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September 3, 2010

Seventh Circuit rejects Second Amendment arguments against § 922(g)(3)

Today through its decision in US v. Yancey, No. 09-1138 (7th Cir. Sept. 3, 2010) (available here), a Seventh Circuit panel provides yet another example of the disinclination of lower courts to extend the reach or applicability of the Supreme Court's Second Amendment work in Heller. Here is the start and end of the per curiam Yancey opinion:

Matthew Yancey pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as an unlawful user of marijuana but reserved the right to argue on appeal that the offense of conviction, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), violates the Second Amendment as interpreted in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008).  We conclude that the statute is constitutional and affirm Yancey’s conviction....

In sum, we find that Congress acted within constitutional bounds by prohibiting illegal drug users from firearm possession because it is substantially related to the important governmental interest in preventing violent crime.

September 3, 2010 at 03:47 PM | Permalink


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I wish folks would acknowledge that the current distinction between felonies and misdemeanors, in the age of grid sentencing, has no meaning. The distinction, like the emperor, has no clothes.


Posted by: bruce cunningham | Sep 4, 2010 8:52:17 AM

Just curious, the hypothetical guy who shouts fire in a crowded theater, does he, by this reasoning, lose his free speech rights after doing time for injuries suffered by folks in the theater? Technically he seems more of a threat to public safety than one whose crimes were possessing a gun and some drugs at the same time.

Couldn't agree more with Bruce on the felony/misdemeanor distinction. Pre-Nixon/Reagan felons wouldn't recognize as one of their own fully half or more of the folks we call felons these days.

Posted by: John K | Sep 4, 2010 9:29:27 AM

This seems an easier case than some & it is a fairly well reasoned opinion at that.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 4, 2010 2:18:20 PM

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