The federal government can continue to block non-violent felons from possessing firearms. That’s what a three-judge panel for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday.
It found the federal law barring those convicted of non-violent felonies from possessing guns is consistent with the country’s history and tradition of gun regulation. The court specifically relies on historical laws that disarmed disfavored minority groups to reach that conclusion, despite referring to that history as “repugnant” and “unconstitutional.”
“The earliest firearm legislation in colonial America prohibited Native Americans, Black people, and indentured servants from owning firearms,” the court’s per curiam opinion reads. “Likewise, Catholics in the American colonies (as in Britain) were subject to disarmament without demonstrating a proclivity for violence.”