Published on: Tuesday, September 20, 2022

A federal law banning those under felony indictments from buying guns is unconstitutional, a federal court in West Texas ruled Monday (article available here).

The court dismissed a federal indictment against Jose Gomez Quiroz that had charged him under the federal ban of obtaining a firearm while under indictment and noted it was unknown “whether a statute preventing a person under indictment from receiving a firearm aligns with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

According to the court, Quiroz was under a state burglary indictment when he tried to buy a handgun and challenged the ensuing federal charge.

In a 25-page opinion filed in Pecos, Texas, the court acknowledged “this case’s real-world consequences — certainly valid public policy and safety concerns exist.” However, he said a Supreme Court ruling this summer in New York Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen “framed those concerns solely as a historical analysis.”

“Although not exhaustive, the Court’s historical survey finds little evidence that ... (the federal ban) — which prohibits those under felony indictment from obtaining a firearm — aligns with this Nation’s historical tradition.”

“The Second Amendment is not a ‘second class right,’” the court ruled. “No longer can courts balance away a constitutional right.”