Banning someone from buying a gun while under felony indictment goes against their Second Amendment right to bear arms, a federal judge in Texas ruled Monday.
“There are no illusions about this case’s real-world consequences—certainly valid public policy and safety concerns exist,” U.S. District Judge David Counts, a Trump appointee, wrote in his decision.
Counts cited a June Supreme Court decision, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen, in which the justices rolled back concealed-carry permit restrictions for gun owners in New York state.
Counts’ opinion relied heavily on the framework set out by the high court in Bruen, saying that it was unclear after that ruling “whether a statute preventing a person under indictment from receiving a firearm aligns with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
“No longer can courts balance away a constitutional right. After Bruen, the Government must prove that laws regulating conduct covered by the Second Amendment’s plain text align with this Nation’s historical tradition. The Government does not meet that burden,” Counts found.
This complies with due process. If a person is not convicted, they can certainly exercise other rights. It stands to reason that the 2nd Amendment shouldn’t be precluded.
It is unclear to me if a judge could make a prohibition to purchase firearms a condition of parole. It seems that it would be a way for a judge to lay this restriction on defendants who have a history of, and/or are accused of violent crimes, while still providing them due process. The problem with a blanket prohibition is that it is arbitrary and does not distinguish between violent felonies and white-collar felonies.