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Bryan Range pleaded guilty in 1995 to food stamp fraud in Pennsylvania. He served three years probation, paid restitution and a small fine. He also lost his gun rights.

That’s because “his conviction was classified as a Pennsylvania misdemeanor punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment. That conviction precludes Range from possessing a firearm because federal law generally makes it ‘unlawful for any person . . . who has been convicted in any court, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year’ to ‘possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition.’”

Range sued, arguing that he’d been wrongly deprived of his right to keep and bear arms. Today, an en banc Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Range, restoring his Second Amendment rights.

Both sides agree that [under Bruen] we no longer conduct means-end scrutiny. And as the panel wrote: “Bruen’s focus on history and tradition,” means that “Binderup’s multifactored seriousness inquiry no longer applies.”

After Bruen, we must first decide whether the text of the Second Amendment applies to a person and his proposed conduct. If it does, the government now bears the burden of proof: it “must affirmatively prove that its firearms regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.”

The government failed to do that in the Court’s judgement. As Judge David Porter wrote in his concurrence . . .

Until well into the twentieth century, it was settled that Congress lacked the power to abridge anyone’s right to keep and bear arms. The right declared in the Second Amendment was important, but cumulative. The people’s first line of defense was the reservation of a power from the national government. As James Wilson explained, “A bill of rights annexed to a constitution is an enumeration of the powers reserved.” …

Even without the Second Amendment, the combination of enumerated powers and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments ensured that Congress could not permanently disarm anyone.

“Anyone” covers a lot of people.

UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh, who believes the Third Circuit’s reasoning could be extended to many who have been convicted of felonies as well, thinks this sets up an almost sure Supreme Court review.

It seems to me nearly certain that the Supreme Court will agree to hear the case, perhaps in conjunction with the Fifth Circuit domestic civil restraining order automatic disarmament case, U.S. v. Rahimi. As a practical matter, this is a much more important case than Rahimi (which itself is quite important); the federal government is nearly certain to seek review by the Supreme Court; the decision invalidates a federal statute; there is a circuit split; the broad reasoning of the decision is in tension with the Court’s statements that felon disarmament laws are presumptively constitutional. All of these are factors cutting in favor of Supreme Court review, and put together they make such review extremely likely.

Don’t touch that dial.

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51 COMMENTS

    • Watch it build and build to an avalanche, with the screams of naked horror by the fascists, as music to soothe our tattered ears.

      Which leads to the next obvious question :

      What laws were valid to strip someone of their 2A rights back then? Crimes of violence? This question is important, since who is it these days claiming speech is the equal of physical violence?

      Place your bets, people : Where’s this gonna lead? 🙁

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  1. Interesting legal reasoning by east coast judiciary. “All in all, it’s another brick in the wall”… Love him or hate him, the judges appointed by Donald Trump are chipping away at the unConstitutional federal gun control statutes. We should make it our goal to “End 1934 by 2034!”…

    • the government now bears the burden of proof: it “must affirmatively prove that its firearms regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.”

      The government et al must be court ordered to prove historical firearm regulation/Gun Control is Not and was Not rooted in Racism, Bigotry, etc.

      Failure To Prove firearm regulation/Gun Control is Not and was Not rooted in Racism means Gun Control is null and void just like its historical sidekicks slavery, lynching, etc.

  2. “As James Wilson explained, ‘A bill of rights annexed to a constitution is an enumeration of the powers reserved.’ ”

    that means “…of the powers reserved [to the people]”

    in short and basically the court is saying the government does not have the power, in this case, to remove anyone’s 2nd amendment rights.

    more completely, here is the whole thing of what James Wilson explained in his context meaning of rights of the people…

    “In all societies, there are many powers and rights which cannot be particularly enumerated. A bill of rights annexed to a constitution is an enumeration of the powers reserved [to the people]. If we attempt an enumeration, every thing that is not enumerated is presumed to be given. The consequence is, that an imperfect enumeration would throw all implied power into the scale of the government, and the rights of the people would be rendered incomplete.”

