Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Third Circuit Sustains Application of Gun Possession Prohibition to Tax Felon (11/25/20)

In Folajtar v. Attorney General of the United States, ___ F.3d ___, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 37006 (3rd Cir. 2020), here, decided yesterday, the Court held that a tax felon (tax perjury, § 7206(1)) was subject to the prohibition in 18 USC § 922(g)(1) denying felons the right to possess firearms.  Basically, Folajtar argued that, because her nonviolent crime did not implicate valid reasons to deny her Second Amendment right to bear arms, she should be exempted from the prohibition.

Most readers of this blog will understand the nature of the claims made and resolved by the Court in the case.  The case raises the constitutional issue, but also the political issue of the Second Amendment.  There was a strong dissent, wrapping the political argument into the legal argument.  Already, one of the pundits who straddles the legal / political divide is suggesting that this opinion is a good opportunity for the conservative majority on the Court (enhanced by Amy Coney Barrett) to bolster gun rights.  Jonathan Turley, Barrett Reloaded? A New Third Circuit Decision Could Prove The Perfect Base For A Second Amendment Blowout (Res Ipsa Loquitur 11/25/20), here.

 Until and unless the Supreme Court holds differently, tax crimes practitioners must make sure that to advise clients being prosecuted or at the risk of prosecution for tax crimes that their gun “rights” will be proscribed by conviction.

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