18 USC §922(g) is the prohibited person section of US federal law. It has 9 different sections, each one addressing one class of people to be denied their rights.
The Constitution says that “The People” is all of the people. The question being asked again and again is who belongs to the class “The People”.
It is clear that a US Citizen is part of “The People”. That implies to me that felons are also part of “The People”.
Do you lose your citizenship if you are wanted by the law? Nope.
Do you lose your citizenship if you partake in the “devil’s lettuce?” Nope.
Do you lose your citizenship if you have ever been in a mental institution? Nope.
Do you lose your citizenship if you have been dishonorably discharged from the military? Nope.
You lose your citizenship when you renounce it.
If you are imprisoned, you lose access to many things. They don’t allow drugs, weapons and many other things. Doesn’t mean those things aren’t getting into prisons, it just means it is against the rules and a prisoner can be punished if they are found breaking those rules.
In addition, we have the question of being an alien. Are the legal aliens living here part of “The People”? How about illegal aliens? Are they?
Originally, §922(g) was about transferring firearms. Now it is about both transferring and possessing.
The government has defined classes of people that they feel should be excluded from “The People”. The short is that they have said that these classes of people are not “virtuous”.
In Soviet Russia they had mental asylums. People were committed if they were mentally unstable. Unfortunately this turned into a catch all for “enemy of the state.” Since the state was wonderful, anybody that spoke out against the state must be crazy. If they were crazy the were committed. This made society “safer”.
If the government can define what is and is not a virtuous person and also define “The People” as only those that are law abiding and virtuous, they can remove any right at will. They just exclude you from “The People” and your rights evaporate.
We now have multiple cases challenging parts of §922(g). In OK, tenth circuit, a district court has ruled §922(g)(3), drug user, as unconstitutional. The fifth circuit court has ruled that §922(g)(8) is unconstitutional. A district judge in the western district of KY, sixth circuit, has found §922(g)(8) unconstitutional.
We need to wait to see if the state appeals these cases. It would not surprise me if Texas does appeal. If they appeal and it gets to the Supreme Court it could be a quick case where TX puts in a lackluster performance and parts of §922(g) go away across the entire country.
Other states which are anti-gun might very well not appeal losses at the district or circuit levels in order to keep the case from getting to the Supreme Court.
Over in California, Judge Benitez just dropped the hammer on the state in a number of cases, 3 IIRC.
The State Defendants are directed to file a brief which identifies the best historical regulation that is a proper analogue and relevantly similar to a (statewide prohibition on a firearm with listed features) (statewide prohibition of an ammunition feeding device or a limit on the amount of ammunition) (statewide background check for buying ammunition). The brief shall be limited to 5 pages and shall be filed with the brief currently due 30 days after the filing of the law list.
I tried to find what “filing of the law list”, regardless, the worse it could be is 30 days from now. The best it could be is just a few days because Benitez ordered all briefings be provided to him with in a short period of time once the ninth circuit court kicked these cases back to him.
At the same time we have a number of states attempting to ban assault weapons and magazines because the are exceptionally deadly/dangerous. We have a bunch of states that are attempting to make their entire state a sensitive place via a patchwork of explicit places that are listed as sensitive.
In all cases that are being tracked by me, we are winning. Not as fast as I would like, but we are winning.
3 thoughts on “A Couple of interesting cases”
I’ve long been in favor of restoration of rights once a person has “done their time” but now a days I dont know where to stand on it. Before I’d say that if a person was too dangerous to be trusted with arms, cars, whatever they shouldn’t be out in the public at all but with the complete failure of our for profit prisons and prisons that no longer seek to rehabilitate people its very hard to say.
I used to agree with that also, when I still believed The System was both capable of helping people reform, and willing to keep them locked up until they had done so. As it stands now…?
Right now, in order to purchase a firearm, you have to fill out forms. As Awa implies, if you check that you use pot, you become a prohibited person (even if it’s for long-accepted medical purposes, such as relief from glaucoma). If you’ve been in a mental institution, you become a prohibited person.
The only things that should make you a prohibited person are a) being incarcerated (as Awa states, when you’re in jail, THEY prohibit things, and that’s perfectly legal), and b) not being a citizen or legal alien (and yes, the current form does allow for legal aliens, I just checked 2 minutes ago). Whether you *were* incarcerated should not be an issue. Whether you smoke pot, or any number of other things, shouldn’t matter. The Second Amendment is the only Constitutionally protected right that is limited because of medication use and mental health.
Many of our vets use pot, as directed by a physician or on their own, to calm PTSD. Hundreds of thousands of people use it for glaucoma. Lots of people with mental issues find target shooting and hunting to be calming and helpful.
When someone asks to see my permit to carry, the answer will always be, “…the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”
Login or register to comment.