A lifetime ban on handgun ownership by people who have committed a crime of violence does not violate the Constitution, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled.
The court ruled today in the case of Andrew Craig, who was stopped by Mounds View police on suspicion of domestic assault in 2009. Police found a gun in the car, which he claimed was put in his backpack by his girlfriend. Craig had previously been convicted of possession of drugs, which Minnesota considers a crime of violence.
Craig appealed the ban on gun ownership but the court said “… the Supreme Court did not explicitly hold that the Second Amendment right is a fundamental right, so that restrictions on this right are subject to a strict-scrutiny standard of review.”
The court said Minnesota law, which declares “a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms,” does not bolster Craig’s appeal because the 2003 concealed carry law recognizes persons the Legislature “has deemed ineligible to possess a firearm.”
Judge Natalie Hudson said protecting the public from offenders who use guns is “an important governmental objective.”
Although the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia’s handgun ban (the Heller case) in 2008, Judge Hudson said that case made clear that the right to own a gun “is held by ‘law-abiding, responsible citizens.’”
“A person convicted of a felony, particular one that is listed as a ‘crime of violence’ … has demonstrated that he or she is not a law-abiding, responsible citizen,” she wrote.
Here’s the full opinion.