Supreme Court expands gun rights for felons

Supreme Court expands gun rights for felons

The Supreme Court expanded gun rights for felons Monday by ruling that they are allowed them to keep the proceeds from their sold firearms after the guns are seized by the government.

When former Border Patrol Agent Tony Henderson was convicted of distributing marijuana, he knew he couldn’t keep his collection of 19 guns. Federal law prohibits felons from owning firearms.

Henderson voluntarily surrendered his guns as a condition of his bail. But when he wanted to sell his guns to a friend for $3,500 or transfer them to his wife, the court stepped in and said no.

Henderson challenged the ruling and has fought a years-long battle in the courts until finally gaining victory when the high court asserted that felons are allowed to keep the proceeds from their sold firearms. They can also choose who receives their guns as long as they aren’t given to anyone who would not allow the felon to exert control over them.

Prosecutors argued that selling the guns would mean he technically possessed them while selling, and they also expressed concern that he would be the de facto owner by selling them to someone close to him.

This outraged gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association, which filed an amicus brief in the case. The brief reads in part:

The result is that the Second Amendment rights of certain law-abiding, responsible citizens – such as family members or friends of individuals who have been convicted of a felony – are accorded less weight than the Second Amendment rights of other law-abiding citizens, including those who do not propose to use the firearms in question for the purpose of self-defense in the home.

SCOTUS ruled that felons may transfer their guns for sale to a third party vendor, such as a gun vendor and in some cases a particular person as long as they can’t continue to exert influence over the weapons.

“A felon cannot evade the strictures of [the law] by arranging a sham transfer that leaves him in effective control of his guns,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the court’s opinion.

This report, by Casey Harper, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.


LU Staff

LU Staff

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