This is a discussion on SCOTUS--Court Rules in Gun Case within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Court Rules in Gun Case Published: 12/10/07, 10:46 AM EDT WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court unanimously refused on Monday to broaden the impact of ...
Court Rules in Gun Case
Published: 12/10/07, 10:46 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court unanimously refused on Monday to broaden the impact of a law that adds extra prison time to the sentences of drug traffickers who use a gun in carrying out their crimes.
In a 9-0 decision, the court said the tough anti-crime provision does not apply to traffickers who trade drugs for guns.
The court overturned the gun-related conviction of Michael A. Watson of Ascension Parish, La., who told a man who turned out to be a government informant that Watson wanted a weapon for self-protection and was willing to trade illegal drugs for it.
The issue in the case was whether receiving a gun in exchange for drugs constitutes "use" of the gun under federal law.
See remainder here:
My question would be how this decision squares with the previous decision that a felon cannot be compelled to register his firearms, since mere possession constitutes a crime, and one cannot be compelled to testify against oneself under the Fifth Amendment. I would love to hear any of our resident attorneys' take on this.
Also, does this have any implications for the D.C. Case?
_____________________________________The federal government "may say that a person 'uses' a firearm simply by receiving it in a barter transaction, but no one else would," wrote Justice David Souter. "Given ordinary meaning and the conventions of English, we hold that a person does not 'use' a firearm" under federal law "when he receives it in trade for drugs."
It gives me an idea of how Souter thinks.
He seems to like the "plain language", and isn't going to stretch language to find a result.
Now, if that helps or hurts...I duno. It depends on his view of the text of the amendment and its history.