July 19, 2016

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Second Amendment protects former soldier who had been psychiatrically committed 10 years ago, when he was 15.

What is most striking about Mr. Yox’s as-applied challenge . . . is the fact that he has been authorized to possess and use, and has in fact possessed and used, firearms while he served in the military and while he worked as a state correctional officer in Pennsylvania. Indeed, Mr. Yox used fully automatic rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and incendiary grenades while serving in the 82nd Airborne of the United States Army. Again, Defendants have submitted no evidence that Mr. Yox misused firearms or acted in a dangerous manner in those professional capacities. Thus, the record indicates that throughout his adulthood, despite his personal firearms disability due to § 922(g)(4), Mr. Yox has possessed and used firearms in his professional capacity without incident.

Further, it is noteworthy that a state court has already found Mr. Yox to not be a continuing threat to himself or others. As detailed earlier, in May 2014, a Pennsylvania state court reviewed Mr. Yox’s petition to vacate and expunge his involuntary commitment and issued an order granting him state relief from any disability imposed pursuant to state law. The judge found that “[t]he Petitioner no longer suffers from the mental health condition that was the basis for his commitments” and “[t]he Petitioner may safely possess a firearm without risk to himself or any other person.”

What’s really striking is that the Government tried to argue that the guy it permitted to carry weapons was too dangerous to own a gun.

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