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ALERT – NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS JUST HELD THAT 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

The Law Office of Tom Norrid

SAMARITAN PROJECTS LLC 

P.O. Box 9244

Springfield, MO 65801-9244

417-236-1179


United States v. Steven Duarte, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 11323 (9th Cir. May 9, 2024).


Docket: 22-50048 

Opinion Date: May 9, 2024

Judge: Bea 

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law 


The case involves Steven Duarte, who was convicted for violating 18 USC 922(g)(1), a law that prohibits anyone previously convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for over a year from possessing a firearm. Duarte, who had five prior non-violent state criminal convictions was charged and convicted under this law after police saw him discard a handgun from a moving car. 


Duarte appealed his conviction, arguing that 18 USC 922(g)(1) violated his Second Amendment rights. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed with Duarte finding that the law was unconstitutional as applied to him, a non-violent offender who had served his time in prison and reentered society. The court held that under the Supreme Court's decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n v. Bruen, 922(g)(1) violated the Second Amendment as applied to Duarte. The Court concluded that Duarte's weapon, a handgun, is an "arm" within the meaning of the Second Amendment, and that the government failed to prove that 922(g)(1)'s categorical prohibition, as applied to Duarte, is part of the historic tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the Second Amendment right. As a result the court vacated Duarte's conviction and reversed the district court's judgment.


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