A judge has struck down a law that placed limits on citizens’ Second Amendment rights, ruling that the provision is unconstitutional.
The law prevented a person from possessing a firearm after receiving a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI).
According to Breitbart, U.S. District Court Judge John Milton Younge found the statute – 922(g)(1) – to be a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Younge, in part, relied on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Second Amendment ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.
The case at issue here is Williams v. Garland, No. 2:17-cv-02641-JMY.
It is taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The person who is challenging the statute is Edward Williams.
Williams was arrested for driving under the influence multiple times in the early 2000s, including in 2000, 2001, and 2004.
The charges for the 2001 arrest were dismissed.
Upon being arrested in 2004, Williams was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.223, which is significantly over the 0.08 legal limit.
Because Williams was arrested for driving under the influence in 2000, Williams, for this 2004 arrest, was charged with – and convicted of – a first-degree misdemeanor.
Not only did this mean that Williams could face up to five years of imprisonment, but it also meant that – under the statute mentioned above – Williams would not be able to possess a firearm.
This is what, eventually, led to Williams’ lawsuit challenging 922(g)(1) on Second Amendment grounds.
Judge Younge, as mentioned at the outset, has now deemed 922(g)(1) to be a violation of the Second Amendment.
To do so, he, in part, relied on Bruen, specifically on Bruen’s holding that “an individual’s conduct may fall outside of Second Amendment protection ‘[o]nly if a firearm regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition.’”
Prohibiting Plaintiff’s possession of a firearm due to his DUI conviction is a violation of his Second Amendment rights as it is inconsistent with the United States’ tradition of firearms regulation.
Younge also relied on a Third Circuit case – Range v. Attorney General – in which the court found that the Second Amendment applies not only to “law-abiding citizens” but to “all people,” including some with a criminal history.
“The Court finds that 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.”