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(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.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – November 20, 2023.

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