In Silvester v. Harris, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a California law requiring a 10-day waiting period for all firearm purchases, as applied to purchasers who already own a firearm and concealed carry permit holders. The plaintiffs argued that they should be able to possess their purchased firearm as soon as their background check is completed. The government argued that the 10-day waiting period provides a much needed “cooling off” period, even when the purchaser already owns a firearm. [Read More]
On November 8th, voters approved recreational marijuana initiatives in California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada, and medicinal marijuana initiatives in Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas (Montanans voted to roll back already existing medical marijuana restrictions). 28 states and the District of Columbia have now passed laws legalizing the medicinal and/or recreational use of marijuana.
Meanwhile, Americans set a record in each of the last 18 months for the number of National Instant Criminal Background Check System firearm background checks processed, which is the most accurate indicator of the number of firearm sales (because nearly all sales by federally licensed firearm dealers require a background check, as do many private sales). This year almost certainly will surpass 2015 as the year with the most firearm background checks ever.
Thus, legal marijuana use and firearm ownership are likely both at all-time highs. However, since federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3)) makes it a felony for an “unlawful user of … any controlled substance” to “possess … any firearm,” and since marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, it is a felony for a user of marijuana to possess a firearm. [Read More]
In Tyler v. Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department, the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opened the door for persons who have previously been involuntarily committed to regain their Second Amendment rights. [Read More]
In Murphy v. Guerrero, the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands addressed a host of Second Amendment challenges. Chief Judge Ramona Manglona, an Obama appointee who earlier this year struck down the last remaining handgun ban in a United States jurisdiction, struck down the following laws: a registration requirement, an “assault weapons” ban, a caliber restriction, a public carry ban, and a $1,000 excise tax. Judge Manglona upheld the following laws: a licensing requirement, a storage requirement, and a “large-capacity magazine” ban. [Read More]
On June 9, 2016, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its highly publicized, and highly scrutinized, decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego. In its decision, the court clumsily mischaracterized the issue and ignored the complete ban on bearing arms facing the plaintiffs, instead determining only that a concealed carry ban in isolation is constitutional. While the court’s holding was indeed supported by substantial precedent, it failed to even address the argument presented by the plaintiffs—that the Second Amendment protects the right to publicly bear arms in some manner, whether openly or concealed. Thus, after 7 years of litigation, the plaintiffs’ dispute remains completely unresolved. Here is a quick update on what has happened since. [Read More]