Second Circuit Case Rules Gun Control Laws Constitutional

Connecticut residents are aware of the recent rise in gun related incidents throughout the country. A recent case dealt with the issue of whether state and federal laws restricting the purchasing and transferring of handguns across state lines are constitutional. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of these laws.

Current federal law prohibits individuals to transport or receive in their home states a gun that is obtained outside the state. Exceptions are licensed importers, manufacturers, dealers, or collectors.

That law was violated by a New York resident in 2005. The resident bought a gun in Florida and took it back to his home state of New York. He claimed he wanted the gun for protection. However, he never registered the gun because he was advised that he would not be approved.

After cops found the gun and charged the man with violating gun control laws, the man argued that it violated his Second Amendment right to own a gun for self-defense. He also argued that New York's gun control laws were so strict they amounted to a ban. Both the district court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the arguments.

The courts reasoned that by failing to apply for a gun license in New York, the man gave up his right to challenge the state law. They also felt the situation did not reach the heightened standard required to challenge laws affecting Second Amendment rights, noting that the burden the laws place on individuals is minimal.

Gun crimes laws vary by state. It is currently illegal to buy and sell assault weapons in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Those facing gun charges should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand the options that may be available.

Gun crimes can be felony charges, and may lead to extensive prison sentences. The consequences of a conviction may make have a serious impact on a person's life. Knowing how to prepare a strong defense against these charges can help a person minimize the potential penalties.