    • .Using the Bill of Rights roadmap toward deregulation of Citizens 2nd Amendment Rights is the perfect example of how the job get done. Everything begins with the quest to be Free of Government overreach in regards to Constitutional Rights. The purpose/intent of the Bill of Rights was/is Not to show what Rights are to be afforded “We the People”, but what Rights the Government Shall Not deny or delay. The Founding Patriots who fought, suffered and died that “We the People” could have a Nation free of Governmental Control over it’s citizens. Understood from what they had been experiencing for decades that a populace denied that ability to determine those who would lead their government would and did result in Tyrannical Control with little Rights and No voice. After many attempts to reason with those in charge of their destiny failed. Their die was cast and Revolution was to determine the fate of a populace whose only wish was to have a voice in determining the destiny. After much bloodshed and loss a victory was won against tyranny. Which was followed by a Congress of men coming together to forge a new path for a new nation. One built upon the Ideals that Freedom and self determination should be the bedrock on which the new nation should be constructed. After many years and much discussion a blueprint was presented in which a set of core beliefs would be the Bill of Rights. Rights considered to be beyond the reach of Governmental control much in the vein of the Ten Commandments. Unalienable Rights for the citizenry with the same weight as Life,liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness afforded each person in the Declaration of Independence. It was not an easy endeavor bring a new Nation to this point. It required many years and much discussion to reach this point in Our nation path to Freedom and Liberty. In that vein it took many years of political Ideology to reach a point not that many years ago where the citizens of Iowa found themselves having their 2nd Amendment Rights denied and delayed. Fortunately the battle to reverse these injustices did not require Revolution. Because the Founders of Our Nation foresaw such injustices and forged a pathway to allow the citizenry the ability to reverse such Tyranny. By replacing those politician who believed their Ideology of Control, Denial of Rights and Lack of Trust in Citizenry was necessary to Transform Society with people who understood the Ideals of Freedom, Liberty and Self determination of a populace. The long struggle to Deregulate the obstructions put in place to deny the Rights of Iowa’s Citizenry began. It continues to be filled with hard won victories with much more to be accomplished. Fortunately the path was layed in the blood and determination of Our Founder’s. Leaving the battle to be won on the field of Ideas instead of the fields of blood. Forever marching toward the shining lights on the hill of Freedom. One small victory at a time. keep Your Powder Dry.
      In Liberty:

    • I wouldn’t classify food stamp fraud as rising to the level of being pro ex con. However such non violent offenders losing their means of self-defense is sorta cruel and unusual punishment don’t you think?

    • Andrew Lias,

      I will share my take on whether or not people, who were found guilty of crimes, should have their rights restored. (Disclaimer: I am not sure that I understand your comment so my response may not speak to your comment as you intended it.)

      Once a person has completed their prison sentence and parole (if granted), they should get ALL of their rights back.

      The primary practical reason for this: the convicted person paid the appropriate penalty for their transgression (at least in theory and penalizing them further is unjust) and now they need an incentive to behave in society. And that incentive is getting their rights back. If they do not get their rights back, they have no incentive to behave in society.

      Remember, the most dangerous person is someone who has nothing to lose.

      Caveat: I support restitution as part of a convicted person’s prison sentence–within practical limits. For example if John Doe took a baseball bat to someone’s car, John Doe should pay for the repairs. On the other hand, if John Doe accidentally started a forest fire which destroyed 100 homes, restoration would be on the order of $10 million, John Doe’s historical income has been $60,000 per year, and he has all of $20,000 in his bank and retirement accounts, he will never be able to pay restitution. In that case his prison sentence is his “restitution” (of sorts). Not to put too fine a point on it, it is not just to confine someone to prison for the rest of their life over property loss, even large property loss.

