You have a constitutional right to have a gun, unless you are convicted of a felony. In a horrible federal feminist overreach, Congress made it illegal to have a gun after a mere misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. Complications from this stupid law keep going to the high courts.
NPR Radio reports:
The justices ruled unanimously that people convicted of minor domestic violence offenses are barred under federal law from possessing a gun, even though some states do not require proof of physical force for conviction on domestic violence charges.This case turned on the definition of "physical force", and did not address the bigger issues.
James Alvin Castleman challenged his federal indictment for illegal gun possession. Backed by gun rights groups, he contended that his previous Tennessee conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence was not serious enough to disqualify him from possessing a gun because state law did not require proof of physical force.
The Supreme Court rejected the argument. Writing for the court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor acknowledged that minor uses of force may not constitute "violence" in the generic sense. But, she said, context is everything in domestic violence cases. Thus, a squeeze that causes a bruise to the arm may not normally be described as violence but "an act of this nature is easy to describe as 'domestic violence' when the accumulation of such acts over time can subject one's intimate partner to the other's control."
And if a "seemingly minor act like this draws the attention of authorities and leads to a successful prosecution for a misdemeanor offense," she continued, it qualifies as a crime of domestic violence.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia agreed with the ruling in Castleman's case, but took issue with Sotomayor's broader definition of physical force.
The court's ruling Wednesday is considered important because many states, like Tennessee, have domestic violence misdemeanor laws that make it a crime to threaten or cause bodily injury, without proof of physical violence. Sotomayor noted that "domestic violence often escalates in severity over time, and the presence of a firearm increases the likelihood that it will escalate to homicide. That was the rationale for Congress passing the law making it a crime for anyone convicted of domestic violence to possess a gun.
Meanwhile a California Democrat Chinese-American anti-gun child psychologist state senator was arrested:
A longtime California politician who was praised for his efforts to make government more transparent and authored gun control legislation was arrested Wednesday, accused of conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud.I don't know what to make of this. It confirms some of my prejudices about hypocritical corrupt politicians and child psychologists.
The allegations against State Sen. Leland Yee were outlined in an FBI affidavit in support of a criminal complaint against him and 25 other people. The affidavit was unsealed on Wednesday, as Yee was scheduled to appear in court.
Yee performed "official acts" in exchange for donations from undercover FBI agents, as he sought to dig himself out of a $70,000 debt incurred during a failed San Francisco mayoral bid, according to court documents.
Yee is also accused of accepting $10,000 in January 2013 from an undercover agent in exchange for his making a call to the California Department of Public Health in support of a contract under consideration with the agency.