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A United States District Court Judge has ruled that a man convicted of drunk driving almost two decades ago cannot have his gun rights taken away. In 2005, Edward A. Williams was convicted of driving while under the influence, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison. He was allowed to serve his sentence of 90 days to two years at home because of a medical problem.

That conviction forfeited his gun rights under federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).

He filed suit to regain his gun rights in 2017, arguing that a lifetime loss of gun rights for a non-violent misdemeanor conviction violates his Second Amendment rights. He lost.

Backed by the Firearms Policy Coalition, Williams subsequently filed for a rehearing under the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision. Today, District Court Judge John Milton Younge (a Trump appointee) ruled that under Bruen, stripping the gun rights of someone who had a previous DUI conviction is unconstitutional.

In no way does the Court dispute the dangerousness of drunk driving or of combining firearm use and alcohol consumption, and it acknowledges that Plaintiff’s offenses were serious and his conduct during his convictions in 2004 and 2005 dangerous. However, that legislatures have historically labelled certain groups and conduct dangerous for the purposes of disarmament…does not, in of itself, create a historical analogue to the present-day prohibition on firearm possession by those convicted of DUIs.

The Range Court had rejected the argument that status based restrictions on ‘dangerous’ groups identified as such by the legislature would constitute an appropriate analogy to Section 922(g)(1) today. …(noting that legislatures are not empowered to “eviscerate the general right to publicly carry arms for self-defense” with overbroad categorizations). Historical regulations on persons deemed dangerous do not present a sufficient historical analogue without showing that the regulated conduct itself is analogous to Plaintiff’s.

Similarly, the Court finds the Government’s argument that Section 922(g)(1) can be appropriately applied to Plaintiff because of historical regulations on the possession of a firearm by a presently intoxicated person unavailing. The Government points to several regulations permitting the disarmament of drunk or intoxicated persons. … None of these regulations allude to disarmament lasting beyond the individual’s state of intoxication, and none provided for permanent disarmament, as Section 922(g)(1) does.

Certainly, this Court agrees that using a firearm while intoxicated is dangerous, but historical regulations which momentarily disarmed certain individuals for temporary mental incapacity cannot be considered similar to the sanction of permanent disarmament for past DUI convictions. As noted in Range, “government confiscation of the instruments of crime,” including to prevent an imminent crime, “differs from a status-based lifetime ban on firearm possession.”

As stated in Bruen, the Court must consider the “how and why” behind Second Amendment restrictions to determine whether the modern articulation is relevantly similar to its proposed historical analogue. …The language in the regulations offered by the Government suggests an interest in protecting the public from an inevitable danger caused by allowing a presently intoxicated person to use a firearm. … Section 922(g)(1)’s prohibition on firearm possession for those convicted of a DUI cannot, without significant speculation by the Court, be considered as having a substantially similar purpose.

Ultimately, Judge Younge concluded . . .

…the Government has not carried its burden in proving that the United States’ tradition of firearm regulation supports stripping an individual of their right to possess a firearm because they had previously driven while intoxicated. The application of Section 922(g)(1) to Plaintiff, therefore, constitutes a violation of his Second Amendment rights, and the Court finds that Plaintiff is entitled to the requested relief. 

Read the full ruling here.

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    • Lost his 2A rights from a misdemeanor? In some countries you get a firing squad or hard labor for drunk driving🙄

        • Brazil for a while, no idea if they can still shoot you by the roadside like the last time I was in the region.

      • “Lost his 2A rights from a misdemeanor?”

        Not quite. Lost his 2A rights based not on seriousness of the infraction, but the length of sentence.

        • Correct. All misdemeanors that carry a potential sentence of more than one year are treated as felonies under the federal law.

      • Stoning of drunk drivers in Saudi Arabia is not unheard of. Whether it is codified law, sharia law, or simply mob violence I do not know- just that it happens.

      • “Misdemeanors” in most every state are crimes for which you can receive UP TO a year in the County. Any sentence over one year is for “felony” and much more serious consequences- state prison, loss of various rights, in some cases death. Up to FIVE YEARS for a misdemeanor? That’s ridiculous on it’s face, a manifest miscarriage of justice by a warped justice system. There must be more to the story…

    • Given that the district court is in the Third Circuit, and Range is binding precedent on all district courts in that Circuit, this was an easy ruling; indeed, it would have been error to come out the other way.

      Still, good for the FPC to keep running up the score.

      • “…keep running up the score…”

        Yes. Academicians may argue the fine points, but a W is a W, and it alters the calculus.

      • Umm, I don’t think so sports fans. This is a trial court decision. Although an injunction will be binding until overturned on appeal, the decision is only binding in that district court but nowhere else, and certainly not in the Circuit. It is persuasive only, until the Court of Appeals gets its hands on the case.

