The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 25, 2014 Jennifer Fuson 202-370-8128 jfuson [at] bradymail [dot] org
Brief filed in Johnson v. U.S. backs strict sentencing for convicted felons
Washington, D.C. – Today the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that illegal possession of any firearm is a violent felony under federal sentencing law. The Brady Center was joined by the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO).
The brief was filed in support of the United States in Johnson v. United States, in which a convicted felon is challenging his sentence for illegal gun possession, which was enhanced under the terms of the Armed Career Criminal Act. (The felon possessed an AK-47, and manufactured napalm and explosives for the Aryan movement.) The Act mandates a minimum sentence for illegal gun possession if the offender has three prior violent felony convictions. Johnson argues that one of his prior convictions for possession of a sawed-off shotgun does not constitute a violent felony under the Act.
“Gun-wielding criminals should feel the full weight of the law for placing the public at risk of lethal gun violence,” said Jonathan Lowy, Director of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project. “To effectively protect our families and communities we need to prevent dangerous people from getting guns by requiring background checks for all gun sales and cracking down on bad apple gun dealers, and we must soundly punish those criminals who circumvent the law by getting their hands on a gun.”
An oral argument date for the case has not yet been announced.
The Brady Center and the IBPO were represented by the law firm White & Case in preparation of the brief. View the brief here.
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