2nd Amendment and Right to Bear Arms/Simple assault and gun ownership


QUESTION: In 1992 I was charged with domestic assault. In the state of Vermont. My attorney at the time talked with the states attorney. He explained that I was an outdoorsman that spent alot of my free time hunting. The states attorney reduced the charge to simple assault so that I didn't lose my gun rights and was still able to enjoy hunting. Recently I went to purchase a gun for my grandson and was declined. After some reseach. It appears that laws changed in 1996 and this makes me prohibited from owning a gun. Is there anything I can do?

ANSWER: Thank the late Senator from New Jersey, Frank Lautenberg, and his amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968.

In September, 1996, as part of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Congress amended the criminal provisions of GCA'68, adding a ninth disqualification category [318 U.S.C. sec.922(g)(9)].

This provision makes it unlawful for "any person... who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition in or affecting commerce.

The Lautenberg Amendment also prohibits the knowing sale or other disposition of any firearm or
ammunition to a domestic violence misdemeanant.

Especially onerous, as you found out first hand, the Lautenberg Amendment is an ex post facto law, as it alters the traditional public interest exception to the firearms disqualification provisions of the GCA, in that it applies to any individual who has ever been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor!

It also applies to Federal, state and local law enforcement personnnel, so don't feel like the Lone Ranger... but the result remains: you are a Prohibited Person!

What can you do? Get an attorney and pay him some money!

Now, I gave you a full response... please explain to me how your inquiry pertains to the Second Amendment.

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QUESTION: I guess I should have worded things alot differently than I did.  I am wondering if this would have an affect of my wife owning her guns.

ANSWER: You decline to answer my own question?

When you figure it all out, then you'll perhaps realize that this not appropriate for this topic. (I provided the original answer solely because of my antipathy for Lautenberg and his amendment.)

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QUESTION: I guess the reason I feel my second ammendment rights are that I made a good faith agreement in a court of law that I could keep these rights by accepting a simple assault charge instead of a dv charge. Now they change the law and basically resentence me with no trial and take my right to bear arms away.

I understand that you feel you may have been double-crossed. But if you were not convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a charge of Domestic Violence as you assert, then you should not be a Prohibited Person.

Once thing you should always have in your own files, is a copy of the Court Disposition of the case in question.

And in any case, your wife, as with the wife of G. Gordon Liddy, as every to possess a firearm.

2nd Amendment and Right to Bear Arms

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Dean Speir


I can answer questions about Handguns, Rifles, Ammunition, the Firearms Industry, the "gunzine game," practical accessories for self-defense (CCW) handguns; rumor control on firearms myths, errata on the "gunshop grapevine."

I am NOT an Attorney, and nothing I provide here should be relied upon as legal advice. Therefore, please do NOT make inquiries about Criminal Justice issues... this is the Second Amendment topic.

Nor do I do "Private Consultations." Want to made it "private," retain an attorney.


25 years practical and competitive hangunning; 26 years in the firearms industry; 15 years writing for the gunzines, including 4 years as Industry Editor for The New Gun Week; maintainer of www.thegunzone.com.

Life Member, NRA

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BA in English Graduate Lethal Force Institute Graduate Gunsite Graduate Defensive Training Institute

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