  1. “However, that legislatures have historically labelled certain groups and conduct dangerous for the purposes of disarmament…does not, in of itself, create a historical analogue to the present-day prohibition on firearm possession by those convicted of DUIs.”

    And, the dominoes begin to fall.

    God bless President Trump… 😉

    • I would imagine/hope cases like these are just warming up to force a reckoning of a great many laws across the country. It will never be fast enough but the more tools we take away from our government to remove rights by popular demand the less popular the methods to achieve such goals are likely to become.

  2. By definition and English common law, punishable by up to five years in prison would make such a law a FELONY. So whomever concocted this particular law was stretching the idea of a misdemeanor violation. Good for the court and good for 2A rights.

    • Prison time for offenses has inflated a lot over time, especially over the last 40-50 years.

      We tend to incarcerate a lot of people and keep them there.

      • we also like to threaten people with outsized punishments if they actually want to exercise their right to a trial instead of pleading guilty

        • Hannibal ain’t that the truth. Packing on charges and threatening long sentences is the go to for a lot of prosecutors.
          Unless you happen to be in a favored group.

  3. No need to blackball a lightweight for a lifetime. After bail, attorney fees, court costs, license revocation, insurance increase, cab rides to and from probation, AA, etc. there won’t be enough money left for ammo.

    • Depending on the definition of “drunk”, mostly likely those wanting to ban 2A rights have violated drunk driving laws. Most anyone who has drank over time has at some point in time driven drunk.

  4. Perhaps people who don’t want a bunch of castor beans glued onto their arm should just not glue castor beans onto their arm??? Ads that give gun control organizations competition for stupidity.

    • Something needs to be done about the vomit ads as they probably are not good for repeat traffic, etc. In the meantime download a browser that blocks such ads.

    • Yeah not sure what they are even trying to sell… I could understand gun advertisements or tactical stuff, but this stuff is not suitable for viewing. Likely going to get spam and viruses if you accidentally clicked them.

    • “Perhaps people who don’t want a bunch of castor beans glued onto their arm should just not glue castor beans onto their arm???”

      The worst ones, IMO, were the ones offering to sell me something to allow me to “Empty your bowels completely”… 🙁

    • It has always seemed black and white to me. Prison is for rehabilitation, reflection and restitution. If that is completed then let the person reenter society and participate. It’s in everyone’s best interest to have a successful member of society versus a pariah. If the person is too dangerous to let them 100 percent build a new life then they should remain in prison.

      • I hate to break it to you Moodock, but prison doesn’t rehabilitate people. It isn’t even designed to do that. That’s you projecting what you feel it should be. Your list of reasons for prison existing is lacking justice and segregating dangerous people from civilized society. You know, the reasons prisons actually exist.

        In case someone misunderstands me: That doesn’t mean people do not deserve a second chance. That doesn’t mean people are not overcharged and given punishments that do not fit the crime. That doesn’t mean we should not reform it. It can be difficult to get out of the downward spiral the system puts decent people in (which does NOT help society). Of course we should change that.

    • We should know on Monday whether or not they take Range.

      Smart money is that the Court will grant cert on Range then affirm. Rule will likely be there has to be an individualized adjudication that provides due process, and that explicitly or implicitly finds that the person is and remains dangerous. Ten year old DWI won’t cut it.

      Court would then vacate and remand Rahimi for reconsideration in light of Range.

      • “Smart money is that the Court will grant cert on Range then affirm.”

        Meaning, they won’t even bother to hear it, kinda like a GVR?

        IE, a SCotUS express lane?

      • DWI and DUI are two different things.
        I don’t even think the law has a DWI anymore.
        The DUI is a nice catch all. Prescribed drugs can land you in jail with the same sentence/fine that the slobbering drunk that couldn’t stand up and smart mouths the cops gets.

        • “DWI and DUI are two different things.
          I don’t even think the law has a DWI anymore.”

          The meaning varies, in different jurisdictions.

          I know Ohio calls it OVI, I think…

      • “Smart money is that the Court will grant cert on Range then affirm.”

        Just curious, what would you like to see SCOTUS change about Range? In other words, why not just deny cert and let it stand?

        I guess as it is now, Range only applies to the Third Circuit… so if they take it and then affirm, it’s national. Answered my own question. 😀

  5. What state was that guy in?
    I’ve been convicted two times for DUI and never had my gunms taken away.
    Now one more time makes those misdemeanors a felony, and yup bye bye gunms on that.
    A person really needs to know the laws, you can be charged for DUI if your riding( trying to ride) a bicycle. Why???? Because you must obey the same laws as a motorists.
    What gets me is most states never have a fade out for a DUI conviction. You can go 60 years and your first one is still fresh.

