Alabama Supreme Court shoots down unconstitutional gun law
Weapons crimes, such as carrying a weapon in certain locations, carry harsh penalties if the defendant is convicted of the crime. A recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling might make it a bit easier for people who are facing gun charges to be found innocent of the charges against them.
The Alabama Supreme Court found that the state law that bans people from open carrying a firearm on someone else’s property is unconstitutionally vague. The issue at hand is that the law doesn’t have a punishment clause.
The premise behind the ruling, which was a 5-3 decision, is that people who are facing criminal charges have the right to know what the penalties are for the charge placed against them. In the case that sparked the Alabama Supreme Court decision, a man open carried a firearm into a credit union. He was asked to leave by an off-duty law enforcement officer who was acting as a security guard for the credit union. While he did leave, he also remarked that he was within his rights.
Days later, the man faced a criminal charge. He was later found guilty of that violation. Since the law under which he was charged didn’t contain penalties, the man’s actions can’t be classified as criminal. In order to prosecute people under the law, it will have to be fixed to include penalties.
If you are facing criminal charges, it is vital that you learn all you can about the charge against you. This can help you decide how you should build your defense. It is important to explore all your options when dealing with a criminal case.
Source: Yellow Hammer News, “Recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling is a huge win for gun rights,” Elizabeth BeShears, Sep. 08, 2015