Fifth Circuit Declares Federal Firearm Statute at Issue in Hunter Biden’s Case Unconstitutional

Yet another federal firearm statute goes down under the Supreme Court’s recent Bruen decision. The question this time was whether 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), which criminalizes possession of a firearm by a habitual drug user, violated the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. The Fifth Circuit said it did. United States v. Daniels, No. 22-60596, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 20870 (5th Cir. Aug. 9, 2023).

Patrick Daniels acknowledged his regular consumption of marijuana. However, crucially, there was no evidence presented that he was under the influence of the drug at the time of his arrest. Nevertheless, a jury convicted him.

The central question in this case delves into the heart of the Second Amendment: Does § 922(g)(3) infringe upon an individual’s constitutional right to bear arms? The answer pivots on whether this statute aligns with the historical precedent of firearm regulation that has been integral to the fabric of the United States, as held in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022).

This is also the same statute at issue in the DOJ’s case against Hunter Biden, by the way.

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