SCOTUS Rules Felons Can Transfer Guns

In a victory for property rights over the gun regulators convicted felons can now sell or transfer their firearms.

Yesterday, ruling 9-0, the US Supreme Court held that once a gun owner is convicted of a felony, his or her lawfully owned firearms can be transferred from government custody to a third party if a court is satisfied that the recipient would not give the felon control over the firearms.

The Court said the government had gone too far, stating, “What matters here is not whether a felon plays a role in deciding where his firearms should go next,” but “What matters instead is whether the felon will have the ability to use or direct the use of his firearms after the transfer.”

Providing direction the court said the guns could be turned over to a firearms dealer, or to a person “who expects to maintain custody of them, so long as the recipient will not allow the felon to exert any influence over their use.”

A court can “seek proper assurances” from the third party “to promise to keep the guns away from the felon,” in order to avoid violating the law.

This is not an all too uncommon problem, especially when a person has pawned firearms and then cannot retrieve them if they have become a prohibited person in the interim.

The next battle will be over what a court will consider “proper assurances.”