      • It’s not about “paying debt”. Thats more prog BS. Sentence is to punish for the crime they committed. They knew it was wrong but did it anyhow. And it’s to deter similar misfits from do the same crime.

        • They aren’t paying any debt. They served time because most of us believe in justice. Most people also understand that communities are safer when the baddies are locked up. I do believe in paying back a debt to society, but serving time in jail doesn’t do that. They should be forced to do some type of charity work when they get out. Then we can talk about debts being paid.

      • uncommon_sense,

        At a minimum, violent, theft, and sexual offenders should not have any rights restored until the full time of their sentence has lapsed. That will help counter the activists releasing violent criminals early (see 2020 insanity). Then they should be required to give back to the community in some way. They should have a sufficient probation period so they prove we can trust them. Serving time in jail doesn’t prove anything other than one’s ability to not die.

    • If they can’t be trusted to vote or own a gun why are they trusted to be running around free in society?

        • Lifetime registration is lifetime probation, per se. In CA, we have five classifications of registration: sexual offender, gang affiliation, arsonist, etc. Once you’re on any of those registrations due to an overzealous D.A. and an apathetic judge, you’re banned for life.

    • Andrew,

      I am (with conditions) a supporter of ex-cons voting. I don’t think this is OK. Inherent rights are inherent rights. They can be SUSPENDED, based upon demonstrated violations of the law, for the period of your sentence. If we can permanently strip certain people of their inherent rights, even after they have “paid their debt to society” (and I’m happy to entertain a discussion of “what sentence is appropriate”), why can’t we require basic reading and civics tests as a requirement for voting?

      They are rights. Most people would agree that there are conditions under which your ability to exercise your inherent rights can be suspended. ‘Splain to me the rationale for literally STRIPPING someone of an inherent right, permanently???

    • As an adjunct to this, Mr. Lewis, it appears masses of felons getting their right to vote being restored is a natural by-product of this train of legal thought…

      • Dem party need all their special voters. In theory, can’t vote from jail/prison or with a record. In THEORY. A problem for their fraud project when Joey OBiden is the candidate.

    • This crime was a misdemeanor. His right to vote was intact all along.

    • You have either paid your debt to society or you’re still in jail/prison, on probation/parole. If you are not under those terms, you should be a free person and have ALL your rights reinstated. If you cannot be trusted to have your civil rights restored, you should ne in prison.

      • As a general rule, I don’t trust felons to vote. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. In general, thieves, pedos, etc, will vote for AGs and DAs that don’t prosecute crimes. They’ll vote for legislatures and executives that are interested in “criminal justice reform” which is typically code for pro-criminal.

        Using your logic, you should be fighting the public identification of convicted rapists. Do you trust them? Would you want one as a neighbor if you had a young daughter? They “paid their debt to society” so why not?

  3. Investigators said Owens, 35, was outside her neighbor’s closed door when a woman inside the home fired a gun and shot her to death. A FOX 35 News crew observed a bullet hole in the door from the gunfire.

    The sheriff said investigators are trying to determine if this was a stand-your-ground case. “The law says that, and I’m not going to violate the law,” he said.

    Hey, maybe she’ll get her gun back.

    • It’s a dangerous world. This proves we should all be armed at all times.

      Thank you for supporting 2a.

  4. I’m no lawyer nor did I stay at a holiday inn express last night, but if an individual payed their debt to society (out of prison) then explain to me why a free man can’t be free?

    • “…explain to me why a free man can’t be free?”

      In places like California, it’s illegal to ask on a job application if someone is a convicted felon. Imagine the ramifications of that on a national level.

      Should a private individual have a right to know if someone they employ in their business or home was convicted of stealing?

    • Because you made a choice to hurt others with your criminal activity. You reap what you sow. No one will trust you now. Serving time in jail does nothing to change that. Jail doesn’t reform criminals.

