denied 4473 gun purchase social media check
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From the Firearms Policy Coalition . . .

The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has filed a new lawsuit that challenges the federal government’s wrongful denial of an application to purchase a firearm, as well as burden-shifting policies and practices that force gun buyers to prove they are not prohibited persons under the law. The complaint for Newton v. United States, along with additional case information and documents, can be found at FPCLaw.org.

In 1981, Ralph Newton was convicted of two federal misdemeanors (disorderly conduct and assault) for his role in a bar fight in the Yosemite Valley. As a result, he paid a $50 fine, was sentenced to six days in jail, and placed on one year’s probation. Nearly four decades later, Newton was denied the purchase of a firearm for self-defense by the federal government.

The government claims Newton’s convictions could have been crimes of domestic violence, despite no supporting evidence. However, the government has long since destroyed the 40-year-old records, and unconstitutionally placed Newton in its ‘prohibited persons’ list. The government further enforced its policy and practice of shifting the burden of proof, requiring Newton to prove—with the court documents the government itself had destroyed—that he is not prohibited, rather than the government proving that Newton is prohibited with sufficient evidence and due process.

“Law-abiding, responsible citizens are entitled to keep and bear arms unless and until the government establishes that an individual is prohibited from exercising their Second Amendment rights,” the complaint says. “By requiring instead that Newton demonstrate that he is not prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm, Defendants inverted the constitutional framework and violated the Second Amendment.”

“It is the government’s burden to prove that a person may not exercise their fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. But in its policies and practices, the federal government flips that rule on its head, instead requiring that people prove that they are not prohibited from possessing and acquiring firearms. That is not only unconscionable under our system of law, it’s unconstitutional,” said attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s vice president of programs. “Through this lawsuit we seek to vindicate the rights of Mr. Newton and force the government to stop its unlawful and unconstitutional policies and practices that force people to jump through unconstitutional hoops before exercising their rights.”

FPC and Mr. Newton are represented in the lawsuit by Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay of Benbrook Law Group, PC, of Sacramento, and Mike McLane of Bend, Oregon-based law firm Lynch Murphy McLane LLP.

Individuals who would like to join the FPC Grassroots Army or donate to support pro-Second Amendment programs to protect and restore the right to keep and bear arms should visit JoinFPC.org. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit FPCLaw.org and follow FPC on InstagramTwitterFacebookYouTube.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. All gun control laws are illegal crimes against humanity. Tyrants love them and the rest of us suffer injustice under them.

    It is past time for the supporters of gun control to face justice.

      • Indeed! The rights of the underaged, the deranged, the psychopaths and the violent criminals shall not be infringed! AntiFa should be able to possess belt-fed heavy machine guns! BLM should have submachine guns!

        Are you SURE that ALL ‘gun control laws’ are illegal crimes against humanity?

        I can think of oh, maybe one or two that seem pretty reasonable.

        • Hey Elmer!
          “the deranged, the psychopaths and the violent criminals” already do not abide by the thousands of other laws related to criminal activity – and they should be prosecuted for those actions.

          If one is too dangerous to possess a firearm (in the government’s eyes), then please explain why that one is a member of society in the first place.

          So, yes, existing gun control laws are equivalent to “law abiding citizen control”, which is absolutely, 100% morally repugnant.

  2. The government claims Newton’s convictions could have been crimes of domestic violence, despite no supporting evidence.

    could have been crimes?

    18 U.S. Code § 925A – Remedy for erroneous denial of firearm > https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/925A

    “Any person denied a firearm pursuant to subsection (s) or (t) of section 922—…

    18 U.S. Code § 922 – Unlawful acts > https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922 (getting to the prohibited person crimes to be prohibited and skippng the rest…)

    (9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

    That’s what the government is hinging its denial on, a guess. But since there are no records how is it known that Ralph Newton was convicted of two federal misdemeanors (disorderly conduct and assault) for his role in a bar fight in the Yosemite Valley that could have been domestic violence?

    You would think the government would say “hey, ok no records so…we can’t justify our denial” but of all the accusations we can sling at the government being smart is not one of them.

    But whats interesting here is the destruction of records. How many people have been actually wrongfully denied because the government no longer has the records?

      • Interesting, I had no idea that bars provided a special dispensation where you could smack your wife, girlfriend or boyfriend around and it be simple assault rather than domestic violence.

