Attorneys for Hunter Biden will reportedly cite pro-Second Amendment court rulings, including from the Supreme Court, in an effort to avoid a potential federal gun charge, according to Breitbart.
Biden is alleged to have made a false statement on a federal gun purchase form, ATF Form 4473, in 2018 with regard to his admitted drug use at that time, and could be charged with a federal felony crime that could result in up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The reported plan for his attorneys to cite several recent pro-gun rights court decisions to avoid a criminal charge would put the first son squarely at odds with his decidedly anti-gun rights father, President Joe Biden, and represents the height of irony as well as hypocrisy.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that a years-long federal investigation of Hunter Biden under U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware is said to be nearing a conclusion and could soon result in a criminal indictment against the president's son for certain tax law violations and the false statement on the gun purchase form.
In order to avoid that gun charge, however, Biden's attorneys have reportedly informed federal prosecutors that they intend to cite the landmark 2022 Supreme Court Bruen ruling, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, which struck down a restrictive New York concealed carry law and, in the process, greatly expanded gun rights by establishing a new constitutionality "test" for Second Amendment cases that is centered on comparing current restrictions on gun rights with the nation's historical tradition of minimal gun laws.
When that ruling was issued in June 2022, President Biden said he was "deeply disappointed" by what he viewed as a decision that "contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all."
Yet, Hunter Biden's attorneys have suggested that Bruen, or more specifically two recent lower court decisions that stemmed from Bruen, would render prosecution on the gun charge moot as the underlying statute that bars gun possession for drug users is likely unconstitutional.
One of the cases being cited by Hunter Biden's attorneys comes out of Oklahoma and involves a man, Jared Michael Harrison, who was charged with being in possession of both a gun and marijuana, which ran afoul of the federal prohibition against gun possession by drug users, according to the Associated Press.
The federal judge in that case disagreed with federal prosecutors who argued that the man's marijuana usage "justifies stripping him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm" and instead ruled in February that the federal statute "is not a constitutionally permissible means of disarming Harrison," and further noted that "the mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation supports."
Also in February, and also being cited by Biden's attorneys, is a pending gun rights case in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals -- which includes Delaware -- that involves a challenge against the federal prohibition of gun possession by individuals convicted of non-violent offenses, according to Reuters.
In that case, a Pennsylvania man named Bryan Range, who was convicted in 1995 of welfare fraud in the amount of around $2,500, has argued that historically only dangerous and violent individuals were barred from possessing weapons and, "Under Bruen, Bryan Range's non-dangerous misdemeanor offense cannot disqualify him from exercising his 2nd Amendment rights."
Federal prosecutors, however, argued that any display of "disrespect for the rule of law," including a conviction for any non-violent criminal offense, was sufficient to bar an individual from lawfully possessing firearms for the rest of their lives.
The New York Times noted that there are dozens of other lawsuits across the country at various stages of litigation that stem from the Bruen ruling and seek to end a slew of different federal infringements upon the Second Amendment, several of which could also potentially be cited by Hunter Biden's attorneys in his defense.
As for the 3rd Circuit case on non-violent offenders, a decision there is expected within the next few weeks and months, while the Oklahoma drug use case is stalled at the district court level pending an expected appeal by federal prosecutors.