Friday, January 17th, the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that would make owning a gun illegal to some people who have DUIs.
The ruling hinges on the federal government’s definition of a “serious crime.” Under federal law, a serious crime is one that carries a state prison sentence of two or more years.
Raymond Holloway filed a lawsuit against the U.S. attorney general, the FBI, and other officials after he was unable to buy a firearm due to a DUI he received in 2005. This was his second DUI at twice the legal limit. A second DUI at twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries up to a five-year prison sentence.
Judge Patty Shwartz noted a prior Supreme Court ruling that described drunk drivers as “the most dangerous offenders.” specifically referring to those that have blood alcohol content much higher than the legal limit and those who chronically drive under the influence.
“Thus,” she wrote, “all branches of the federal government agree that DUIs are dangerous, and those who present danger may be disarmed.”
This 2-1 decision struck down a lower court ruling that deemed Shwartz crime as “a non-serious crime.”
Judge D. Michael Fisher wrote the decanting opinion. He wrote that “serious” is not the same when referring to disarming citizens as it is in its normal context.
There will undoubtedly be appeals moving forward. Follow The Hunting News on Facebook for all the latest updates.