In the past week, the Supreme Court issued two decisions likely to have a major impact on gun prosecutions: Rehaif v. United States, in which the Court tossed out an immigrant’s conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm, and United States v. Davis, in which the Court tossed out a pair of convictions for possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. Justice Kavanaugh chronicled a list of crimes potentially imperiled by Davis. Justice Gorsuch dismissed the relevance of this “rogue’s gallery of offenses.” How should we understand these decisions?
[Ed. Note: As we discussed here, this post is part of a three-part series on gun laws in the Center’s Repository of Historical Gun Laws, written by Center research assistant Catie Carberry. This post, like the Repository, is exemplary and not exhaustive.]
Are laws banning aliens from keeping guns a “post-World War I phenomenon?”
This week, we’re fortunate to have a three-part series by one of the Center’s excellent summer research assistants, Catie Carberry. Catie’s posts will provide an overview of the historical gun laws in the Center’s Repository of Historical Gun Laws, the largest publicly available single-site compilation of historical regulations of firearms. The Repository is the result of more than four years of painstaking research, but makes no claim to completeness. Rather than purport to include every firearm-related law (an impossible task), it is designed to provide a broad, deep, and representative sample of the kinds of gun laws that have existed throughout English and American history.