Ban on Individuals Obtaining Firearms while Under Indictment is Unconstitutional

CCRKBA: ‘Impeachment’s Hidden Agenda’ to Derail 2A Judge Confirmations
Ban on Individual’s Obtaining Firearms while Under Indictment is Unconstitutional

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-– On September 19, 2022, the District Court, W.D. Texas, found the ban on individuals under indictment from receiving firearms in federal law, (§ 922(n)) to be unconstitutional under the standards clarified by the Bruen Decision of 2022.

In the United States, people are considered innocent until proven guilty. If a mere indictment can eliminate the ability to exercise an enumerated constitutional right before there is any conviction, that standard is set on its head.

Courts loaded with Progressive Judges previously danced around this obvious barrier by promoting the fiction the Second Amendment did not apply to individuals.  The 1943 Cases decision is discussed in a previous article.

In Cases v. United States, a three-judge panel, all Progressives appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), held the Supreme Court in the Miller case could not possibly have meant what it said.

The three-judge panel ignored the  Miller decision. The Progressive judges made up their own standard in the 1942 decision.

Judge Counts in the current Quiroz case mentions the 1942 Cases decision and discounts it because it relies on the discredited “collective rights” argument.

Instead, Judge Counts follows the requirements of the recent Bruen decision.

From the Memorandum Opinion in US v Quiroz:

This Court faces a predicament similar to Plato’s allegory of the cave. There are the known knowns: a defendant was convicted of buying a gun while under indictment; after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, that defendant asks this Court to reconsider the constitutionality of his statute of conviction. The known unknowns:whether a statute preventing a person under indictment from receiving a firearm aligns with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. And the unknown unknowns: the constitutionality of firearm regulations in a post-Bruen world. 

There are no illusions about this case’s real-world consequences—certainly valid public policy and safety concerns exist. Yet Bruen framed those concerns solely as a historical analysis. This Court follows that framework.

Judge Counts goes on to show how the “indictment” ban slowly was expanded in law from applying only to fugitives indicted under a federal law, who crossed state lines, in a crime involving violence and guns; to all felons, in all courts, anywhere.

Today, we have absurd situations where a refugee fleeing tyranny to the United States, is banned from exercising Second Amendment rights because they were convicted under a tyrannical law in a tyrannical nation when the law there would have been unconstitutional in the United States.

The Biden Administration attempts to separate “receive” from “keep” or “possess”. Judge Counts does not buy into the absurd argument. From page 7:

And logically, excluding “receive” makes little sense. To receive something means “to take into . . . one’s possession.” How can one possess (or carry)something without first receiving it? Receipt is the condition precedent to possession—the latter is impossible without the former. Taking the Government’s argument at face value would also lead to an absurd result. Indeed, if receiving a firearm were illegal, but possessing or carrying one remained a constitutional right,one would first need to break the law to exercise that right. The Government is asking in effect to banish gun rights to Hotel California’s purgatory: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

The Biden administration tries to make the argument: Bruen upheld the ban on felons possessing firearms. The ban on people under indictment is just the same.

Judge Counts is brutally honest in his response. From page 10:

The first problem with this argument is it’s a logical fallacy. Sharing a history with felon-in-possession laws makes § 922(n) constitutional in the same way a dog is a cat because both have four legs.

The second problem is that Heller’s endorsement of felon-in-possession laws was in dicta. Anything not the “court’s determination of a matter of law pivotal to its decision”is dicta. Dicta is therefore“ entitled to little deference because they are essentially ultra vires pronouncements about the law.” Or,as Francis Bacon put it, dicta is only the “vapours and fumes of law.”

Judge Counts is correct. The felon-in-possession endorsement in Heller was in dicta. So were Heller’s endorsements of bans in “sensitive places” and “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” From Heller, p. 2 :

Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of fire-arms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

Judge Counts’ Memorandum Opinion is well reasoned, well written, and easy to understand. So is his conclusion:

CONCLUSION 

The Second Amendment is not a “second class right.”No longer can courts balance away a constitutional right. After Bruen, the Government must prove that laws regulating conduct covered by the Second Amendment’s plain text align with this Nation’s historical tradition. The Government does not meet that burden.

Although not exhaustive, the Court’s historical survey finds little evidence that §922(n)—which prohibits those under felony indictment from obtaining a firearm—aligns with this Nation’s historical tradition. As a result, this Court holds that § 922(n) is unconstitutional. 119

It is therefore ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion to Reconsider is GRANTED.(Docs. 73and 74). The indictment is DISMISSED.

For those interested read the entire opinion, available online.

Judge Counts may not like the results of his decision. He may have preferred to have found Quiroz guilty, so he could be locked up. However, unlike the Progressive judges in the 1942 Cases decision, he did his job. He followed the Supreme Court decision and upheld the Constitution and the rule of law.

