Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Ninth Circuit Panel Grants Second Amendment Rights to Some Felons

Ninth Circuit Panel Concludes That Some Felons May Have Second Amendment Rights

On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit panel issued a ruling stating that a universal prohibition on convicted felons owning firearms violates their Second Amendment rights, especially concerning nonviolent offenders who have served their sentences.

This decision arose from the case of Steve Duarte, a Los Angeles gang member with five previous felony convictions, who was found guilty of being a “felon-in-possession.” In a split decision, the panel overturned Duarte’s firearm possession conviction.

U.S. Circuit Judge Carlos Bea, writing for the majority, emphasized the need for the government to demonstrate a historical tradition supporting the categorical prohibition on individuals like Duarte possessing firearms.

Bea pointed out that such a prohibition would not have existed during the time of the Founding Fathers, as Duarte’s offenses would have been considered misdemeanors or may not have existed at all in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Ninth Circuit Panel Concludes That Some Felons May Have Second Amendment Rights

The majority opinion clarified that the decision was not based on the belief that felons should not be prohibited from possessing firearms but rather on the constitutional protection of Second Amendment rights. U.S. Circuit Judge Lawrence VanDyke joined Bea in the majority opinion.

In dissent, U.S. District Judge Milan Smith Jr. argued that the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen did not invalidate existing Ninth Circuit law and emphasized that the Second Amendment right belongs only to law-abiding citizens.

This ruling marks a departure from previous Ninth Circuit law and differs from the stance of many other circuits. However, it aligns with a similar decision made by the Third Circuit in Range v. Attorney General last year, according to legal expert Eugene Volokh.

The majority opinion left open the possibility of prohibiting felons convicted of violent crimes from owning firearms after completing their sentences. Bea suggested that offenses traditionally punished with severe penalties in the 18th and 19th centuries might warrant a permanent loss of Second Amendment rights.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, which defended Duarte’s conviction, declined to comment on the ruling. However, Volokh anticipates that federal prosecutors will likely request an en banc review by the Ninth Circuit, considering the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s upcoming Rahimi case, which deals with similar Second Amendment issues related to domestic violence restraining orders.

Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

We’re dedicated to providing you the most authenticated news. We’re working to turn our passion for the political industry into a booming online news portal.

You May Also Like


Actress Emma D’Arcy is from the British rebellion. She has only appeared in a small number of movies and TV shows. It might be...


Jennifer Coolidge Is Pregnant: Jennifer Coolidge Audrey Coolidge is a comedian and actress from the United States. Many of her followers are wondering if...


Spoilers! The demon Akaza from Kimetsu no Yaiba dies in the eleventh arc of the manga and the one responsible for his death is...


The young YouTube star Emily Canham has recently been seen making headlines for her amazing work and her journey. She started from scratch and...