Hunter Biden’s Conviction Sparks Potential Supreme Court Second Amendment Clash

Hunter Biden’s recent conviction might set the stage for a significant Supreme Court battle over the Second Amendment. Legal experts are divided on whether gun rights advocates could secure a win through a case involving President Biden’s son.

Hunter Biden’s legal team is expected to challenge his conviction under the law that prohibits firearm possession for anyone who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.” While some Second Amendment scholars believe he has a solid constitutional defense, the outcome remains uncertain.

Former federal prosecutor Joseph Moreno told the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) that the argument hinges on whether general drug use around the time of gun purchase is sufficient grounds for prohibition. “The Second Amendment only permits lawmakers to address drug or alcohol use at the very time of purchase,” Moreno said. However, he expressed skepticism about the argument’s success.

Hunter’s attorneys attempted to dismiss the case before the trial, citing the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The ruling held that gun restrictions must align with the nation’s “historical tradition” of regulation. They argued that the statute banning drug users from owning guns is “indefensible” under this precedent.

In 2023, the Fifth Circuit ruled the law unconstitutional when applied to a marijuana user in United States v. Daniels, a case now pending before the Supreme Court. The court held that historical tradition supports some limits on intoxicated persons’ right to carry weapons but not on disarming sober individuals based solely on past drug use.

Legal experts, however, point out that Hunter Biden’s addiction to crack cocaine might complicate his case. “While some judges have been sympathetic to marijuana users, it seems unlikely that a court will hold the law unconstitutional for ‘hard’ drugs like crack cocaine,” said Clark Neily, senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute.

Robert Leider, a law professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, noted that the case’s unique facts might make it a compelling candidate for the Supreme Court. However, he also highlighted that Hunter Biden’s false statements on federal gun-purchase forms are unlikely to be invalidated.

The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has offered to support Hunter Biden in his legal challenge against gun control. FPC President Brandon Combs stated that it seems “very likely” the case will reach the Supreme Court. “We think the historical record shows that he should prevail on his as-applied challenge,” Combs said, though he acknowledged the government’s advantage in criminal cases.

Many Second Amendment advocates see irony in Hunter Biden’s conviction. “The Biden family is getting a taste of their own anti-gun medicine,” the National Association for Gun Rights stated. Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of Gun Owners of America, added, “Joe Biden has weaponized his administration against guns, gun owners, and dealers. It’s incredibly ironic to see his own son caught up in these efforts.”

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