According to a recent California Court of Appeals ruling, anyone who is convicted of domestic violence in California will receive a permanent federal lifetime ban on possessing a gun. Under the ruling, you could be barred from possessing a gun for any offensive touching during a domestic violence incident, even if it did not cause physical injury. 1
The decision surrounds the case of a man who was convicted of misdemeanor battery against his wife. Years later, the man attempted to buy a gun but was turned down due to his domestic violence conviction.
Firearms Ban Applies to Non-Violent Attacks
In 1996, Scott James, of Tulare County, plead no contest to misdemeanor battery under California Penal Code Section 242. He was placed on probation for two years.
James applied to be a reserve deputy sheriff in 2008 but was denied after a background check was performed and James learned the State of California considered his 1996 conviction to be a domestic violence conviction. In 2011, he attempted to purchase a firearm, but his application was denied on the same ground: he had previously been convicted of a domestic violence offense.
Claiming that the crime he admitted to did not involve violence and did not cause physical injury on the victim, James sued.
Citing a U.S. Supreme Court case from May of this year that clarified a 1996 law extending the federal firearms ban to those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, the Court of Appeals ruled that the ban on firearms possession applies to all spousal battery cases.
Before 1996, federal law only applied the ban to felonies, but spousal battery cases are often prosecuted as misdemeanors. The recent Supreme Court ruling said that the ban should not only apply to anyone who injures their spouse, but could also apply to anyone convicted of a misdemeanor depending on each state’s definition of the crime.
Protect Your Second Amendment Rights
The court’s unnecessarily harsh ruling steps on the constitutional rights of citizens and defines domestic violence too broadly. Crimes that do not actually involve violence should not be classified in the same way as crimes that involve physical injury.
While this case will undoubtedly make its way to higher courts, including potentially the U.S. Supreme Court, you now risk losing your Second Amendment rights if you commit a non-violent offense. The ruling means that you will need to fight domestic violence charges against you vigorously if you want to protect your Second Amendment right to own a firearm.
Call the Domestic Violence Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are accused of a domestic violence crime, it will have a lasting impact on your life and you could lose many of your legal rights. That is why it is crucial that you contact an experienced domestic violence attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing domestic violence charges. We can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.
1. [http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Court-All-California-domestic-violence-convicts-5716773.php ]↩