NEW ORLEANS, LA (August 10, 2023) – Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Action Foundation (FPCAF) made the following statement regarding yesterday’s Opinion in the Fifth Circuit case United States v. Daniels:
In 2022, Patrick Daniels was convicted in federal court for possessing a firearm while being an “unlawful user” of marijuana, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3). Because of that conviction, he was forever banned from possessing firearms, a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment. Yesterday, a Fifth Circuit panel held that ban unconstitutional as applied to Mr. Daniels.
“In short, our history and tradition may support some limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, but it does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage,” wrote Judge Jerry E. Smith in the court’s opinion. “Nor do more generalized traditions of disarming dangerous persons support this restriction on nonviolent drug users. As applied to Daniels, then, § 922(g)(3) violates the Second Amendment. We reverse the judgment of conviction and render a dismissal of the indictment.”
FPC and FPCAF filed an amicus brief in this case, urging the result that the court reached. The court cited the amicus brief in its opinion, as well as two law review articles by FPCAF’s Director of Constitutional Studies, Joseph Greenlee. The articles are The Historical Justification for Prohibiting Dangerous Persons from Possessing Arms (Wyoming Law Review, 2020) and Disarming the Dangerous: The American Tradition of Firearm Prohibitions (Drexel Law Review, forthcoming 2023).
“We are pleased by the court’s decision,” said Greenlee, who authored the amicus brief. “As we explained in our brief, there is no tradition of disarming Americans based solely on their use of an intoxicant, and the government failed to prove that marijuana users are especially dangerous. Therefore, as the court held, § 922(g)(3) is inconsistent with America’s tradition of firearm regulation and thus unconstitutional.”
FPC and FPCAF will continue to seek the restoration of natural, fundamental, and enumerated rights for all the People through its leading scholarly and litigation work.
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Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs.
FPC Law (FPCLaw.org) is the nation’s first and largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the leader in the Second Amendment litigation and research space.
FPC Action Foundation (FPCActionFoundation.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty through charitable legal action, public policy, education, and research programs.