7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

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Rex B
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7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#1

Post by Rex B » Fri May 21, 2010 8:35 am

from the Volokh blog:

The Seventh Circuit en banc in United States v. Skoien took place today, and is available online. This is the case where the panel held that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), which bans gun possession by people convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, might be too broad:

Applying intermediate scrutiny, we ask whether the government has established that the statute is substantially related to an important governmental interest. No one questions the importance of the government’s interest in protecting against domestic-violence gun injury and death. The dispute here is about the fit between this important objective and § 922(g)(9)’s blanket ban on firearms possession by persons who have been convicted of a domestic-violence misdemeanor. Under intermediate scrutiny, the government need not establish a close fit between the statute’s means and its end, but it must at least establish a reasonable fit. The government has done almost nothing to discharge this burden. Instead, it has premised its argument almost entirely on Heller’s reference to the presumptive validity of felon-dispossession laws and reasoned by analogy that § 922(g)(9) therefore passes constitutional muster. That’s not enough. Accordingly, we vacate Skoien’s conviction and remand to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#2

Post by pbwalker » Fri May 21, 2010 8:56 am

I'm sure this won't be popular, but here goes...

If you are a man who picks his hands up to a women, you should lose ALL rights. You are a pathetic individual (not even a man) and you've obviously shown no restraint.

And to be honest, I'm not 100% comfortable with ANYONE, who is violent towards their family, owning a gun.

I realize there may be situations where this may not apply, and that would need to be addressed. Umbrella laws don't always work...
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#3

Post by Purplehood » Fri May 21, 2010 8:59 am

I personally prefer a law that is not vague and therefore allows too much room for creative interpretation.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#4

Post by Rex B » Fri May 21, 2010 9:03 am

I agree, unless the law overreaches.
Lifetime gun ban for an individual convicted of a misdemeanor is overreaching, especially from the Feds.
Domestic assault misdemeanor means not much more than harsh words in some states.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#5

Post by shortysboy09 » Fri May 21, 2010 9:04 am

pbwalker wrote:I'm sure this won't be popular, but here goes...

If you are a man who picks his hands up to a women, you should lose ALL rights. You are a pathetic individual (not even a man) and you've obviously shown no restraint.

And to be honest, I'm not 100% comfortable with ANYONE, who is violent towards their family, owning a gun.

I realize there may be situations where this may not apply, and that would need to be addressed. Umbrella laws don't always work...
Couldn't have been said any better than this.

Anybody that can't keep their cool does not need to allowed to carry a handgun. These types of people seem to act before they think things out.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#6

Post by Rex B » Fri May 21, 2010 9:14 am

I agree, people who are violent should not have access to deadly weapons.
But domestic violence laws encompasses a very wide range of offenses, many of which you or I would not call violent. And each state varies.
The premise is good, but this needs to be a state decision, not Federal.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#7

Post by A-R » Fri May 21, 2010 9:41 am

This will be an even less popular opinion, most likely. But this is where some limited amount of "judicial discretion" is very helpful. Or, write the law better in the first place so judges don't need to use discretion.

But I absolutely agree that if you EVER resort to physical violence (beyond mere spankings of course) against a spouse or minor child, you have lost your RKBA right IMHO. I say "minor child" because I can forsee (and have seen) some very limited instances when physical altercations between a father and an older teen-age child may be unavoidable. If my teenager won't put down the crack pipe or insists on driving when I know he/she is drunk, I will physically restrain him/her.

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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#8

Post by Crossfire » Fri May 21, 2010 9:52 am

Let me say right up front - I have no use for any man who would use his superior physical strength to harm a woman or a child. The problem is, this umbrella law covers much more than that.

I know a middle aged man who cannot get a CHL or purchase a firearm from an FFL because, at the age of 17, he got into a fight with his father, and his mother called the police. He was convicted of misdemeanor assault and paid a fine. He has since grown up, gotten over his teenage angst, reconciled with his father, and is a fine upstanding citizen. But he still is haunted by his "domestic violence" conviction.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#9

Post by Rex B » Fri May 21, 2010 9:57 am

There have been people here who have reported that back when they were young and stupid and in a bad relationship, a vindictive partner had called the police in and made accusations. The accused pled nolo contendre and paid a minimal fine, following the easy route to get on with life. After all, it was just a misdemeanor, like a traffic ticket except your insurance doesn't go up. Perhaps this was even before the federal law referenced, which applied retroactively. So now, he can't pass a NICS check and can be made to forfeit any firearms he may own. Most don't realize that by accepting a convition on a seemingly unrelated misdemeanor, they pay a penalty normally reserved for felony convicts.
Too broad a brush, should be a state/local decision.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#10

Post by A-R » Fri May 21, 2010 10:03 am

Not necessarily disagreeing with all that say should be state/local decision, but why would that automatically fix this problem? Wouldn't states like California, New York, and Massachusetts just continue to parrot this law in their own local laws (like they do every other gun-related law - heck, it's still illegal to have an 11-round magazine in these states).

Rather than dump this bad law onto states to fix, the Feds should be required to revoke it or correct it so it doesn't negatively affect the 2A rights of people with minor youthful indescretions. Furthermore, it should include the potential for reinstatement of 2A rights after sufficient time has passed and a review board deems a person fit to resume "normal life". These are after all misdemeanors - we're not talking about felons here.


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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#11

Post by Rex B » Fri May 21, 2010 10:10 am

That makes sense, except that I'm generally against Federal laws that do not have a strict constitutional basis, and firearms regulation under the Commerce clause does not have that basis.

Beyond that, those other states can do what they think best for their citizens. I don't have to live there.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#12

Post by Mike1951 » Fri May 21, 2010 1:37 pm

The intent of the law was never to punish domestic violence. Rather, its sole purpose was to further gun control.

They could have passed legislation making domestic violence a felony and thereby using gun restrictions already in place.

Judicial discretion could have reduced offenses to misdemeaners, where appropriate, with no gun restrictions.

The domestic violence legislation crossed a very dangerous threshold, where you had a Constitutional right surrendered for a misdemeanor.
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#13

Post by Rex B » Fri May 21, 2010 1:57 pm

Mike, you stated that better than I was able to, thanks
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Re: 7th Circuit ruling - domestic violence gun ban

#14

Post by A-R » Fri May 21, 2010 2:07 pm

Rex B wrote:Mike, you stated that better than I was able to, thanks
:iagree:

said it better than I could, not speaking for Rex B's writing prowess ;-)

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