New Laws and Recent Court Rulings Address Firearm Ownership Rights

 Posted on July 17,2023 in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-37.jpgFirearm rights and gun control are hotly contested issues in the United States. Gun owners believe in protecting people's Second Amendment right to bear arms, while others are seeking to implement reasonable reforms that are meant to prevent gun violence and deaths. The laws surrounding firearm possession are constantly changing, with court decisions being issued that address people's rights and new laws being passed that may place restrictions on gun owners. By staying abreast of these changes, firearm owners and those who may face criminal charges related to weapons possession can protect their rights and determine how to address accusations that they have violated the law.

Court Ruling Addresses Firearm Ownership by Convicted Felons

The laws of the United States generally prohibit the possession of firearms by people who have been convicted of felonies or other offenses that are punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year. However, some have challenged this restriction, arguing that it should not apply to people who have been convicted of non-violent crimes. A recent decision by an appeals court in Pennsylvania addressed this issue.

In the case in question, a man had been prevented from buying a firearm due to a conviction for welfare fraud. While the maximum penalty for this offense was five years in prison, the man only received probation. He filed a lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania, arguing that his gun rights should be restored because he was not convicted of a violent crime. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in his favor.

The majority opinion stated that following the Supreme Court's decision in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the government must provide a justification for restricting a person's right to possess a firearm, and since there was no indication that the man in this case was likely to engage in violence, his gun rights should be restored. While this decision could potentially play a role in other cases involving weapons possession, the opinion stated that it would only apply in cases involving people convicted of non-violent crimes with relatively lengthy prison sentences.

Connecticut Passes Gun Control Reform Law

In an effort to prevent gun violence, Connecticut lawmakers recently passed a bill that puts several reforms in place. This law prohibits the open carry of handguns in public, although it still allows people to carry firearms when they are in their own homes or businesses. It restricts people from purchasing more than three handguns per month, which is meant to prevent "straw purchases" of guns that are then sold or transferred to others. "Ghost guns" that are constructed from individually purchased parts or created using 3D printers must now be registered.

The law has also increased the penalties that apply if a person fails to report a stolen firearm. The loss or theft of a firearm must be reported to the local police department within 72 hours. A person who fails to do so may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense or a Class C felony for a second or subsequent offense.

Contact Our Connecticut Weapons Charges Lawyer

As the laws related to guns and other weapons change, firearm owners will need to be aware of the potential issues that could lead to criminal charges. At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, our Hartford criminal defense attorney provides representation for people who have been charged with weapons offenses or other related crimes. We work to protect the rights of gun owners and other defendants, and we can help determine the best defense strategies that will allow a person to avoid a conviction or other penalties that could affect their ability to possess weapons. Contact us today at 860-290-8690 for a free consultation.


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