Driving under the influence never is a good idea. It is
especially bad if the potential jail sentence leads to a loss of your Second
Turns out, the federal government does not let people buy
firearms after they are convicted of “serious” crimes. The federal government
says any crime that carries an at-least two-year jail sentence is a “serious”
A Pennsylvania man challenged a recent denial of a gun
purchase based on a DUI conviction 12 years prior. The man, Raymond Holloway
Jr., pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in 2005 and spent 90 days in jail.
The charge, though, carried a maximum sentence of five
years imprisonment as a first-degree misdemeanor. Holloway was not sentenced
for five years or even two, which is the federal threshold.
Any crime that triggers a jail sentence of two or more
years is considered serious by federal standards. Apparently, that applies even
if you are not sentenced to two years in jail. The potential for a maximum
sentence exceeding the threshold is enough.
Holloway challenged the denial of his gun purchase in
federal court – and won! U.S. Middle District Court Chief Judge Christopher C.
Connor agreed Holloway’s Second Amendment right to bear arms was violated and
overturned the gun sale ban.
The area’s regional U.S. attorney, ATF, and FBI appealed
the decision. A divided Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal law
and refused to grant his Second Amendment rights based on a misdemeanor
conviction for DUI.
So, even a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence
exceeding two years – even when not imposed, amounts to a serious crime in
federal parlance. That crime could cause you to lose your gun rights, as
affirmed by a federal appeals court.
If anti-gunners get ahold of that information, expect more
maximum sentences to be extended for DUIs and other commonly committed
misdemeanors. Certainly, no one who drinks and drives should carry a firearm
while doing so. Getting convicted of a DUI does not mean you are a menace to
society for life though.
Holloway had another DUI charge in 2003 but pleaded it
down and completed an alcohol-Rehab program. Apparently, it didn’t
take. He pleaded guilty to DUI at the highest penalty rate in Pennsylvania two
Despite more than a decade transpiring with no problems
after the 2005 DUI conviction for which he was sentenced to 90 days in jail,
Holloway still cannot buy a firearm. Apparently, that ban extends anywhere he
lives, because it is a federal law.
A dissenting opinion in the majority ruling pointed out an
obvious problem. State penalties differ widely for the same action. A DUI in
one state might not trigger a two-year jail term. In such a case, no one there
would lose gun rights due to a conviction. That same conviction in Pennsylvania
might cause you to lose your gun rights.
The real danger to
gun owners is in states controlled by anti-gunners, like in Virginia or Nevada.
If the anti-gunners decide to increase maximum penalties for misdemeanors, it
would be another way to circumvent the Second Amendment and erode your gun
The post Man Sues to Restore Second Amendment Rights After Misdemeanor Conviction Strips Him of Guns appeared first on American gun news.
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