Everytown Files Amicus Brief in Support of Federal Law Prohibiting Felons and Other People With Dangerous Histories from Possessing Firearms (Rehaif v. United States of America)

April 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Everytown filed this brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in support of the current interpretation of the federal prohibited possessor law. Under federal law certain categories of people—including felons, those who have been involuntarily committed, and domestic abusers—are prohibited from possessing firearms. In order to convict a person for possessing a firearm while prohibited a prosecutor must prove that a prohibited person “knowingly” committed the crime. Every federal circuit court to decide the issue has found that “knowingly” only applies to the possession element and not the status element. In this case, a criminal defendant challenged this interpretation claiming that “knowingly” should apply to the status element as well. Everytown’s amicus brief looks to analogous state prohibited possessor laws and shows that they have uniformly interpreted their laws in the same manner as the federal courts to exclude the need to prove knowledge of status.

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