May 18, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court decided Henderson v. United States -- a case where Gun Owners Foundation was very active.
The Court’s unanimous (9-0) ruling provides that a felon can sell his firearms collection even after being convicted of a felony.
The case involved Tony Henderson, a former Border Patrol agent with a previous pot conviction. Because of his felony, the government tried to take his firearms collection, which totaled more than $3,500.
Gun Owners Foundation went to bat for Mr. Henderson and argued he should be able to sell his guns, which at the time, were in the FBI’s possession.
After Henderson had been convicted on an unrelated marijuana conviction, he sold his ownership rights in the firearms to an unrelated third party who was legally eligible to possess the firearms. The third party asked the FBI to turn the guns over to the purchaser, but the FBI refused.
The government used a theory of “constructive possession” to claim that Mr. Henderson's firearms could not be transferred, even to a third party, without violating the felon-in-possession ban.
The trial court and the court of appeals agreed with this legal fiction, preventing Mr. Henderson from selling his firearms to the unrelated third party.
Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously sided in favor of Tony Henderson.
The court’s decision is a victory for private property rights, and helps to further erect a barrier against the confiscation of firearms.