Most of the litigation challenging criminal gun laws is spearheaded by public defenders, not gun-rights groups, on behalf of indigent defendants.
Within 48 hours after the Bruen decision, Lex Coleman, a federal public defender in West Virginia, was on the phone with clients, including Randy Price, an Ohio man caught possessing a pistol with an obliterated serial number in violation of federal law.
Coleman told Price they needed to file motions contesting the constitutionality of the charges against him. “The world has changed, and we need to go for this and see what happens,” he said he told Price.
He got the indictment on that charge overturned after prosecutors struggled to identify a historical statute similar to the prohibition on unmarked guns. “We’re being forced under this decision to look back in time…quite frankly I find it really hard,” prosecutor Negar Kordestani told the judge.
In dismissing the gun charge, the judge found it “undisputed that serial numbers were not required, or even in common use, in 1791.”
— Jacob Gershman in Why America’s Gun Laws Are in Chaos