Monday, December 22, 2014

U.S. Appeals Court Expands Gun Rights

In the first legal ruling of its type, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati on Thursday deemed unconstitutional a federal law that kept a Michigan man who was briefly committed to a mental institution decades ago from owning a gun.
Gerald Crawford prepared for target practice at Action 
Impact gun range in Southfield, Mich., in 2011. A U.S. 
appeals court ruled Thursday that Charles Tyler, a Michigan 
man committed to a mental institution decades ago, could 
buy guns. Detroit Free Press/AP
A three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the federal ban on gun ownership for anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution” violated the Second Amendment rights of Clifford Charles Tyler, a 73-year-old Hillsdale County man.
“The government’s interest in keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill is not sufficiently related to depriving the mentally healthy, who had a distant episode of commitment, of their constitutional rights,” wrote Judge Danny Boggs, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, for the panel.
Lucas McCarthy, Mr. Tyler’s lawyer, called the ruling “a forceful decision to protect Second Amendment rights,” and said he hoped it that it would have “a significant impact on the jurisprudence in the area of gun rights.”
The Justice Department didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The decision is the first by a federal appeals court to deem unconstitutional a federal gun law since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 ruling, called D.C. v. Heller. The Heller ruling, in which the court struck down the Washington, D.C., ban on firearms ownership, represented the Supreme Court’s first foray in decades into the scope of the Second Amendment.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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