  5. Does this ruling include BS felony convictions of 1 year?Asking for a very close relative🙄

  6. This Ruling, in all likelyhood, (rightfully) eviscerates that Shit-Sack 1996 “Lautenberg Amendment”.

    • In the late 1700s, was it legal for a convicted rapist to own a gun, once out of prison?

        • Back then women were considered ‘chattel’ and if raped were frequently assumed to have invited the sexual act (a common defense back then by the rapist) if not a person of ‘social status standing’ and ‘juries’ were mostly male and if the victim was a person of ‘social status standing’ a conviction was assured even if the accused was innocent. The most brutal and violent and extremely obvious and clear cut cases of rape were prosecuted and convicted and if convicted were either locked away (usually for life) or executed.

          But this does not mean that rapist were not dealt with. Almost 90% of rapists back then were killed while committing, or after committing, their heinous acts by the victim or family member or another acting in defense with ‘arms’ of various types including guns thus many victims were saved from this criminal act by use of ‘arms’ including guns and sometimes groups of citizens took care of it using ‘arms’ of some types including guns.

          Even back then, victims raped frequently didn’t report it like many don’t report it to the authorities today so the rapist got away with it unless dealt with by non-judicial means. And also like still happens today, a female that had sex willingly and became pregnant out of wed lock or got caught at it or it became known would choose to accuse the man of raping her so as to not be ‘ostracized’ especially if she or family was of ‘high social status’.

          So in reality very few rapists actually made it to a courtroom.

          But the question ….”In the late 1700s, was it legal for a convicted rapist to own a gun, once out of prison?”

          Very few of them actually got out of prison. In fact, comparatively for the times very few convicted of any violent crime and sentenced to prison actually got out of prison. Comparatively, most sentenced to prison back then for violent crimes died in prison and conditions were harsh with them actually being treated as offenders to be punished.

  7. You should get all your rights back once your prison time is finished. And it should be much for the law abiding to kill criminals. And not be prosecuted or sued.

    • Chris
      Ohio finally got it right a few years ago. We were the last state (iirc) to shift the burden of proof from the defendant to the state in self defense cases. Now we need no civil suits if no criminal wrong doing.

      • edit
        It should be much easier for the law abiding to kill criminals. And not be prosecuted or get sued.

        I don’t understand how it ever got to the point, in the individual states that you were seen as being guilty, until proven innocent. I don’t understand that.

        It is an outrageous immoral crime that Kyle Rittenhouse is being sued after being found completely innocent. By people who try to murder him.

        Just as it would be outrageous that rape victims have been sued by their convicted attackers. And that has happened many times in the past.

  8. Outlawing a Felons God-given right to Self-Preservation, the protection of his family, and the means to fight tyranny – IS complete insanity!

    A Citizen that has completed and paid their debt to society is a restored Citizen and has the same right to the 1st Law of Nature as anyone else.

    The 1st Law of Nature – the Duty of Self-Preservation IS a “self-evident” truth!

    If a man can’t be trusted with a gun, THEN he can’t be trusted with a knife, a car, a bat, etc. He must be locked up and kept out of a Free society for the rest of his life.

    Declawing a FREE man IS a cruel and unusual punishment.

    “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” — Amendment VIII, Our Constitution (Bill-of-Rights, an Untouchable)

  9. The delineation will likely fall on crimes of physical violence.

    The question will be, should someone who has been proven to use physical violence (or the threat of physical violence) against another be allowed to own and carry firearms after they are released from prison/probation?

    That’s going to make a lot of people (with very good reason) very uncomfortable. Especially someone who has experienced such an attack, such as a someone who was raped at gunpoint… 🙁

    • If combined with actual freedom for normies doesn’t that turn into a self-limiting problem pretty quick?

