Hatfield v. Barr

A person “who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” is forbidden to possess a firearm, 18 U.S.C.922(g)(1). Kanter was convicted of mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1341, for bilking the Medicare program, and was sentenced to 366 days in prison. After release, he contended that section 922(g)(1) was invalid, as applied to him because fraud is not a violent crime. Reversing the district court, the Seventh Circuit upheld section 922(g)(1), The Supreme Court has specifically upheld “longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons” and fraud is a thought‐out crime that demonstrates disdain for the rights of others and disrespect for the law. Section 922(g)(1) may be applied to a felon convicted of fraud, whose maximum sentence exceeded a year, even if the actual punishment was less. The court noted that it is not possible to separate persons with felony convictions into two categories: dangerous and harmless and rejected an argument that the section was invalid because Congress has declined to fund a statutory (18 U.S.C. 925(c)) program that would permit the Attorney General to lift the prohibition for persons who demonstrate that they would not present a danger to others. View "Hatfield v. Barr" on Justia Law