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March 2, 2010

Interesting Third Circuit gun forfeiture case involving the Eighth Amendment

Though the major gun buzz today is all about the Supreme Court's consideration of the Second Amendment's impact on Chicago's gun ban, a panel of the Third Circuit today has an interesting ruling involving guns and the Eighth Amendment in US v. Cheeseman, No. No. 09-1756 (3d Cir. Mar. 2, 2010) (available here).  Here is how it starts:
Appellant, James L. Cheeseman, pled guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), which criminalizes possession of firearms and ammunition by an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance. He appeals from the District Court’s judgment directing the forfeiture of over 600 firearms and ammunition enumerated in Count I of the indictment to which he pled guilty.  Cheeseman raises two arguments on appeal.  He first contends that forfeiture pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(d)(1) was improper because the property was neither “involved in” nor “used in” a knowing violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).  Alternatively, Cheeseman argues that forfeiture of his property violates the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. Because we find that the firearms and ammunition specifically identified in Count I of the indictment were involved in Appellant’s § 922(g)(3) violation, and because we conclude that the forfeiture of Cheeseman’s property was not grossly disproportionate to the gravity of the § 922(g)(3) offense, we will affirm the District Court’s Order of Forfeiture.

March 2, 2010 at 03:36 PM | Permalink


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922(g)(3) has got to be unconstitutional after Heller. If it isnt then Heller is truly an empty shell.

Posted by: KRG def attny | Mar 3, 2010 10:55:27 AM

If not Heller what about Bond? The states and the People have never had a better opportunity than now to restore Constitutional government. Do we believe in the 9th and 10th Amendments any more?

Posted by: Cody | Apr 23, 2012 1:30:38 PM


Posted by: Cody | Apr 23, 2012 1:33:27 PM

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