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Federal court rules firearm restrictions on defendants awaiting trial are constitutional

via FieldSports Channel
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A federal appeals court upheld court orders prohibiting two criminal defendants from possessing firearms while awaiting trial.

Writing for the unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Gabriel Sanchez cited the historical tradition in U.S. law of disarming dangerous criminal defendants.

One defendant was arrested with over 100 guns after threatening law enforcement, while the other was arrested transporting methamphetamines and fentanyl across the border.

Both defendants argued there was no historical precedent for barring pretrial releasees from gun ownership, but Sanchez found the orders were consistent with disarming those deemed a threat to public safety.

“Here, the historical evidence, when considered as a whole, shows a long and broad history of legislatures exercising authority to disarm people whose possession of firearms would pose an unusual danger, beyond the ordinary citizen, to themselves or others,” Sanchez wrote. “The temporary disarmament of Fencl and Perez-Garcia as a means reasonably necessary to protect public safety falls within that historical tradition.”

The attorney for the defendants plans to appeal further, arguing the orders did not meet the Supreme Court’s test from a recent case that gun laws must be historically grounded.

Sanchez said the decision was “consistent with our nation’s long history of temporarily disarming criminal defendants facing serious charges and those deemed dangerous or unwilling to follow the law.”

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