Amy Coney Barrett thinks the Constitution may not allow for such a restriction, and she makes a good point.
Should there be some remedy for people who have armed robbery or murder convictions? Probably. But, how about the guy who became a felon for check fraud, mail fraud, or some nonviolent action like that?
Should they really not have the right to defend themselves?
According to Amy Coney Barrett, the 2nd Amendment may not allow for this categorical restriction for all felons.
That categorical ban on gun ownership by people with felony records, a feature of both Wisconsin and federal law, cannot be reconciled with the Second Amendment, Supreme Court contender Amy Coney Barrett concluded in a 37-page dissent from a 2019 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Barrett's thorough and scholarly opinion marks her as a judge committed to applying constitutional provisions in light of their historical background and original public meaning.
Barrett's interpretation of the Constitution has been described as one of originalism, meaning that she tends to frame her interpretation of it more in line with the original interpretation of the authors at the time it was ratified.
History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous. Founding-era legislatures did not strip felons of the right to bear arms simply because of their status as felons. Nor have the parties introduced any evidence that founding-era legislatures imposed virtue-based restrictions on the right; such restrictions applied to civic rights like voting and jury service, not to individual rights like the right to possess a gun. In 1791—and for well more than a century afterward—legislatures disqualified categories of people from the right to bear arms only when they judged that doing so was necessary to protect the public safety.
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