FPC: Supreme Court Should Decide Non-Violent Felons Have 2A Rights

1911 Police iStock 906402938
The FPC argues that non-violent felons should not have their Second Amendment rights banned for life. IMG iStock 906402938

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Last Thursday, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the case of Torres v. the United States. FPC’s brief contains authoritative research showing that the federal ban on firearm possession by nonviolent felons is unconstitutional and not historically supported. It is available online at FPCLegal.org.

Torres v. United States challenges the federal prohibition on firearm ownership by felons, as it applies to nonviolent felons. Specifically, Mr. Torres was convicted of a felony and is subject to a lifetime firearms prohibition based on a DUI offense. After the Ninth Circuit upheld this firearms ban earlier this year, Mr. Torres petitioned the Supreme Court to hear his case.

FPC and FPF filed an amicus brief in support of Mr. Torres’s petition, providing the Court with a thorough historical analysis that proves only violent people have traditionally been prohibited from possessing arms throughout American history. The federal prohibition on nonviolent criminals, like Mr. Torres, is not supported by the original understanding of the Second Amendment.

“The Founders never intended for peaceable persons to be denied the right to keep and bear arms,” said FPC Director of Research, Joseph Greenlee. “We’re hopeful that the Court will grant certiorari and clarify that nonviolent persons, like Mr. Torres, cannot be prohibited from owning a firearm.”

The brief was authored by FPC Director of Research Joseph Greenlee, on behalf of FPC, FPF, California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF), Madison Society Foundation (MSF), and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).

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.

Firearms Policy Coalition

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This is where we separate the conservatives from the progressives. We call it Taking Rights Seriously. A progressive law professor wrote a book with that title many years ago where he immediately departed from that course and argued for utilitarian legal philosophy. But conservatives and we remaining liberals aka libertarians take a different path. Enumerated rights are natural rights. The right to keep and bear arms is one such right. In order to impede any right the government must make an argument using one of three levels of logic. Enumerated natural rights may only be curtailed by government using the… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by nrringlee

Just an observation: I don’t remember any poster who promotes “rights”, natural or otherwise, ever mentioning the accompanying responsibilities. Just an observation.


While I think any disarmament of felons is unconstitutional and indicative of terrible inconsistency in rational for prisons (If they’re still a threat, why are they let out? If they’re not a threat, why are their rights infringed upon? If they we’re never a threat except to themselves, like with the illegal war on drugs, why were they ever in prison?), there’s a major wrinkle in this case: US v. Davis decided just last year that “violent” crime is too ambiguous to withstand constitutional muster. Gorsuch was part of that opinion with the wise latina woman, Justice Breyer, Justice Kagen,… Read more »


I periodically read where people arrested for drug offenses, where they possessed firearms but such weapons were never used against police or others, are charged with “violent felonies”. I am not sure, having been out of the LE game for years, but it sounds as though the lawmakers or the cops just make up definitions or pull them from out of their own butts. If no violence or threat of violence was made, how do they classify them as “violent” felonies?


So is Mr Torres forever restricted from ever owning a car? Felony charges paint with a broad brush just for the convenience of judicial prejudice.
To restrict one’s rights in one court case is to restrict them in all.


Oh, come on now. You are actually arguing for a reason and fact based legal system. Vengeance is far more fun for the progressives.


Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett wrote an excellent dissent in the 7th Circuit case, Kanter v. Barr, arguing that because the 2nd amendment preserves a fundamental individual right the government may only limit it for a “compelling state interest” AND that if such an interest exists the government must tailor its limit in the least restrictive way possible. Barrett argued that although there is a compelling state interest in reducing gun crime, the government has shown no connection between that goal and banning non-violent felons from possessing firearms. Mr. Kanter was convicted of falsely advertising that shoe inserts he… Read more »

Deplorable Bill

The RIGHT of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Unless incarcerated or in the looney farm or under age, the RIGHT to keep and bear arms is applied to each American citizen. SCRIPTURE tells us to be armed and the 2A is the law of the land. Any law that is contrary to the 2A is null and void. Any law that goes against SCRIPTURE is evil. Anyone who would delay or deny one’s RIGHT to keep and bear arms is criminal, tyranical and treasonous. Anyone who would delay or deny one’s RIGHT to keep… Read more »


All arms laws are unconstitutional.


