Two days after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Second Amendment decision in McDonald v. Chicago, the world is buzzing with questions about what it will mean for states with (and without) gun control regulations and laws.
And yesterday, I got my first question from a federal prisoner who was trying to clarify the news as it made its way through the prison rumor mill: “Does this mean all of us gun offenders are getting out?”
The answers to these questions matter, because running afoul of some gun regulation laws can land people in court and even in jail – even if the person isn’t a felon. Not all gun laws are aimed at felons who possess or use weapons. Some are designed to stop all people from having certain kinds of ammunition, for example, or to ensure that all guns are bought with a permit or registered. Failure to follow these rules and regs can sometimes lead to fines or even jail time.
While McDonald may not mean that gun offenders get out of prison, it could, depending on how it’s interpreted, mean that in the future some people don’t go there for violating gun laws. Whether that’s how McDonald actually plays out is anyone’s guess.
Doug Berman’s blog has some excellent posts on this topic here and here.