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Supreme Court adds firearm possession case to docket

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Voisine v. US [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] after having considered the case at two previous conferences this year. The case presents the issue of whether a "reckless" misdemeanor crime qualifies as a misdemeanor crime of domestic abuse for the purposes of 18 USC §§ 921(a)(33)(A) and 922(g)(9) [text], which prohibit the possession of firearms and ammunition by individuals who have previously been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The two men who were convicted in Maine, Stephen Voisine and William Armstrong, argued that their convictions for simple assault and misdemeanor domestic violence assault do not automatically qualify as misdemeanor crimes of domestic abuse for the purposes of the federal statute, since the law in Maine can be violated with conduct that is reckless and not intentional. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit [official website] rejected this argument and recommended the Supreme Court not take the case. The court did refuse to hear the second issue of the case, which was whether the ban on possession of firearms for domestic offenders violates their Second Amendment rights.

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