Court Reaches Gun Ownership Ruling

Court Reaches Major Gun Ownership Ruling

( – Second Amendment rights are often the subject of heated debates and legal battles. In recent years, there have been many gun rights cases working their way through the court system. One of those is Bryan Range v. Attorney General United States, which questions a federal law on who can legally own a firearm. An appeals court recently handed down a decision on the matter.

In 1995, Range pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of welfare fraud for lying and obtaining nearly $2,500 in food stamps. He was subsequently sentenced to three years of probation and avoided jail time. However, he was still denied the right to own a gun under federal law, despite the fact that his crime was non-violent in nature. So, in 2020, he sued. Range claimed the prohibition against him violated his Second Amendment rights.

In 2021, a federal judge decided in favor of the defendant, and Range appealed. On Tuesday, June 6, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia ruled, 11-4, that people convicted of non-violent crimes cannot be prohibited from owning guns.

The win was a big one for Second Amendment rights proponents. Per Reuters, the majority opinion, written by Judge Thomas M. Hardiman, stated that the ruling adheres to the Supreme Court’s decision from June 2022. It strikes down a New York law that holds any restrictions must align with the US’ “historical tradition” of firearms regulation. Hardiman said the court goes against the notion “that only law-abiding, responsible citizens are counted among the people protected by the Second Amendment.”

Eric Tirschwell of Everytown Law, a gun control organization, believes the impact from the Range case will be minimal. He points to another recent decision in a similar case — United States v. Edell Jackson — that sided with the federal government.

The Justice Department hasn’t released whether it plans to appeal the decision, a move that Range’s attorney, Michael P. Gottlieb, said would be “unwise,” according to The New York Times. If the agency does contest the decision, it will be yet another gun rights case to land in front of the Supreme Court.

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