This Note argues that courts should decide challenges to § 922(g)(4) solely under the first step of the test, based on the notion that individuals subject to § 922(g)(4) fall outside the scope of Second Amendment protection. Thus, under the two-part test, the law would not burden conduct protected by the Amendment, rendering step two unnecessary for at least the vast majority of § 922(g)(4) challenges. This Note provides three independent ways in which courts could deem § 922(g)(4) outside the purview of the Second Amendment, and each should be considered a permissible approach.
The first Part of this Note provides background information on the relationship between mental illness and violence in the United States, which established the rationale for the enactment of § 922(g)(4). Part II then considers the text of § 922(g)(4), including opportunities for relief from the firearm prohibition. Next, Part III discusses the implications of recent Supreme Court Second Amendment jurisprudence for § 922(g)(4), which has provided the backdrop for lower court analysis. Part IV then summarizes recent § 922(g)(4) decisions across three circuit courts, in which they interpreted the relevant Supreme Court jurisprudence and offered their own analyses. Finally, Part V provides three alternative approaches that courts could use when evaluating challenges to § 922(g)(4), based on the framework provided in the recent circuit court holdings.
Alexandra T. Cline,
Who Has the Right?: Analysis of Second Amendment Challenges to 18 U.S.C. § 922(G)(4),
Notre Dame L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol96/iss4/13