When the Supreme Court struck down a New York gun law that has stood for more than 100 years that restricts the possession of a concealed handgun outside one’s home, President Joe Biden and many other Democrats – who espouse stricter gun regulation – were incensed.
Now, Hunter Biden will be using the Supreme Court decision as an integral part of his defense against gun charges leveled against him by Special Counsel David Weiss, in an attempt to fend off the infamy of being the first child of a sitting president to be convicted of a criminal charge.
In fact, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals has already declared the law used to charge Hunter with as unconstitutional, something that the legal team of the president’s son is already bringing up in his defense.
“The constitutionality of these charges are very much in doubt,” said Abbe Lowell, one of Hunter’s primary counsel, in an interview with CNN.
Ruling in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, justices of the U.S.’ highest tribunal voted 6-3 to overturn New York’s state law, which previously required individuals who wanted to carry concealed firearms in the state to jump through numerous hoops to secure a concealed carry license.
“Only if a firearm regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified command,’” Justice Thomas wrote in the court’s decision.
The Federal Gun Control Act, which has been in force for many years, prohibited drug users from owning or possessing firearms, but the New York gun law ruling ostensibly expands the right of ownership for firearms. Hunter’s legal team is expected to argue that the Founding-era laws that Thomas references in his decision only prohibit gun possession while a person is intoxicated, and not on the basis of prior intoxication.
On of the hallmarks of the Biden administration was its characteristically tougher approach to gun legislation and regulation with both the president and Vice President Kamala Harris being very vocal proponents of stricter gun laws. The president is behind the establishment of a federal office of gun violence prevention, the first of its kind in American history. Biden has also enacted executive orders with bipartisan support, which helps states implement red flag laws, created much more stringent background checks for would-be young owners, as well as preventing offenders of domestic violence from owning or possessing firearms.
Hunter Biden’s predicament is a pickle for both proponents of Second Amendment rights and advocates of stricter gun laws. Many pro-gun groups, who have been vocal in their opposition to the Biden administration’s initiatives on firearms, have largely been mum on Hunter’s gun issue – news outlet Politico reached out to the National Rifle Association seeking comment on the issue, and received a statement saying that “criminals ought to pay the price for their crimes.” On the other hand, gun regulation activists, who typically have close ties to the administration and the White House, have also declined to comment on Hunter’s gun charges.
Tim Ramos has written for various publications, corporations, and organizations – covering everything from finance, politics, travel, entertainment, and sports – in Asia and the U.S. for more than 10 years.
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