Judge says ban on gun purchases by those under indictment is unconstitutional

A federal judge in Texas ruled this week that Americans have a right to purchase firearms even if they are under a felony indictment.  

According to the Daily Caller, that decision came on Monday from U.S. District Judge David Counts in a case involving Jose Gomez Quiroz, a man who bought a gun after being indicted for burglary and bail jumping.

The defendant was under indictment

“Although not exhaustive, the Court’s historical survey finds little evidence that … [the federal ban] – which prohibits those under felony indictment from obtaining a firearm – aligns with this Nation’s historical tradition,” Counts wrote.

“[T]he Government must prove that laws regulating conduct covered by the Second Amendment’s plain text align with this Nation’s historical tradition. The Government does not meet that burden,” he continued.

A new standard

When crafting his ruling, Counts cited the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.

In that case, the Court found that laws which require applicants to demonstrate they have good cause to be issued a permit to carry a concealed firearm are unconstitutional.

What’s more, Justice Clarence Thomas laid out a new standard under which the constitutionality of gun laws is to be judged, writing, “[W]hen the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.”

“The government must then justify its regulation by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” Thomas continued.

Historical distinction

He concluded by saying, “Only then may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified command.'”

Counts argued that there has always been a distinction between the rights of an individual convicted of a crime and someone who has merely been indicted for one.

“[U]nlike the historical tradition of excluding felons or violent actors from the rights of ‘the people,’ little evidence supports excluding those under indictment in any context,” he stated.

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