Last week, our firm filed a motion to dismiss the charges against our client who is charged with federal firearm trafficking offenses. The Government is alleging that our client illegally possessed “ghost guns,” firearms and firearm parts that can be used to convert a semi-automatic firearm into an automatic. Specifically, our client is charged with possessing a “machine gun,” possessing an unregistered firearm, and dealing in firearms without a license.
While our client has a strong defense for trial, our firm took an aggressive approach to this case and filed a motion to dismiss all the charges based on the Supreme Court’s recent Second Amendment ruling in New York State Rifle v. Bruen. In that case, the Supreme Court set a new rule for courts to determine whether a firearm law or regulation is constitutional under the Second Amendment.
This new rule is based on history—the government has to prove that a law restricting the possession or use of a firearm is consistent with the “historical tradition” of firearm regulation in the U.S. In other words, only laws similar to those at the founding can be considered constitutional. Since Bruen, courts have struck down several criminal federal firearm laws, including the law criminalizing possessing a firearm with an altered or obliterated serial number and the law prohibiting possessing a firearm while under indictment.
Our motion challenges the constitutionality of federal firearm statutes that prohibit the mere possession of an automatic weapon or other types of firearms based solely on their rate of fire. We are also arguing that it is unconstitutional to criminalize the possession of a firearm solely because it has not been registered with the government. We believe that these laws are not consistent with how our country has historically regulated firearms, at least as the Supreme Court discussed in Bruen. In fact, our country generally didn’t outlaw firearms based on the type of firearm until the 20th century. At the founding, you could even own a cannon.
We fight hard for our clients, and that includes making arguments that may not be popular with some people. In this case, our client is being threatened with up to a decade in prison based on his possession of firearms and firearms, conduct that is covered by the Second Amendment. We believe taking an aggressive approach in these kinds of cases is the best way to get a good outcome for our clients and their families.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a federal firearms offense, contact our experienced federal defense lawyers. We will fight hard for you.