Saturday, May 8, 2021

New Citation

 State v. Christen, 2019AP001767-CR (Wisc. 2021), at p. 19 citing Second Amendment Limitations & Criminological Considerations..  The challenge in this case involved a 2nd Amendment challenge to a drunk brandishing a firearm in his home:

Christen, his roommates, and his roommates' friends had been drinking alcohol on the evening of February 2, 2018. There was conflicting testimony about how much and to what extent there was arguing and pushing among them. However, the testimony was uncontroverted that Christen did arm himself. The jury was called upon to weigh and consider the evidence and determined that Christen went armed, was intoxicated, and did not act in self-defense.

The defendant challenged his conviction on Second Amendment grounds.  The State was not buying that and neither did the jury.

However, there is no evidence in the historical record indicating that individuals under the influence of intoxicants were understood to present a "danger" to society much less temporarily disqualified from using firearms. To the contrary, the common law restricted firearm possession by those who committed "very serious, very dangerous offenses such as murder, rape, arson, and robbery." Don B. Kates & Clayton E. Cramer, Second Amendment Limitations and Criminological Considerations, 60 Hastings L.J. 1339, 1362 (2009). 

Don and I never addressed the issue of drunks with guns.  That the State cited the paper by Don Kates and I bothers me not at all.  I am quite confident that waving a flintlock pistol around while drunk and engaging in a loud aggressive dispute in 1789 Boston would have caused either the constable or the night watch to have taken away Mr. Christen's flintlock and charged him at least with disturbing the peace, and likely with aggravated assault (or whatever it would have been called in 1789).

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