SAF FILES AMICUS BRIEFS IN FEDERAL CASES CHALLENGING GUN BAN FOR PRETRIAL RELEASE

January 11, 2023

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed amicus briefs in two cases challenging the authority of a federal district court in California to impose a ban on firearm possession as a condition of pretrial release.

Joining SAF in both briefs are the Firearms Policy Coalition, FPC Action Foundation, Second Amendment Law Center, California Rifle & Pistol Association, Rutherford Institute and the Cato Institute. They are represented by attorneys John W. Whitehead, C.D. Michel, Joseph G.S. Greenlee and Adam Kraut.

The cases involve separate criminal actions against two men, Jesus Perez-Garcia and John Fencl in U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The cases are known as U.S. v. Jesus Perez-Garcia and U.S. v. John Fencl..

At issue is the district court’s authority to impose the firearm possession ban. This condition dates back to the Bail Reform Act of 1984, in which Congress for the first time required district courts to consider danger to others or the community, in addition to the risk of flight, in their bail decisions. In the same act, Congress also expanded the range of permissible conditions of release when done on personal recognizance or an unsecured appearance bond do not suffice to reasonably assure the person’s appearance at trial. One of those conditions is that the person “refrain from possessing a firearm.”

“This condition violates the presumption of innocence,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “As we note in our briefs, ‘If the presumption of innocence is incompatible with an “assumption” that pretrial releasees are ‘more likely to commit crimes than other members of the public, without an individualized determination to that effect,’ it is equally incompatible with an assumption that pretrial releasees are more likely to pose a danger of firearms-related violence simply by virtue of the charges, without an individualized determination of dangerousness.”


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