Will the Biden administration appeal his decision to the Fifth Circuit?


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Grigori

Good! As it should be! Ditto restoration of felons’ rights once their sentence is served and their “debt to society” repaid!

Slingwing

I agree that the “debt to society has been paid” but it should be up to the debtor to seek restitution of rights. This is the final step in reentering society.

LLP

The judge could have decided the hole case with the first line of Deans 2nd paragraph, innocent until proven guilty.

Montana454Casull

We have an old saying here in America ” innocent until proven guilty ! The constitution matters !

nrringlee

Unless you have firearms or assets. Civil Assets Forfeiture is another travesty of justice practiced under a litany of Progressive rationalizations. It is another gift to us from the War on Drugs.

swmft

one I argued against as illegal

Wild Bill

The evil perpetrated on the public by misuse of civil asset forfeiture is detailed in the short book “The Tyranny of Good Intentions”.

swmft

what I dont get and never understood is how bureau of narcotics ,could be disbanded for abuse of rights and atf and fbi have not been , the last straw was seizure of something that was not yet illegal …..civil asset forfeiture. dea started by letting locals do the dirty stealing until it became the norm, they had crooked judges appointed that would approve anything leos put in front of them “for the greater good” evil to the core

Stag

Well, yeah. All arms laws are unconstitutional.

musicman44mag

LOL, loved the Hotel Kommiefornia line Dean. This is a good article even if that line wasn’t present. It’s so true that now days we are guilty until proven innocent in so many cases especially when it comes to women accusing men of sexual wrongdoing or circumstances where someone claims the white man is a racist. I have experienced both with women in power where their numbers outnumber men. Thier thinking is all men suck except for mine. I have experienced being called a racist by people of color that think only white people can be racist. The minuet you… Read more »

Sam in New Hampshire

Musicman44mag wrote: “LOL, loved the Hotel Kommiefornia line Dean.” Me too, but look again: It was Judge Counts, not Dean Weingarten, who alluded to the line in the Eagles’ song, Hotel California. Great to see a judge with this kind of cultural knowledge and a sense of humor — and in a hugely important case, no less. Let’s hope his ruling isn’t overturned by a higher court on appeal.

Last edited 3 days ago by Sam in New Hampshire
musicman44mag

Thanks for the correction. If Dean wouldn’t have wrote the article, I would have never seen it and if you wouldn’t have pointed my error out, I would never believed that there is one judge in this USA that would refer to a song as a circumstance created by someone. Maybe we do stand a chance.

Bubba

This is another great decision.
Now if only we can get some of these blue states judges to do the same.
Great news. Dean…

james

It is disappointing that thes Judges can pick and choose the parts of our Constitution they want to apply.

NONSENSE:

Progressive Judges previously danced around this obvious barrier by promoting the fiction the Second Amendment did not apply to individuals.

Rodoeo

I have a case from when I was 17 years old that is ‘unresolved’ according to our kings who rule us.. It causes me delays, it causes me pain and suffering, and it causes me denials. I’ve been dealing with this crap my entire life. I have a secret clearance with USGOV and my current job yet NICS STILL flags me..

Slingwing

Many times just the clearance will cause a flag. TS clearances normally cause delays where secret may but normally do not under normal circumstances. It seems when Uncle Sugar pries into your past it leaves tracks that the NCIS does not like.

Terry

I had the same problem for years after they started NICS. There was someone with the same name and demographics they had flagged and I got a delay every time I filled out their stupid 4473. I always got the gun but always had to wait. Getting the concealed carry permit solved the problem. The funny part was I am male – the other party was female.

Ope

I had a buddy that lost his right to posses firearms or ammunition because of a damn divorce. His wife’s attorney told her the only way she would handle the divorce is if she filed a restraining order on him. She did. The state also revoked his CHL as long as it was in effect. He never laid a violent hand on that women and she knew it. The lawyer was just a vindictive bitch who knew this would happen to him until the RO expired.

Wild Bill

Misuse of legal process, and how would a guy defend himself against it.

Tank

Innocent until proven guilty in a COL.

Targeting individuals for any myriad & number of possibilities.

Nazi Germany 2.0 playbook.

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
Plato

nrringlee

Getting language right is essential in understanding just how our Natural Law based Constitution and our enumerated rights have been deconstructed. Progressive. That is the new, and not so new moniker for the left in America. The Progressive movement emerged about the same time all other brands of socialism emerged as major intellectual and political forces. All of these forces reject the law of nature and Nature’s God as a foundation for law, philosophy and politics. So it is no wonder those flying under Progressive colors often align with those flying under various forms of red banners whether they be… Read more »