Battery Domestic Violence and Gun Rights
The Supreme Court will hear argument regarding whether a Tennessee’s misdemeanor domestic assault conviction should ban him from owning a gun.
In Nevada, a person convicted of a Battery Domestic Violence- a misdemeanor offense- is prohibited from owning and/or possessing a firearm. It is a crime under both Nevada and Federal law..
In 2001, James Castleman plead guilty to one count of misdemeanor domestic assault. Several years later, in 2009, Mr. Castleman was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. However, those charges were dismissed by a federal judge. Why? Because federal law prohibits possession of a firearm if a person is convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence that involves physical force or a deadly weapon. Tennessee law, however, does not make this distinction and does not require the use of physical force in order to sustain a domestic violence conviction. Therefore, it was determined that the federal ban prohibiting gun ownership could not apply to Castleman.
The federal courts decision was upheld by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. However, for obvious reasons, the government was not happy with this decision and is working to have it overturned..