Chicago judge finds ban on guns for felon unconstitutional in controversial ruling

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

Source.

In a ruling that seems fated to find its way before the U.S. Supreme Court, a judge in Illinois has recently found that the gun rights of a felon convicted of multiple armed robberies are protected by the Second Amendment.

[ … ]

The finding from U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman was issued on Nov. 2 and stems from a case involving Illinois resident Glen Price. Price, 37, allegedly brandished a gun and robbed someone on a train in September 2021. Police said he stole a cellphone and a train fare card too. When police arrested him, they found a 9 mm gun in his possession, cocaine, ammunition and a stolen credit card.

Price was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm since he already had a criminal record featuring no less than three felony convictions for armed robbery and one conviction for aggravated battery of a police officer.

“Although there are strong policy reasons for doing everything possible to keep guns off our streets and out of our communities, this court can find no such historical analogue,” Gettleman wrote.

Bruen, the judge reasoned, required courts to deem whether a statute dispossessing someone of their right to own a gun posed a “comparable burden” on the right to bear arms itself.

The judge wrote:

“Although the historical record … demonstrates this nation’s tradition of ‘comparably justified’ categorical dispossession statutes, the government has failed to meet its burden of providing evidence of a dispossession statute with a ‘comparable burden’ to § 922(g)(1). Specifically, this court is not persuaded that the government has met its burden to show a ‘distinctly similar or even a relevantly similar’ historical analogue to 922(g)(1)’s permanent prohibition on firearm possession by felons which can only be lifted by expungement, federal pardon or other method of restoring civil rights that lifts the underlying offense from a conviction …”

By failing to provide felons with any means to repair their lost gun rights, there is a “far greater burden on the right to keep and bear arms,” Gettleman found, “than the historical categorical exclusions from the people’s Second Amendment rights.”

“The government has not demonstrated why the modern ubiquity of gun violence, and the heightened lethality of today’s firearm technology compared to the Founding, justify a different result. This nation’s gun violence problem is devastating, but does not change this result under Bruen which this court finds rests on the severity of § 922(g)(1) rather than its categorical prohibition,” he wrote.

I suspect that this is a disingenuous ruling.  That same judge would likely find ownership of semiautomatic rifles unconstitutional.

You see what’s happening, don’t you?  They’re trying to force the SCOTUS to review their Bruen test of historical analogues.  I suspect it won’t work.  I suspect that the supreme court will do is allow confiscation of firearms in cases of violent crimes and disallow confiscation of firearms for non-violent felons, and say that it all comports with Heller and Bruen.

Anyway, if you apply Biblical law, I see no problem whatsoever.  As I’ve said so many times before, I don’t believe in the rehabilitative power or authority of the state.  The Scriptures give no such authority to the state, only to the family and church.  Further, since the Scriptures give no such authority to the state, that implies that the state has no power or tools to effect rehabilitation.

With the Holy Writ, I believe in retribution and restitution.  Retribution for violent crimes against others (the death penalty for murder, rape and kidnapping), and imprisonment to the offended party to repay debts two or three-fold.  If you advocate incarceration of criminals who owe debts to offended parties while they work off their debts for repayment to the offended parties, I’m okay with that.

But no one owes a debt to society or the government writ large.  Debts are always to individuals.

Alas, we don’t follow the Scriptures in America.

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  1. On November 24, 2023 at 1:17 pm, Latigo Morgan said:

    I’ve always maintained that if an individual is too dangerous to be trusted with a firearm, then they are too dangerous to be allowed in society at large. Either they are incarcerated, or executed.

    It wasn’t that long ago that when prisoners had served their time, their guns were returned to them along with their personal belongings. A felony should not result in a lifetime punishment unless it is life in prison.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Second Amendment and was published November 17th, 2023 by Herschel Smith.

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