Ninth Circuit Reinstates Indictment in Federal Gun Charge Case, with Fort Peck Tribal Court Conviction as Predicate for Offense

Here are the materials in United States v. First:

US Appellant Brief

First Appellee Brief

US Reply Brief

CA9 Opinion

An excerpt from the court’s syllabus:

Reversing the district court’s dismissal of an indictment charging the defendant as a misdemeanant in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), the panel held that a misdemeanor conviction obtained in tribal court may qualify as a predicate offense to a § 922(g)(9) prosecution so long as the defendant was provided whatever right to counsel existed in the underlying misdemeanor proceeding.

The panel concluded that this result does not violate the Sixth Amendment, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Update: Critical commentary on this case by federal defender Jon Sands here.

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