Justice Thomas Asks First Questions in 10 years — Drawn from our Amicus brief!!!

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

There must be something special about LEAP DAY.

Today, for the first time in a decade, Justice Clarence Thomas asked a question during the oral argument of Voisine v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court.   And, his question was drawn from an amicus brief we filed in that case!!! And ours was the only amicus brief filed in support of Voisine.

The Voisine case involves the infamous Lautenberg Amendment — under which a person who commits a certain type of misdemeanor may suffer a lifetime ban on gun ownership.  Our brief challenged the power of Congress to abolish a person’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms for the commission of a misdemeanor. Read More

Voisine v. United States

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we made our 10th filing in 10 years opposing various applications of what is known as the so-called “Lautenberg Amendment,” which purports to impose a lifetime ban on firearms ownership on those who commit certain misdemeanors. The anti-gun lobby seeks to strip gun ownership from as many persons as possible, even if the misdemeanor was a minor matter, involving neither firearms nor violence. Read More

United States v. James Alvin Castleman Amicus Brief in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

On December 23, 2013, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Castleman, in support of the grant of a petition for certiorari. This case involves the meaning of the term “physical force” contained in the federal law defining misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence (“MCDV”), popularly known as the Lautenberg Amendment

Passed in 1996, the Lautenberg Amendment makes it a federal crime for a person to acquire or possess a firearm after he has been convicted of a MCDV. An MCDV is defined as a crime that “has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.” Read More

Delroy Fischer v. United States — Reply Brief for Petitioner

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed reply brief for petitioner in the case of Delroy Fischerv. United States of America in the United States Supreme Court. In this case, petitioner Fischer is asking the Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split over the question whether the use of force element of the predicate misdemeanor in a section 922(g)(9) prosecution is determined by factual findings found in the state court record, or by the text of the relevant misdemeanor statute. Read More

Delroy Fischer v. United States — Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the case of Delroy Fischer v. United States of America in the United States Supreme Court. In this case, petitioner Fischer is asking the Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split over the question whether the use of force element of the predicate misdemeanor in a section 922(g)(9) prosecution is determined by factual findings found in the state court record, or by the text of the relevant misdemeanor statute. Read More

Delroy Fischer v. United States Appellant’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Today our firm filed appellant’s petition for rehearing en banc in the case of Delroy Fischer v. United States of America in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Appellant, Delroy Fischer, was indicted under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)1 for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Our petition argues that Fischer, and Amerson before it, were wrongly decided and the Fischer panel decision conflicts with two of the Eighth Circuit’s prior opinions and with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Hayes. Read More

Skoien v. U.S., Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners of California, Inc., Virginia Citizens Defense League, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund in the case of Steven Skoien v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner Skoien.

Our brief takes a quite different approach from that taken by other firearms organizations. For example, the attached chart contrasts the positions taken in our brief with the positions taken by the NRA. Read More

U.S. v. Steven M. Skoien Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation and Gun Owners of America, Inc. in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Today our firm filed an amicus brief for Gun Owners Foundation (“GOF”) and Gun Owners of America, Inc. in the case of U.S. v. Skoien, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

This document compares quotes from the GOF amicus brief with quotes from the NRA amicus brief, which were both filed in the Skoien case —http://www.gunowners.com/gof-vs-nra-quotes.pdf.

Link to brief Read More

Gun Owners Foundation Amicus Brief Filed in United States v. Hayes U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

On September 26, 2008, we filed on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation an amicus brief in United States v. Hayes.  The GOF brief urged the Supreme Court to affirm a Fourth Circuit court of appeals ruling that, as a matter of statutory interpretation, an individual does not lose the right to own a gun unless the prosecutor in the misdemeanor case  proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the misdemeanor event was, in fact, a domestic one. Read More

State of Wyoming v. BATF Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation in the Tenth Circuit

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Today we filed a Brief Amicus Curiae for Gun Owners Foundation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in support of the State of Wyoming and Wyoming Attorney General Patrick J. Crank.  The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (“BATF”) argued that Wyoming  Stat. Ann. § 7-13-1502(k), which provides for the expungement with regards to restoring firearms rights to a person convicted of the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (“MCDV”), (a) is insufficient as an exemption from the NICS background check and (b) does not authorize the person eligible to purchase a firearm. Read More

State of Wyoming v. BATF District Court Oral Argument

Michael Harless Appearances, Constitutional Law, U. S. District Court, State of Wyoming

On October 6, 2006, our attorneys had the opportunity to present oral argument in support of the Gun Owners Foundation amicus brief in Wyoming v. BATF.  At stake in this litigation before the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming is the statutory and constitutional right of the state of Wyoming to conduct its own criminal background check for purchasers of firearms in Wyoming.  The Gun Owners Foundation brief sided with the state in opposition to the BATF’s insistence that Wyoming’s background check did not meet BATF’s “national” standards. Read More

State of Wyoming v. BATF Amicus Curiae Brief for Gun Owners Foundation in District Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. District Court, State of Wyoming

Today, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief for Gun Owners Foundation in the U.S. District Court for the State of Wyoming on behalf of the State of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Attorney General, Patrick J. Crank.

The brief was submitted in opposition to a BATF ruling that a Wyomingconcealed carry permit based on a Montana criminal background check is not sufficient to allow an FFL dealer to transfer a firearm without obtaining a current federal National Instant Criminal Background Check.  BATF objected to a provision in Wyoming law that permits an expungement of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence so that it cannot be reviewed by the Wyoming Attorney General in conducting a criminal background check before issuing a concealed carry permit, while allowing the record to be maintained for use for other purposes. Read More