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AG Garland Weighs Challenging Court's Ruling to Strike Firearms Ban

AG Garland Weighs Challenging Court's Ruling to Strike Firearms Ban

Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 03 February 2023 04:38 PM EST

Attorney General Merrick Garland indicated that the Department of Justice may legally challenge Thursday's appeals court decision that a law barring those with domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns was unconstitutional.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Title 18 U.S. Code Section 922(g)(8) could not withstand the new historical basis requirement outlined by the Supreme Court's New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision last year.

"Nearly 30 years ago, Congress determined that a person who is subject to a court order that restrains him or her from threatening an intimate partner or child cannot lawfully possess a firearm," the attorney general stated.

"Whether analyzed through the lens of Supreme Court precedent, or of the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment, that statute is constitutional. Accordingly, the Department will seek further review of the Fifth Circuit's contrary decision," he added.

Garland served as the lead federal prosecutor in the Justice Department's case against Zackey Rahimi, a man who previously pleaded guilty to possessing firearms while under a civil protective order.

But Rahimi's lower court conviction was vacated in the Thursday decision, with Judge Cory Todd Wilson arguing that the statute's ban on possession of firearms is an ''outlier that our ancestors would never have accepted."

The court also said it was unpersuaded by the federal prosecutor's attempt to draw a historical parallel between the statute and common law regulations that disarmed "dangerous" people.

"The purpose of these 'dangerousness' laws was the preservation of political and social order, not the protection of an identified person from the specific threat posed by another," Wilson wrote. "Therefore, laws disarming 'dangerous' classes of people are not ''relevantly similar'' to "serve as historical analogues."

Wilson was joined by the other two judges on the panel, Edith Jones and James Ho. A concurring opinion from Ho parroted Wilson's position, stressing that the role of government and the Second Amendment were not contradictory.

The Founding Fathers "envisioned a nation in which both citizen and sovereign alike play important roles in protecting the innocent against violent criminals," Ho claimed. "Our decision today is consistent with that vision."

Jake Charles, an associate professor at the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, signaled shortly after the decision that the Supreme Court would likely hear the decision.

"Looks like we're going to get a new Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment sooner rather than later," Charles predicted on Twitter, adding that "only one other court of appeals has issued a published decision on the 2nd Am post-Bruen."

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Politics
Attorney General Merrick Garland indicated that the Department of Justice may legally challenge Thursday's appeals court decision that a law barring those with domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns was unconstitutional. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ...
ag garland, gun rights, court, firearms, crime
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2023-38-03
Friday, 03 February 2023 04:38 PM
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