FPC Supreme Court Brief: Non-Violent Felons Have Second Amendment Rights

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FPC Supreme Court Brief: Non-Violent Felons Have Second Amendment Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C.-(Ammoland.com)- Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of an important Supreme Court brief in the case of Medina v. Barr, a Second Amendment challenge helmed by Supreme Court and appellate attorney, Alan Gura. The brief is available online at FPCLegal.org.

“The Supreme Court has promised a historical justification for bans on felons, and we believe that we have presented compelling evidence that the Court must have been referring to the tradition of disarming dangerous and violent people,” explained FPC Director of Research and brief author, Joseph Greenlee. “Since countless non-violent felons are being denied their rights every day—including many who have been law-abiding for several decades, like Mr. Medina—we are hopeful that the Court will accept the case and clarify its intent.”

FPC was joined by amici organizations Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF), and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States—especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.



  • Nearly three decades ago, in 1990, Mr. Medina made a false statement on a mortgage application. He was convicted of a felony, but has been fully rehabilitated, has led an impressive and successful life, and has demonstrated no propensity for violence whatever.
  • Mr. Medina would now like to exercise his right to keep and bear arms, but the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said his non-violent felony committed in 1990 still shows that he cannot be trusted. To the contrary, his rehabilitation has been so clear, that the very mortgage company he had misled in 1990 has since extended him a $1,000,000 line of credit.
  • After the D.C. Circuit rejected his request to declare the firearm prohibition on felons unconstitutional as it applies to him, Medina petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari, and to ultimately restore his Second Amendment rights.
  • The Supreme Court has previously promised to provide a “historical justification” for the ban on felons.
  • FPC filed a brief in support of Mr. Medina, showing that the historical justification for bans on felons is the tradition of disarming dangerous and violent persons.
  • FPC’s brief traces the historical tradition of disarming dangerous persons from A.D. 602 through the latter half of the twentieth century.
  • Both English and American tradition support firearm prohibitions on dangerous persons—namely, disaffected persons posing a threat to the government and persons with a proven proclivity for violence. But there is no tradition of banning peaceable citizens from owning firearms. In fact, ratifying proposals by Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire show that non-violent persons were never intended to be disarmed by the government.
  • Moreover, compared to Mr. Medina, who falsified information on a mortgage application nearly 30 years ago, violent insurrectionists involved in Shays’ Rebellion had their gun rights restored after 3 years.
  • Outside of discriminatory—and therefore unconstitutional—bans, non-violent people like Mr. Medina only first started being denied their Second Amendment rights in the 1960s.
  • Thus, there is no “historical justification” for a ban on non-violent felons like Mr. Medina, and we believe, he should be entitled to his fundamental right of armed defense.

About Firearms Policy CoalitionFirearms Policy Coalition

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. Gun owners and Second Amendment supporters can join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org.

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Where dose the state get the power to take suspend a constitutional right. If one is in prison there will be certain rights that are suspended during there incarceration. Once a person has paid there debt to society all right should be restored. If one is such a danger then prison is where they should stay.


It’s because they, the courts, fail to do their duty and execute these violent offenders. Now, instead of the death penalty, most murderers and other violent felons are given lenient sentences and allowed to walk free. They created this mess and tried to put a bandaid on it by taking away constitutional rights. God told us in scripture that there are only three legitimate reasons to deliberately kill man and it not be called murder – 1) Self defense, 2) War, and 3) Judicial punishment. Claims of “insanity”, “mental disability”, “abusive childhood”, “religion” …. are nothing but excuses. In the… Read more »


The governors of several states, CA, NY, HI, MA, Ct (?) seek to eliminate ALL CRIME by making crime legal… drugs, shoplifting, car theft, etc and they want to eliminate firearms by making as many people as possible “felons” or domestic violence accusations. Don’t spank your kids with the tips of your fingers because you’ll be accused of using a Cat of Nine Tails to bet your kid. Don’t raise your voice. Make Red Flag laws so uncorroborated accusations result in a writ that takes your guns away and will cost you $$$$ to get your property returned. Your reputation… Read more »


That is DOJ’s job, to ensure that the states are following the Constitution and “legal” federal law! Immediately after a SCOTUS decision, The DOJ should notify the Attorney Generals of all the states and require immediate compliance, which means amending or repealing laws. The states NEVER do this. A perfect example is the SCOTUS decisions pertaining to individuals who are engage in “personal travel” do NOT require a Driver’s License. Yet the states continue to coerce, lie, and intimidate the people, and claim that DLs are mandatory.


They need to clarify the domestic violence firearm prohibition as well..most domestic violence convictions are merely verbal altercations and nothing more..yet a conviction on a domestic verbal altercation is seen as no different than a violent domestic assault by the law..


A misdemeanor domestic violence is enough to lose your 2A rights, which means if the family stays together they are all denied protection, including the supposed victim. Of course the anti-gunners will use ANYTHING to deny our rights.


CDV laws are a form of red flag laws that can and are being abused. Life time band of a constitutional right for a petty criminal offense. Why should a person be branded with such petty offense be punished for life but the state still say u will pay taxes ..


This article is great but kind of misleading! If you have a Felony Not a federal charge but a State charge you can get your record cleared and or just go to the common pleas court where you were charged and ask for relief. 99% of the time they will grant it unless it’s violent, sexual, anything with a minor, or numerous felony drug charges of a hard drug or selling drugs.