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Has Supreme Court Found Another Case To Test Gun Control Laws?

When the Supreme Court heard arguments this month on whether the Second Amendment allows the government to disarm domestic abusers, Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked about “the range issue,” referring to Bryan Range, who has challenged a federal law prohibiting people who have been convicted of felonies from owning guns. Range is a far more sympathetic figure than the defendant in the domestic violence case, Zackey Rahimi, who threatened women with firearms and was involved in five shootings in a two months. Barrett and several of her colleagues seemed to think that Rahimi was a menace, and they appeared inclined to reject his Second Amendment challenge to a federal law that prohibits people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from having guns, reports the New York Times.

Range, by contrast, pleaded guilty to a nonviolent crime decades ago while he was struggling to feed his three young children. He admitted in 995 that he had made a false statement to get food stamps. That was a misdemeanor, but it was subject to a maximum sentence of five years, which was enough to make it count as the equivalent of a felony under the federal gun law. Range served three years of probation, and the only blemishes on his criminal record since then were for minor traffic and parking violations and for fishing without a license. Barrett’s reference to Range’s case suggested that she considered it a more attractive vehicle for making general pronouncements about the larger question presented in the Rahimi case: the role history should play in assessing gun laws.


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