  3. What’s the regulation for keeping records that applies? There are different time frames for different areas. I know for local governments, emails under FOIA it’s seven years. Would not it appear to be common sense that criminal records be kept forever? Of course common sense does not apply to any governments, however I think it’s should be on the government to PROVE he is prohibited.

    • Manse,

      Agree. A database record is not proof. At best it is an indicator. If the indicator exists, the government should have to provide detailed evidence for the denial. If a right is wrongly denied, the government should pay massive damages for civil rights violations and the perpetrators of those violations should face criminal and civil charges.

  4. What does NICS do? It establishes a database managed by beauracracats who do not give a rat’s tuckus about data quality. Yet, that data can be used to deny civil rights. Burn it down. If the government believes you are not qualified to purchase a gun, make them prove it. Hard evidence, not some entry in a poorly curated database.
    Burn it down.

  5. WTF! I too had a “misdemeanor” in 1978. Failure to pay child support. Lost my job. Dumbazz ex lost getting $. Later I made up as best I could on the dad thing. Happy it didn’t effect getting a gat. I’d do a go fund me thing for him! No FPC.

    • WOW I was jailed and in court for an unpaid traffic fine in another county 50 years ago. I know that the records don’t exist now but the arrest probably does.

  6. Federally Charged? Government destroys records? 40 years ago? Say it ain’t so. If truth be told 90% of Americans have close call skeletons hiding in their closets especially some in Law Enforcement who were bullies, etc. Rest assured Gun Control zealots would waterboard people to find a reason to deny purchase, for them seeing this man denied purchase satisfies their inner demons.

    The mindset behind the man’s life sentence is nothing new, it stems from the days when all it took was being Black to be denied purchase for life, etc.

  7. The government does things because they can. Right and wrong means nothing to the bureaucrats.
    “could have been crimes of domestic violence”
    What a joke that quote is, could have been anything that comes to mind.
    Since the government destroyed the records, that should be the end……….

  8. I received a letter once, had the State of Texas vs Kathryn Taylor.
    I was 18 years old and had jaywalked.
    Most of us did! Business School had a straight rout, from door to street to going through lobby to the other side.
    After paying the fee, wish I had saved letter!

  9. I do not believe that article.
    40 years ago there was no domestic violence lose your gunm law.
    Federal misdemeanor. So the Yosemite bar was owned by the United States government?

    • Well I suppose if you cross state lines to beat up your wife it would be a federal misdemeanor.
      This article doesn’t explain enough.
      Even then 40 years ago domestic violence was not a cause to lose your 2 Ammendment rights.

      • When the Fed law was passed it was applied retroactively to anyone who had even pleaded No Contest to various assault charges, even though few of them were considered felonies. Among others, it snared a fair number of LEOs whose spouses had claimed they’d been manhandled, sometimes only grabbed by the arm. Teachers who restrained out of control brats were also caught up. Bar fighters being so-charged was also common. As far as I know the craziness still stands.

      • Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(9) (AKA the Lautenberg Amendment) happened in the fall of 1996. The intended effect was to extend a firearms ban to anyone convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” ever. It is retroactive, so there was in its effect a ban on firearm arms for anyone convicted of domestic violence 40 years ago and longer.

        1117. Restrictions on the Possession of Firearms by Individuals Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violencehttps://www.justice.gov/archives/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1117-restrictions-possession-firearms-individuals-convicted

        “Qualifying Offenses: As enacted the statute defines “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” (MCDV) as any state or federal misdemeanor that –

        ‘has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.

        Date of Previous Conviction: The prohibition applies to persons convicted of such misdemeanors at any time, even if the conviction occurred prior to the new law’s effective date, September 30, 1996. See United States v. Brady, 26 F.3d 282 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 115 S.Ct. 246 (1994)(denying ex post facto challenge to a 922(g)(1) conviction) and United States v. Waters, 23 F.3d 29 (2d Cir. 1994)(ex post facto based challenge to a 922(g)(4) conviction).”

        There is a limitation on convictions though. See the link I gave, the section entitled “Limitations on Previous Convictions”

        According to the complaint > https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/firearmspolicycoalition/pages/6373/attachments/original/1643399621/Newton_v_United_States_Complaint.pdf?1643399621

        “On the day after Christmas in 1981, Newton was traveling through the Yosemite Valley with his two nephews. That night, Newton left his cabin and headed to the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls to have a drink. While at the bar, Newton got into a physical altercation with two strangers; he was arrested later that night by the United States Park Police. Newton was
        eventually convicted of two federal misdemeanors (disorderly conduct and assault) for his role in the bar fight. He paid a $50 fine, was sentenced to six days in jail, and placed on one year’s probation.”