  10. all this is well and good, but reminds of of a persons(?) that was in the witness protection program. the reason for this was after he served his time, upset citizens found out where he was sent after release, and he was put back into the witness protection again, only to be found out again, and these continued several times. his crimes? — he raped a teenage girl……then became upset that she might get him arrested, so he hacked off both arms, at the elbows, and left her to bleed out……however, girl stumbled, crawled, etc. until she found help, several miles if i remember correctly, which lead to his arrest and conviction………served his time????
    –i think he served 20 years—-(sorry Geoff, i just saw your input)

    • @anon

      “all this is well and good, but reminds of of a persons(?) that was in the witness protection program. the reason for this was after he served his time, upset citizens found out where he was sent after release, and he was put back into the witness protection again, only to be found out again, and these continued several times. his crimes? — he raped a teenage girl……then became upset that she might get him arrested, so he hacked off both arms, at the elbows, and left her to bleed out……however, girl stumbled, crawled, etc. until she found help, several miles if i remember correctly, which lead to his arrest and conviction………served his time????
      –i think he served 20 years—-(sorry Geoff, i just saw your input)”

      but the law didn’t get really tough on your criminal guy until he committed food stamp fraud?

      I don’t see the comparative context here. food stamp fraud is a non-violent misdemeanor, rape and attempted murder and basically trying to dismember someone is a violent felony.

      This court case wasn’t about violent felons getting gun rights back, and the court is not saying that. Its about a non-violent offender for offenses that amounted to misdemeanor even if sentenced at felony level being deprived of their constitutional rights for life, and in particular for this case, deprived of second amendment rights.

      Normally, you run a stop sign or blow through a red light (no one injured and not an accident caused) and get caught its actually a violation of law but its not treated ‘criminally’ per se’ and handled in a civil aspect. So you get your ticket, and yes you did it and you pay the fine and its over or you go to court to contest it and what ever happens with that happens and its over. No one losses their constitutional rights for running a stop sign or blowing through a red light (no one injured and not an accident caused), even though in the ‘criminal’ aspect if it could or would be charged criminally its comparatively the equivalent of a non-violent misdemeanor.

      If this food stamp fraud was so heinous then why wasn’t he convicted of a felony? Food stamp fraud this guy committed is like running that stop sign or blowing through a red light thing, yes he did it but he got sentenced at what are comparatively felony levels and because of that it deprived him of his constitutional right for life even after he had paid the price for his offense. Charged with a misdemeanor but sentenced like a felon – there is some disparity there, some intended overzealous prosecution and intent of the law to invoke punishment and burden that’s not warranted at a felony level and still even after that price has been paid continue that ‘punishment and burden’ by a permanent removal of a constitutional right for a non-violent misdemeanor that’s basically the equivalent of the ‘civil’ side of “running that stop sign or blowing through a red light”.

  11. I find this whole thing rather laughable. Food Stamp fraud?

    Excuse me, travel to any city or suburb and find a supermarket in a lower-end area and there’s Food Stamp fraud going on right in public and no one cares. Sometimes people are shouting to sell food stamps for cash like they’re hocking wares on the street (I guess they sort of are). Cops pass right by it and don’t care at all.

    It’s been that way for years. Half the people doing it drive a tricked out Benz or something too.

    • “I find this whole thing rather laughable. Food Stamp fraud?”

      It’s a lever, that can be deployed as weapon against someone if so desired.

      Isn’t there a book called ‘3 felonies a day’ or something?

      As the SNL comedy sketch ‘Church Chat’ once noted, “How conveeeeenient”…

  12. Food stamps have been reduced. You can see the aftershock in the trash dumpsters. I used to score half eaten slices of pizza and left over juicys. Not anymore. Even the peanut butter jars are scraped out.

    • My daughter once watched a gray squirrel drag a half eaten slice of pizza out of a trash can and up onto a fence, where it began to eat it. I probably still have the pic that she texted to me. This was at college though, where anything goes. Your cousin is still visiting my back yard a couple times a week to clean up peanuts that the bluejays miss. I’ve shot a lot of rogue coons lately, which probably has helped the little guy.

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