Appeals Court Rules Defendants Awaiting Trial Can Be Disarmed

( – According to a recent federal court ruling, it is constitutional to ban defendants who are awaiting trial owning firearms.

On Monday, March 18, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that it is constitutional to restrict a defendant’s right to bear arms, which the court argues lines up with historic legal precedent. A panel of three judges came to a unanimous decision and the judgment was written up by Judge Gabriel P. Sanchez.

Sanchez wrote that when the “historical evidence” is “considered as a whole,” the court found “a long and broad” range of examples of laws exercised to “disarm people” if there was reason to believe their possession of a firearm “would pose an unusual danger.”

The legal challenge was brought forth by two California defendants, Jesus Perez-Garcia and John Thomas Fencl, who the judges concluded should be temporarily disarmed, arguing it is a “reasonably necessary” condition for the sake of public safety and falls within the historical legislative tradition. The court found that such restrictions were “consistent” with other past examples of “temporarily disarming criminal defendants” with serious charges against them, especially “those deemed dangerous” and resistant to following the law.

The case in the Golden State is the latest in a series of recent legal battles to test that “historical tradition” of restricting defendants’ access to firearms. A groundbreaking ruling in 2022 from the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. vs. Bruen found that any law restricting firearms in the US must be based on historical precedent. The important ruling overturned New York’s Sullivan Act, which required any individual seeking to bear arms to provide a “proper cause” to justify the need.

In the decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Supreme Court could not find any other constitutional right requiring citizens to demonstrate “some special need” to government officers in order to be exercised, adding that no other amendment in the Bill of Rights works this way, therefore it should not apply to the Second Amendment.

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