United States v. Carter, No. 09-5074
Decided: January 23, 2012
Benjamin Carter conditionally pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of marijuana in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3). Carter’s conditional guilty plea reserved for appeal the question of whether his § 922(g)(3) conviction violated his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The Fourth Circuit concluded that, under the intermediate scrutiny standard, Congress had an important objective for enacting § 922(g)(3) in reducing gun violence, and that the statute might have reasonably served that objective by disarming drug users. However, the court held that the government did not meet its burden of demonstrating that there was a reasonable fit between the statute and the governmental objective of reducing gun violence. Therefore, the Fourth Circuit vacated and remanded the case.
-Sara I. Salehi