Teenage misdemeanor strips vet of his right to own gun
Fistfight from 45 years ago to blame
- Duration 6:36
- Date Feb 27, 2013
Fistfight from 45 years ago to blame
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Please offer our country but now -- Vietnam vet is finding out that a misdemeanor charge from nearly half a century ago.
Is enough to strip him of his right to own a gun.
Trace Gallagher has his story Trace.
It was in 1968 the Josh rader and his navy buddies in Annapolis Maryland were walking back to the base and they got attacked by a -- game while a couple of weeks later she raiders -- one of those attackers on a street corner.
He confronted him a fight broke out and -- punched him in the -- well a couple of cops happen to be watching they arrested him for misdemeanor assault.
He paid the 109 dollar fine and was released.
He went on to serve two terms in Vietnam before being honorably discharge he says over the next forty years he bought and sold fifteen weapons but in 2008.
He went to buy a handgun they -- an instant background check and flagged him for his forty year old assault case because Merrill -- Had changed the law.
So a punch in the nose in 1968 it would cost -- -- 109 bucks today the law was changed it could land you in prison for two years.
And the 'cause of that to your potential sentence he was now in eligible to own a gun here's Jeff -- It actually shocked me I mean all this time again -- and they had said would want to -- about it it it shocked -- house.
I was -- surprised and pretty much demoralized promote -- I don't back up for much.
So it just didn't didn't go well -- didn't sit well at -- -- fighting this now for five years lost in district court -- to a panel and federal appeals court in DC wants to go back to the full of appeals court and says he would fight this all the way to the Supreme Court.
If they would take it -- but he.
He's not gonna stop now.
While all right -- thank you.
-- Kelly's court is back in session on the docket today that case that Vietnam veteran and has battled to get his name off of the Fed's firearm ban list.
-- billboards a former prosecutor now defense attorney Arthur Riddell has the same pedigree.
And so you tell me what sense it makes Arthur.
Tick -- keep this guy on the banned list 45 years after eight.
A fight a fist fight isn't really we have David -- told to go off and kill people.
You got it doesn't make sense.
I'm not saying it doesn't make sense however.
As you know -- and he -- circuit court of appeals for the DC.
Is considered them one step down from the United States Supreme Court accident there the best of the best and the brightest of the bright as many people on the Supreme -- started there.
So they said look this is the law black and white.
If you have this conviction.
You can't have a gun it's it's that simple is what we would call a legal terms strict liability.
And there's no nothing in there that gives the do nothing in the law -- -- the judge's discretion.
There's nothing in the law that says well and he had a conviction you could wave he's -- military service you -- -- is criminal background you could weigh anything about.
The individual it's just.
Does he have a conviction if he does you can't possess a law and he was able -- -- -- the gun.
He was able Obama -- -- weapons only because -- get caught yeah as easy as the FBI's background check system got more sophisticated.
I mean good for us -- -- notice that they.
-- value colleges -- so crazy Jenna they say and I'll Jeff you can't have a gun use the one we gave a gun in political plot by for our country.
Win -- say you should never handle a -- again you can't be trusted.
It makes absolutely no sense of -- law abiding -- not to fight for this country than you -- a law abiding enough to own guns for your own personal use and the interesting thing about the -- though aren't there is.
It does not the case when he was convicted 45 years ago 40000 years ago.
The punch in the nose with unspecified right -- -- -- that I love that's there that's for you correct John and -- -- are gonna talk about that because this man is facing an uphill battle -- DC circuit is ruled against him.
And how does it affect other people -- similarly situated that's right after the break.
So John -- one of the things the DC circuit held was that there is no impediment.
To making to putting somebody on the banned list in getting a gun just because they committed a misdemeanor that's not too low threshold for now all the people out there are committed misdemeanors.
Are they potentially gonna lose their right to carrier to own a firearm yup and according to this ruling they are under the federal firearms ban because -- -- what.
What this judge was saying is that look.
You can you can't say that an entire class of people -- this -- being anybody who's committed any misdemeanor.
-- punishment could be over two years in prison which is kind of weird that's -- -- Harsh punishment for any -- him but he -- you can't ban.
You can't include the entire class that they that they should be excluded what you can do an interesting part of this ruling -- and -- -- 21 page ruling and when you get the page money.
The judge finally said.
-- they should have -- they should have applied.
For this petition.
As it pertains specifically.
To this petitioner then he might have actually won that's the thing -- as I understand why they.
Potentially want to make misdemeanor.
On the banned list are because they're talking about people who are fugitives undocumented aliens.
Judge those judged mentally incompetent.
Convicted of felonies are out certain kinds of misdemeanors including domestic violence like an okay -- you know you're being a pure white we don't really want to have a -- but this guy.
This guy's got a very compelling case a what are his options now assuming as we I think we all do the Supreme Court is not let -- take it.
And I of the DC's thoughtful -- DC court is gonna take it so -- -- what can he do.
Obviously they must have already tried this and failed.
After ten years allow you to expunge the record you could go before a judge that they look I got I got convicted ten years ago.
And their 45 years ago -- Am asking you to wipe the white my slate clean some states have -- even new York New Jersey one does one doesn't seem with felonies -- same thing.
What's interesting here -- Megan they did have a little wiggle room because John is right it's a misdemeanor punishable by two years at the time he committed the crime.
It didn't say how long.
Joseph how -- jail time he could do that wasn't it.
Yes still -- -- years ago there wasn't but the court is that I guess in saying correct it could event two years exact it's just so unfair for the new guy they could use it for him but instead they used against by the ways he's never been any serious trouble -- traffic violation right out of that -- that a -- -- -- so we'll see this -- -- on August remedy.
Panel thank you would have set -- -- for the story we'll be right back.