April 29, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dashed the future of three Americans who had hoped the high court would side with them in their fight to retain their right to keep and bear arms after convictions for nonviolent crimes.
By not hearing three separate challenges in Holloway v. Garland, Folajtar v. Garland, and Flick v. Garland, the high court left in place a series of lower court rulings that prohibited people convicted of such crimes as selling counterfeit cassette tapes and making false statements on tax returns from owning a firearm.
According to a report at AmericanMilitaryNews.com, one of the cases involved a Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in 2005. In another, a Pennsylvania woman who pleaded guilty to making a false statement on her tax returns sued over the ban. A man who pleaded guilty to counterfeiting and smuggling cassettes in the 1980s also challenged the lifetime ban on firearms ownership.
The federal law being challenged by the plaintiffs prohibits the possession of guns by anyone convicted of crimes punishable by more than one year in prison.
Adam Kraut, senior director for legal operations for the Firearms Policy Coalition, said his organization was disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the trio of cases.
“While we are disappointed the Supreme Court chose to allow grossly improper lower court rulings to stand, FPC will continue our aggressive litigation strategy and immediately move forward to litigate new challenges in various circuits to address serious constitutional questions including the proper test for Second Amendment cases, unconstitutional lifetime bans and other restrictions not supported by history, tradition or evidence,” Kraut said in a released statement.
The court’s decision to not hear the case left what many see as a grave injustice unremedied. Nobody loses their First Amendment rights for a perjury conviction. In fact, most rights are restorable after a “debt to society” is considered paid for nonviolent offenses.
However, the Second Amendment is treated differently, and those on the anti-gun side of the freedom debate seem quite happy to see gun owners lose their rights and never have them restored, no matter how nonviolent their crime.
On Monday the Supreme Court did, however, agree to hear a critical Second Amendment case that challenges New York’s ultra-restrictive requirements for residents seeking a concealed carry permit for self-defense purposes.
That case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, is focused on New York’s refusal to grant concealed carry permits to law-abiding citizens without them having to show “proper cause.” NYSRPA contends that New York’s refusal to grant carry permits to law-abiding residents simply on the basis of self-defense violates the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.