    • And another thing, after ten years of clean record you can file to have that felony expunged, with luck you can get your gunms back.
      Not so with a misdemeanor Domestic Violence charge, you ain’t never getting your gunms back , no way, no how, no matter how goody goody you’ve been.
      Ole Bill Cliton pulled a sneaky one with that gunm grab scheme, and fck u too joe biden.
      Any president who does not uphold the Constitution is a traitor.

    • “…you can be charged for DUI if your riding( trying to ride) a bicycle. Why???? Because you must obey the same laws as a motorists.”

      Someone, some where, got a DUI for riding a *horse* drunk, I shit you not…

    • BUI is not DUI in California.

      21200.5. Notwithstanding Section 21200, it is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. Any person arrested for a violation of this section may request to have a chemical test made of the person’s blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic or drug content of that person’s blood pursuant to Section 23612, and, if so requested, the arresting officer shall have the test performed. A conviction of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250). Violations of this section are subject to Section 13202.5.

    • It’s very true about the disparity in handling so called DWI arrests and consequences in different states. Technically, there’s no law that says there has to be no alcohol in your blood. Otherwise, anybody who goes out to dinner and has a few cocktails is risking an arrest even though they always, All a cop would have to do is wait outside the local wine and dine establishment and give everybody leaving a queue number.

      The hair so-called splitting of pubic hairs comes with a level of perception and whether the ‘influence’ factor adversely affects your driving control ability, which is considered drunk driving. Which is relative because everybody of physical difference factors. A hundred pound woman needs only around two shots to reach an automatic ‘illegal’ blood alcohol level in some venues but as we all know many large 250 pound or so males can triple that and still drive home relatively safely if they don’t speed especially if they’re ‘experienced’ drinkers. There’s some common sense therein but also subject to abuse by the drinkers and police.

      The punishment variance is already totally corrupted. I know persons who have had five or six DUI convictions and didn’t even lose their licenses until the last one which caused a severe accident. Again, has to do with the state as per my observations. Resort areas where people drink and drive, drink and boat, and drink and snowmobile, are less likely to max out a prosecution if the local prosecutor wants to keep his job. A cop has a lot of discretion at the scene in these stops. If the cop asks you if you’re on any prescription meds and you are, in some areas they won’t go ahead with the field sobriety bullshit test because virtually all legal meds affect your walking/balance, especially at night with flashing traffic lights and almost nobody passes them. If there’s no mandatory forcing of a blood draw
      after a FS test, refuse it altogether. Later your lawyer will get you off easier if you didn’t take it. If you drink regularly and drive watch some of the good youtube tutorials about this.
      And plan ahead with your plan of reaction to the officer’s request.
      Be genuinely polite and apologetic in your wishes to decline the breathalyzer or field sobriety scam (nobody can pass these). If you have a purple heart on your plate, or are an ex-cop or fireman who drinks sometimes because of all the ptsd she had on the job, and etc. the officer might just blow it off as a warning, if you’re not falling down plastered. But making him aware of that in advance will also help you in court if it goes in that direction.

  6. Apparently it’s another “as applied”, so literally worthless to anyone else except maybe someone who is funding their costly legal battle on this same issue can cite it as precedent.

    • Technically, under USCC 18-241-242, it is a serious felony to even attempt to deprive anyone of their Constitutionally guaranties, even under “color of Law” That means that any and all
      control ‘measures’ ‘laws’ or decrees are absolutely completely illfuckinglegal Just discussing banning this firearm or that accessory and magazine amounts to criminal conspiracy under this Law! So why aren’t the jails filled with these so called lawmakers? The same reason they can weaponize a justice system to suppress a political opponent in the purest Nazi paradigm. A justice system that’s totally corrupt and dirty.
      Hopefully, if we can ever turn this country around to common sense objective reasoning to establish a true egalitarian system the 68 GCA must be repealed and all gun control efforts prosecuted under 18 241-242 by newly hired Apolitical Constitutional prosecutors. The insanity of the disarmament OCD of the Marxist fanatic totalitarian movement in this country reminds me of the HAMass religionist psychotics with their OCD of killing everyone who doesn’t subscribe to their sicko beliefs.
      Oh, by the way, the Feds didn’t have any problems prosecuting the cops in the Floyd case under 18-241-42 charges for depriving George Floyd of his right to receive medical assistance in a timely and proper manner after arrest? But they continue to violate the law of depriving us of our rights, just because…they can.
      And you’d be surprised at how man young people did years of hard time for vehicular homicide in a car accident (not premeditated or intended) and cannot own a firearm, BUT STILL CAN OWN THE DEATH WEAPON, A CAR, after they served their time.


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