Published on: Tuesday, December 19, 2017

In United States v. Jones, 2017 WL 6395827 (9th Cir. Dec. 15, 2017)(Case No. 17-15869), the Ninth Circuit held that Arizona Armed Robbery does not qualify as a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Relying upon prior precedent finding that Arizona armed robbery is not a crime of violence under the Sentencing Guidelines force clause (although it is a crime of violence under the Sentencing Guidelines enumerated felonies clause), the court found that the statute on its face does not require the robber to use or even threaten to use a weapon and that Arizona state courts have not imposed such a requirement. Further, the Ninth Circuit found that Arizona punishes robbery conduct that does not involve violent force. Because ACCA’s enumerated force clause does not include robbery (in contrast to USSG §4B1.2), the Ninth Circuit found that Jones did not qualify as an armed career criminal, and as such, vacated the district court’s denial of his §2255 motion.

 The Training Division provides resources on issues related to firearms and the armed career criminal act here