Federal Court Rules Nonviolent Misdemeanor Crimes Cannot Strip Firearms Rights

    Argued June 1st, the Third Circuit of the Court of Appeals has issued a decision on cases Binderup v. the U.S. Attorney General and Suarez v. the U.S. Attorney General. In short, the 11 judge panel rules that the Government cannot deny 2nd Amendment rights to those convicted of state-level non-violent misdemeanors. Previously established interpretations of Federal law stripped the two men of their 2nd Amendment rights, as those convicted of misdemeanors that can be punished with two or more years in prison were then prohibited persons.

    Their crimes? Binderup was convicted of “corrupting a minor” (up to five years in prison) and Suraez was convicted of carrying a firearm without a license (up to three years). Both plaintiffs received only minor punishment, including probation or deferred sentences and a small fine. Since their convictions, both are crime-free and it was reported that one even received a “Secret” clearance.

    What is surprising in the ruling is that the entire panel of 11 judges overruled the lower courts’ decision. While some judges dissented, the ruling is significant legal victory for the plaintiffs and those in similar legal circumstances.

    The case was chaired by Alan Gura. Gura is well-known within the firearms legal community for his success in arguing both the McDonald and Heller cases which currently confirm the rights of citizens to own firearms.

    The lengthy decision is available here. 

    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

    The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.