Monday, July 07, 2014
Monday, February 03, 2014
The United States Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a critical case involving firearm rights. In United States v. Castleman, the Court will interpret the federal law at 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9) that creates a lifetime firearm ban for any person convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.” Their decision will affect the rights of thousands of Ohioans with a conviction under Ohio Revised Code 2919.25.
The case involved James Alvin Castleman, who was convicted under a Tennessee Domestic Assault statute. Castleman was arrested for several alleged violations of federal law, including 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9). He argued that his conviction did not constitute a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence because it did not require the “use of force” as an element. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Castleman that his conviction did not meet the definition, and the United States Attorney appealed to the Supreme Court.
On January 15, 2014, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Castleman’s case. They were especially critical of the Government’s argument that it would be a use of force if an individual, while taking a picture of a person, told that person to back up and they fell off of a cliff. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts emphasized that the Government advocates for an interpretation of the law that has no limiting principle. While the Court did not seem to agree with the breadth of the Government’s interpretation of the law, they did appear to worry that Castleman’s position would render 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9) meaningless in much of the country.
We expect that it will be June of 2014 at the earliest before the Court issues its opinion in United States v. Castleman. As Ohio firearm rights lawyers, Barney DeBrosse will be ready and able to help our client’s determine how the Court’s opinion affects their constitutional right to bear our arms. Contact us today if you or someone you know has a conviction possibly involving domestic violence and is concerned about their firearm rights.