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Pot User Cites Bruen In Bid To Escape Gun Charge Indictment

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A man who police say fired a shotgun at his neighbor's front door is looking to evade criminal charges related to having and transferring a gun while using marijuana, filing a dismissal bid to the same judge who declared identical charges levied on the defendant's wife unconstitutional.

There is no longstanding "historical tradition" that would justify a federal law barring users of illegal drugs from owning, selling or transferring firearms, John Connelly, who faces two counts of those very statutes, said in Friday's motion.

Connelly's motion leans heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2022 ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen , which upended many gun and firearm laws across the country and requires courts to determine whether the weapon regulation being contested existed at or near the writing of the U.S. Constitution.

"The government clearly cannot meet its burden to show that the nation's history, particularly around the passage of the Second Amendment, supports firearms restrictions for those who unlawfully used a controlled substance," Connelly said. "The history of barring firearm possession by those who unlawfully use a controlled substance is limited and relatively recent. The government cannot rely on the passage of a mid-twentieth century statute to establish a long-standing historical tradition dating back to the enactment of the Second Amendment, particularly where it contradicts the plain language of the text."



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