Felon in Possession of Firearm – Constitutionality

by Client on November 17, 2011

Vermont is the only state in the Union that does not have a felon firearm possession prohibition. New Mexico, for example, prohibits convicted felons from receiving, possessing or transporting a firearm within ten years of completing a sentence or probation. N.M. Stat. Ann. sec. 30-7-16(A), (C)(2)

Also the US Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms can be limited in the case of convicted felons. Lewis v. United States, 445 U.S. 95 (1980). Lewis concerned whether the provision of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 which prohibits the possession of firearms by convicted felons (codified in 18 U.S.C.922(g) in 1986) violated the Second Amendment. The Court reasoned that, since convicted felons historically were and are subject to the loss of numerous fundamental rights of citizenship — including the right to vote, hold office, and serve on juries — laws prohibiting the possession of firearms by a convicted felon “are neither based upon constitutionally suspect criteria, nor do they trench upon any constitutionally protected liberties.”

From: Question From LawQA [mailto:questions@lawqa.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:41 PM
To: info@aarons.org
Subject: Question From LawQA ID:40160

LAW AREA: CRIMINAL DEFENSE
STATE: NEW MEXICO ID:40160

Question: Is the prohibition of possession of a firearm by a felon just in the United States Code?
Question Detail: I have only found the law in the U.S. code. I have read several versions of the 15th amendment and can’t find where it specifically states that anyone convicted of a felony in state court loses there constitutional rights after they have been released from custody. Why I ask is that, Thomas Jefferson said; ” No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

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