The National Rifle Association is publicly supporting the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision to allow convicted felons to attempt to sell any firearms taken by law enforcement. The decision came in response to a case involving former U.S. Border Patrol agent Tony Henderson, whose 19 guns were confiscated by the FBI upon his arrest on drug charges.
Following his guilty plea, Henderson was a felon prohibited from possessing firearms; however, he did not want to simply lose the roughly $3,500 his gun collection was worth. He petitioned a lower court in an effort to allow a third party to take possession of the guns and attempt to sell them on his behalf. That effort was unsuccessful at every stage of appeal up to the Supreme Court level.
The NRA had a vested interest in the case and publicly advocated on behalf of Henderson’s cause.
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According to Associated Press reporter Sam Hananel, the pro-gun organization “argued that the government’s attempt to prohibit any sale or transfer prevents law-abiding citizens who want to buy the guns from doing so.”
Though certain aspects of the case warranted clarification, the panel ultimately agreed that convicted felons should be permitted to attempt selling property confiscated by authorities.
Associate Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the decision that this change is in no way an invitation for a felon to bypass existing law “by arranging a sham transfer that leaves him in effective control of his guns.”
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