Old DV Convictions Can Prevent You From Owning A Gun

It is a crime to possess a gun in Long Beach if you were previously convicted of a criminal offense of domestic violence.  California is tough on those convicted of domestic violence, the Feds are even tougher when it comes to taking away your right to own or possess a gun.  In this case, the Courts upheld the Federal Government’s rule that anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is precluded from owning a firearm.

In 1996, the defendant was arrested for corporal injury on his wife and pled no contest to misdemeanor battery under section 242. In 2008, when he applied to be a reserve deputy sheriff, he learned that California considered his conviction to be a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV) under the federal Gun Control Act, prohibiting him from the possession of a firearm. In 2011, when he attempted to purchase a firearm, his application was denied on the same ground. He filed a petition for writ of mandamus in the superior court challenging the classification of his prior conviction as an MCDV. The trial court determined that section 242 was not a valid categorical predicate offense for an MCDV and issued a writ of mandate and prohibition. Reversed. An offense that “has, as an element, the use . . . of physical force . . .” qualifies as an MCDV under the federal Gun Control Act. Any harmful or offensive touching, including the least touching, constitutes an element of battery under section 242. The Court of Appeal concluded that such touching is sufficient to constitute the “use of physical force” so as to render a section 242 conviction an MCDV. Looking at Congress’ intent in enacting the provisions of the federal Gun Control Act at issue, i.e. keeping guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers, the appellate court found nothing to suggest that only those abusers who applied a specific quantum of force against their victims were prohibited from possessing firearms.  (Courtesy CCAP)..  It should be noted that there are cases out there that disagree with this Court’s application of the law.  Eventually the Supreme Court will chime in on this issue.

One Response to Old DV Convictions Can Prevent You From Owning A Gun

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