looked
      Into the foid card is illegal as the 2nd amendment would state
      I have tried to get nra and isra involved they won’t touch it
      Why is this anyone know.

      1. Every state requires a background check. SCOTUS has decided more than once that the State may require reasonable restrictions, and a background check is reasonable.
        A foid card is evidence that the background check has been performed; and is valid for 10 years. This is more convenient than many states, where a new check must be done for every transfer. In my home state of Colorado, even though I have a concealed handgun permit and have been subjected to an extensive background check, I still have to pay a $10 fee and undergo another check whenever I want to purchase a gun. I WISH Colorado had foid cards.

        1. You are wrong, Kevin. Illinois still requires a back round check and waiting periods for firearms. I know, I’m a former resident of that over taxed Hell hole.

      1. No, you are incorrect. ANY victory over government and its labyrinth of bureaucracies is a victory for gun owners and the spirit of the second amendment. The specific immediate benefactor is irrelevant.

      2. You are so very wrong.. the Feds, State and County agencies seize 10’s of 1000s of small arms every year, a large majority of those are never returned, I had a gun seized by Sacramento County S.O., I was involved in a shooting, everything checked out, it happened as I stated, at first they took the gun as “evidence”, then they refused to give it back, they also took several 100 rounds of ammo for it and ALL of my other guns, I had to fight tooth and nail to get my gun back, they told me I was not entitled and had no right to get my ammo back, and they destroyed it, and I should just shut up and be thankful I got my gun back.. I tried to make a theft report with the C.H.P., they refused to take the report. You have no idea how many times guns are taken from honest people and never returned, and for the record, I have NO record of anything behind me, not even a traffic ticket. The system is run by thieves and thugs.

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