The United States Supreme Court has ruled in a 6-2 vote that individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse can lose the right to purchase or own firearms. According to the majority opinion in the case of Voisine v. United States, written by Justice Elena Kagan, misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient enough to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession.
The plaintiffs, Stephen Voisine and William Armstrong of Maine, had both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges after slapping or shoving their romantic partners. Several years later, both were found in possession of firearms and ammunition in violation of a federal law affecting convicted domestic abusers. The plaintiffs appealed this ban, claiming that they should not be subject to the ban since their misdemeanor cases were not for intentional abuse, but rather for reckless conduct.
After being rejected by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the plaintiff’s appeal. Five justices agreed with Kagan’s opinion, with only Justices Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting.
The case has drawn considerable attention in light of the increased push for gun control, especially to limit the ability for individuals with past criminal convictions to purchase firearms. At least 34 states and the District of Columbia have similar domestic abuse laws, leading to the ban being adopted on a federal level.
Charged with Domestic Violence? Call (305) 330-1976
Given the gravity of this decision, if you have been accused of domestic violence, it is imperative you retain the services of a powerful attorney as soon as possible to protect your freedom and constitutional right to own and bear arms. Having defended more than 3,000 clients since 1992, I, Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Jonathan Blecher, can provide the aggressive representation you need to minimize your chances of conviction.
Schedule an initial case review today to discuss your legal options in full detail.