Supreme Court restricts gun access E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

People convicted of minor domestic violence offenses can be barred from possessing guns even in states where no proof of physical violence is required to support the domestic violence charge according to a recent ruling from The Supreme Court. According to reporting by the Associated Press, James Castleman pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault against the mother of his child in 2001 in Tennessee.

He was then charged in 2009 with illegal possession of a firearm after he and his wife were accused of buying and selling guns on the black market.

Federal law bars individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence involving the use of physical force or a deadly weapon from possessing a firearm.

The dismissal was upheld after a challenge in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

The Supreme Court has reversed the appeals court and reinstated the charges against Castleman.

In an opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Court ruled it was enough that Castleman pleaded guilty to having "intentionally or knowingly caused bodily injury to" the mother of his child.

"Because Castleman's indictment makes clear that physical force was an element of his conviction, that conviction qualifies as a 'misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,'" Sotomayor wrote for the court.


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