This analysis looks at Voisine v. US, a Supreme Court case from 2016, which established the Lautenberg Amendment that expanded firearm ownership prohibition under federal law.

In one of the final cases decided in its 2015-16 term, Voisine v. US, the Supreme Court held that a misdemeanor conviction for “reckless” domestic assault, like those for “knowing” and “intentional” domestic assault, is enough to ban someone from owning a firearm under federal law. Known as the Lautenberg Amendment, the federal statute prohibits any person who is convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from owning or possessing any firearm or ammunition. Two years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that such convictions that involve the “knowing” or “intentional” use of physical force fell within the federal prohibition. In Voisine, the defendant tried to argue that his domestic assault conviction was based on “reckless” conduct, which should fall outside of the federal firearm ban.

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