- Associated Press - Monday, July 4, 2016

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) - A U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning all domestic violence offenders from owning guns drew differing responses from Wyoming’s congressional delegation.

The 6-2 ruling on June 27 upheld the broad reach of a law that Congress passed in 1996 barring people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from owning guns. Wyoming’s congresswoman opposed the decision, saying denying a person’s Second Amendment rights for life is too harsh in many cases, while the state’s two U.S. senators were more cautious in their reactions, The Sheridan Press reported last week (https://bit.ly/2915R0m ).

Rep. Cynthia Lummis “abhors domestic violence, but doesn’t think we need to abandon common sense and our Constitution to fight it,” according to a statement from her office. “Rep. Lummis thinks Congress should revisit this law, which has taken on a life of its own in the courts, in order to strike a better balance to protect American families without unduly sacrificing Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed rights.”

Sen. Mike Enzi’s spokesman said the senator supports gun rights and opposes domestic violence but appreciates some of the points made by Justice Clarence Thomas.

Thomas said in a dissenting opinion that the ruling was an overreach and that a misdemeanor conviction in any other case does not wipe out a person’s constitutional rights.

Sen. John Barrasso’s office said the senator believes people convicted of violent crimes should be restricted from access to weapons “as long as they still pose a threat.”

“In those particular cases, the focus should be on protecting the community and its victims,” according a statement.

In Wyoming, people convicted of domestic abuse or other crimes can apply to own guns again under state law if they didn’t use a gun in the crime and other requirements are satisfied, such as enough time passing, the newspaper reported.

It’s not clear whether the U.S. government would honor gun rights restored by Wyoming because both state and federal laws apply, Sheridan County Attorney Matt Redle said.


Information from: The Sheridan (Wyo.) Press, https://www.thesheridanpress.com/



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