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Federal Lifetime Gun Ban Unconstitutional for Non-Violent Felons Like Appellant, FPC Argues in 10th Circuit Brief

Charlie T Waite

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Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Action Foundation (FPCAF) announced the filing of an important brief with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Vincent v. Garland, a case challenging the federal lifetime ban on gun ownership as applied to a non-violent felony conviction. The brief can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.

Melynda Vincent is forever prohibited from owning a firearm because she was convicted of bank fraud after writing a false check for $498.12 over 14 years ago. Vincent has since obtained a B.S. in Behavioral Health from Utah Valley University, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah, a second master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah, and she has founded a thriving nonprofit dedicated to counseling and therapy. Despite all that, and the fact that she was never ordered to serve a day in jail those many years ago, the government has forever restricted her right to self-defense.

“The Supreme Court’s recent Bruen decision makes clear that a firearm regulation can be upheld only if the government proves it is consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” said brief author and FPC Law’s Director of Constitutional Studies, Joseph Greenlee. “Many courts will now need to reconsider their approaches to prohibited persons cases. For example, nobody was ever disarmed for lacking virtue–whatever that means. And the fact that a crime was classified as a felony never determined whether someone forfeited their arms rights. In fact, as we demonstrate in the brief, many felons and unvirtuous Americans retained their arms rights. Rather, historically, Americans could only be disarmed if they were dangerous. And nobody contends that Ms. Vincent is dangerous.”

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