The U.S. Supreme Court came down with a decision in March that effectively expands the base of people prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms in this country. In a unanimous decision in the case U.S. v. Castleman, the Court ruled that the law banning possession of firearms by anyone ever convicted of any crime of violence against a spouse or significant other – often referred to as the Lautenberg law – applies not only to crimes labeled as “Domestic Violence” or to such crimes that involve what an average person would consider actual violence, but also to things like pushing, shoving, or grabbing, even when no harm was intended and no injury sustained.
Many states have intentionally drawn a distinction between minor contact among family members during an argument and violence intended to harm, intimidate, or control. Those states’ common-sense approach to the matter has now been overruled by the Court, and convictions for charges like simple assault in cases like a woman slapping a cheating spouse, or a man pushing his way out the door to get away from an argument, will now include the mandatory loss of firearm rights for life – even if the incident occurred decades ago.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Shove a spouse, lose a gun
I mentioned last month this US Supreme Court decision. Jeff Knox writes about it: