US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Mance v. Sessions
Opinion Date: January 19, 2018
Judge: Priscilla R. Owen
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law
The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's decision to enjoin the enforcement of federal laws that generally prohibit the direct sale of a handgun by a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) to a person who is not a resident of the state in which the FFL is located. The court assumed without deciding, that the strict, rather than intermediate standard for scrutiny was applicable. The court held that the in-state sales requirement did not violate the Second Amendment because it was narrowly tailored to assure that an FFL who actually makes a sale of a handgun to someone other than another FFL can reasonably be expected to know and comply with the laws of the state in which the sale occurs. Furthermore, the in-state sales requirement was not unconstitutional as applied to plaintiffs where the rule advanced government interests in the aggregate. The court also held that the in-state sales requirement did not violate the equal protection guarantee in the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment. In this case, the in-state sales requirement did not favor or disfavor residents of any particular state. Instead, it imposed the same restrictions on sellers and purchasers of firearms in each state and the District of Columbia.
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