Today I powder coated and sized 1200 bullets that I cast last week.


Those of you who want people convicted of felony crimes to be able to possess firearms might just think twice if you had read as many “presentence reports” as I have. This is a report which basically covers everything of note from the time they were born to when they were arrested for the alleged crime. Maybe then you would see just how screwed up these people’s lives have been and their actions during that life. You get a glimpse into why they turned out the way they did and how many of them never stood a chance. But, that… Read more »


Did you think about what you wrote in your last sentence before you posted it?


He is just asking you the same question as
Nanashi above. To wit: “If they’re still a threat, why are they let out?”


Because most people lack the judgement and will to do what needs to be done in some cases. But then you already knew that.


Enjoy your government boot on your neck with a side of baton asswhoopin. Lemmings shouldn’t conversate about Guns & the god given constitutional rights to own them.


I find it humorous, no, make that pathetic, that you capitalized “guns” and not “God.” Anything else you would like to share with us?


I did already know that. I was just suggesting that if one lives in a society that releases, and thus encourages, predation upon the people, THAT is that societies problem, not felons. If dangerous predators were kept under control, then the utterly futile task of tryng to keep them free, and yet weaponless, would never exist. THAT is a complete waste of time, for weapons are far too easy to make. Even if the removal of all firearms COULD be accomplished, the predators would just start stabbing, as they now do in England. So then the Brits are left banning… Read more »


Dangerous predators exist in a disarmed and helpless society totally dependent upon government monopoly on force for defense. We see how that works out in Chicago and Baltimore.


When wolves, or other members of the animal kingdom, have a group member who’s presence is untenable they drive that member out or kill it. An early recorded human example would be Cain.

I also agree with what you wrote.

jack mac

What do you think Patriot’s thinking should be of his last sentence. His thought is accurate. The only thing required to be a good enough citizen is not to be a socially destructive one. You do realize that even you can become a prohibited person under many pretexts?


And yet, in 65 years that has not happened to me. I wonder why that is.

jack mac

Luck, is why it has not happen to you, yet. Remember today is the first of the rest of your life. Good-luck.


Your inanity is amusing; sad, but, amusing. I have always said that I would rather be lucky than good any day. Then again some of us make our own luck. Good luck to you.

jack mac

Age can pretext being declared prohibited person; to believe different is inane. It requires more than luck to prevent being disarmed. Beware of questions from medical personnel.


Then you have two choices. Convict them or have them judge insane. A broad sweep of rights elimination is not consistent with a free society.

jack mac

A felony conviction is not required to be subjugated prohibited person, an official underclass denied rights. People with liberty to freely roam where they please can do has they please regardless of law. The power to prohibited any right from any free citizen is an overwhelming advantage of the governing over the governed. Our nation constituted to not allow overwhelming government power, which now exist.


This is completely wrong! People who are conflicted of felonies do not show any hat they are changes and law-abiding! That should be the test. Violence or now does not show a changed character! Voting and 2A gun rights shii should only be given back when certain and unmistakably changes g Hh ave been demonstrated by actual living and testimony BW others, non family circumstances!


And progressives will make a case that anyone who donates money to the NRA or who came back from 3 wars with PTSD or who has recently suffered a divorce will have a “changed character” and should be denied enumerated natural rights. This is the logic behind Red Flag laws. Be very careful what you wish for. The left will be happy to hand it to you. Through barbed wire.


Bill- not to be a grammar Nazi, but you could do us all a favor by proof reading your comments before hitting the “send” button.

Ansel Hazen

English may not even be his second language?