        “Yosemite Lodge at the Falls” was on federal land and that’s the reason he was arrested by the federal government (the United States Park Police).

        • Thanks 40oz, very informative, I’m glad you have access to those federal records to share with us.

          So it seems the original complaint has all the info necessary to show that this was not a domestic violence incident, hopefully his lawyers have this evidence as well.

  10. You are innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the government to show he meets the criteria of being ineligible. At least that is how the law is supposed to work. Without the records he can not be adjudicated as ineligible because the standard in his is case domestic violence.

    Looking at Canada right now and things that are starting to happen here, people are ready to revolt against oppression. The pandemic may be the catalyst that brings change.

    • I thought the same thing, however if you cross state lines to beat up your wife its federal. The article leaves out a lot of important facts.
      Who did he assault, did he cross state lines to do it.
      Assualt and domestic disturbance, a misdemeanor, will not make you a prohibited person, especially 40 years ago. Either theres more to the story or FPC is using this slam dunk fck up as a promotion of their abilities to win court cases.
      Now on felony charges and being prohibited, after ten years, with no criminal violations after your release, you can have the courts expunge your records, you must also state to the judge that one of your reasons for expungement is to be able to own and purchase gunms. It takes a lot of money, some good lawyering, and a lenient judge.
      BTW our sitting president in 1994 was the one who started the domestic violence = no gunms for life . That law needs changed, FPC should be fighting that.

      • Sometimes they do get their gun back…

        “Hours later, just before dawn on 26 January 2017, Gray broke in to Mitchell’s house through the back door, according to her family. When Mitchell’s foster child woke and went to check on the noise, Gray told her to go back to bed. In the living room, he found 14-year-old Kaci, who had been asleep on a couch by the front door, and shot her in the neck, according to her autopsy.
        Next he turned the Glock on Mitchell, firing a single bullet into the back of her head.
        The shooting was over so quickly that 10-year-old Kayla slept through it. She discovered the bodies of her mother and sister when she woke the next morning to get ready for school.
        As officers waited on his front porch soon after to question him, Gray fired one last shot with the gun he wasn’t supposed to have. He died at a hospital three days later.“

        https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/oct/26/domestic-abuse-gun-violence-reveal

      • “BTW our sitting president in 1994 was the one who started the domestic violence = no gunms for life“

        So y’all opossums ain’t got no Internet in your den?

        I’m sure Joe Biden voted for the bill, as did many Republican senators but he wasn’t the one who started the legislation as you claim.

        “The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, often called the “Lautenberg Amendment” (“Gun Ban for Individuals Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence”, Pub.L. 104–208 (text) (PDF),[1] 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)[2]), is an amendment to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, enacted by the 104th United States Congress in 1996, which bans access to firearms by people convicted of crimes of domestic violence. The act is often referred to as “the Lautenberg Amendment” after its sponsor, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D – NJ). Lautenberg proposed the amendment after a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, involving underenforcement of domestic violence laws brought under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[3] President Bill Clinton signed the law as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1997.“

    • According to the complaint > https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/firearmspolicycoalition/pages/6373/attachments/original/1643399621/Newton_v_United_States_Complaint.pdf?1643399621

      “On the day after Christmas in 1981, Newton was traveling through the Yosemite Valley with his two nephews. That night, Newton left his cabin and headed to the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls to have a drink. While at the bar, Newton got into a physical altercation with two strangers; he was arrested later that night by the United States Park Police. Newton was
      eventually convicted of two federal misdemeanors (disorderly conduct and assault) for his role in the bar fight. He paid a $50 fine, was sentenced to six days in jail, and placed on one year’s probation.”

      “Yosemite Lodge at the Falls” was on federal land and that’s the reason he was arrested by the federal government (the United States Park Police).

    • It happened on federal park land. Speeding is a federal offense if you are speeding on federally owned property. Picking your nose in public is a federal offense if a park ranger decides to call it ‘disorderly’. Be careful what jurisdiction you are in before breaking any laws.

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