Supreme Court agrees to hear case on impact of conviction on gun rights

21 Oct , 2014  

The Supreme Court agrees to hear case on whether a conviction for a crime terminates all gun ownership rights. Reuters has this discussion of the case:

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether a Florida man convicted on drug charges and forced to give up his firearms under federal law could sell the guns or transfer ownership to his wife or a friend.

The court agreed to hear an appeal filed by Tony Henderson, a former U.S. Border Patrol agent who was convicted of distributing marijuana and other drug offenses in 2007 and sentenced to six months in prison.

Upon his arrest, Henderson voluntarily gave the FBI his 19 firearms. As federal felons cannot possess firearms, Henderson later sought either to sell the guns to an interested buyer or to transfer ownership to his wife.

A federal judge refused his request, as did the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a ruling this past January.

The legal question is whether the federal prohibition on felons possessing firearms terminates all ownership rights. Lower courts are divided on the issue. . . .

The history of felons’ rights to guns is an interesting one. In fact, the prohibition on felons having guns, while understandable, is a relatively new restriction. In a very provocative article, C. Kevin Marshall discusses this issue in “Why Can’t Martha Stewart Have a Gun?” in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.

The petition for Writ of Certiorari is available here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *