Third Circuit Will Consider En Banc Whether Nonviolent Felons Lose Second Amendment Rights

The panel opinion, which has now been vacated (as is always done when the court agrees to hear a case en banc) is here (Range v. Attorney General); here’s a quick summary of the result of that panel opinion:

Based on history and tradition, we conclude that “the people” constitutionally entitled to bear arms are the “law-abiding, responsible citizens” of the polity, a category that properly excludes those who have demonstrated disregard for the rule of law through the commission of felony and felony-equivalent offenses, whether or not those crimes are violent. Additionally, we conclude that even if Range [who had pleaded guilty in 1995 to a state felony-equivalent charge of welfare fraud] falls within “the people,” the Government has met its burden to demonstrate that its prohibition is consistent with historical tradition.

The entire Third Circuit will now consider the matter. Note that Firearms Policy Coalition, for whom I have consulted in the past on other matters, was an amicus in support of Range at the panel hearing stage; but I was not involved in this case.

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