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WillParkinson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-28-09 07:26 AM
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Gun ruling reversal tests domestic violence law
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Gun ruling reversal tests domestic violence law

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

A Rock County man sentenced to two years in federal prison for shooting a deer while he was on probation for domestic violence has had his case overturned by a federal appeals court.

The case could have far-ranging impact in the gun-rights debate. For Steve Skoien, it meant he'll be home for the holidays.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled earlier this month that, in light of a major Supreme Court ruling about individual gun rights last year, prosecutors need to show that a lifetime ban on gun ownership for those convicted of domestic violence has a reasonable connection to reducing domestic gun violence. That 1996 law, the appeals court found, should not be grouped with other "presumptively legal" firearm restrictions mentioned in the 2008 Supreme Court case, known as District of Columbia vs. Heller.

The opinion by Judge Diane Sykes says that Heller's "reference to exceptions cannot be read to relieve the government of its burden of justifying laws that restrict Second Amendment rights."

And so Skoien's conviction was reversed and his case sent back to Madison so prosecutors can try to meet that burden. On Wednesday, a judge ordered his release from federal prison in North Carolina, where he had been assigned to serve his sentence.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/76792412.html
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