United States v. Daniels
(U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, August 9, 2023) The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals applied the U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022) and struck down a federal law the prohibits unlawful users of controlled substances from possessing firearms. The Court used a two-step approach. First, they examined whether the individuals identified in the statute are covered by the Second Amendment such that they hold a presumptive right to firearm ownership. The Court answered yes, despite language in Bruen that Second Amendment rights are held only by law-abiding citizens. Second, the court examined whether the Founders regulated firearms in this manner or whether there is an historical analogue for such a law. The Court found no law existing at the founding and no relevant historical analogue. As a result, the federal law banning gun ownership by unlawful users of controlled substances is unconstitutional. Read the full Opinion here.