United States v. Chovan

735 F.3d 1127 (2012)

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United States v. Chovan

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
735 F.3d 1127 (2012)

Facts

A federal law prohibited felons from possessing firearms for life. In 1996, this prohibition was extended to people convicted of domestic-violence misdemeanors. The extension was based on evidence that (1) domestic abusers had high rates of repeat violence, (2) domestic abuse was more likely to be deadly if firearms were involved, and (3) for reasons specific to domestic-violence situations, domestic abusers were typically not convicted of felony charges. Thus, the extension was intended to reduce potentially deadly domestic violence by preventing anyone convicted of a domestic-violence crime, even a misdemeanor, from possessing a firearm. The law allowed a convicted domestic abuser to regain the right to possess a firearm if (1) the person’s civil rights were fully restored or (2) the conviction was expunged, set aside, or pardoned. Daniel Chovan (defendant) was convicted of a domestic-abuse misdemeanor. Later, Chovan had firearms in his possession and was charged with violating the federal law. Chovan argued that the federal law violated the Second Amendment. The district court ruled that the law was constitutional. Chovan entered a guilty plea that allowed him to appeal the law’s constitutionality and then appealed the issue to the Ninth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pregerson, J.)

Concurrence (Bea, J.)

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