4/30/2008

Supreme Court to hear another case on Second Amendment

The Charleston Daily Mail has this story:

He expects the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case between October and December.

Out of about 5,000 petitions the court receives each year to hear cases, the justices accept only about 75. Giatras says not that many West Virginia lawyers have argued a case before the country's highest court.

Hayes' case goes back to 1994, when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery offense after a dispute with his wife. Ten years later, an argument over their son occurred over the phone between the now-divorced parents and she asked police to go to his home.

When they searched Hayes home, an old Winchester rifle given to him by his father was found under a bed. Hayes didn't know it, but a 1996 amendment to federal gun laws made it illegal for him to possess the gun because of his prior misdemeanor offense.

Giatras was retained two days before Hayes was expected to plead guilty to the gun charge in federal court.

"We halted the entire process in March 2005," Giatras said. "Because he only pleaded guilty in 1994 to battery, not domestic battery. But the federal court interpreted it as domestic battery because it was against a family member."

"In 1994 and in 1995, he was legally able to have a gun," Giatras said. "The 1996 law was applied to him retroactively, but he didn't even know it."

The case proceeded through the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond in October 2006 and the court reversed the earlier decision. But the U.S. Justice Department appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and the court agreed last month to hear the case.

Giatras said the case is important because it will further define the right to own a gun and also addresses the issue of laws affecting citizens retroactively. . . . .

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1 Comments:

Blogger Rail Claimore said...

I suspect SCOTUS will hear a few more gun cases besides this one. It seems they realize that this is a topic they've brushed aside for too long.

I would also not be surprised if they took up a case involving CCW in a may-issue or no-issue state as well.

5/01/2008 9:31 PM  

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