(Sept. 14)  Years too late and still too little, a federal prosecutor has filed an indictment, of sorts, against presidential son Hunter Biden. Whoop-de-do. If he is convicted on these counts alone, he’ll be getting off lightly.

The three indictment counts all relate to a gun purchase: One count of false statement in the purchase of a firearm; one count of false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

And that’s not even to discuss whether his blatant influence peddling was merely unethical (which it may well have been) or, instead, actually illegal.

Again, to be clear, the paragraph above doesn’t assume that by law he is guilty, but only that prosecutors seemed entirely loathe to pay the slightest attention to an abundance of indicators of corruption.

Now, back to the actual indictments at hand. At first glance, the most serious one seems to be possession of a firearm by an illegal-drug addict. The federal provision at issue is 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), which originally was designed as a tool against gun violence in furtherance of major illegal drug trafficking. If that were indeed its only application, it would be not just legitimate but wise.

Alas, as written and especially as sometimes applied, the law can be used to prosecute anyone possessing even an ounce of marijuana while somewhere possessing a gun or bullets, even if the weaponry was nowhere near the marijuana or the scene of any crime.

As I (and others) have argued for well over a decade, 922(g)(3) as often applied, and perhaps on its very face as written, is an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Various federal district courts over the years have suggested that the provision is constitutionally suspect, and the Supreme Court in 2019 already narrowed the clause’s reach. Then, just last month, the New Orleans-based U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that as applied to a marijuana case, it is indeed unconstitutional….. The most “serious” offense for which they are charging Hunter Biden is one likely not to stand….. [The full column is here.]


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