Binderup v. Attorney Gen. of thel United States, No. 14-4549 (3d Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
About 20 years ago, Binder pled guilty in a Pennsylvania state court to corrupting a minor, a misdemeanor subject to possible imprisonment for up to five years. Binder was sentenced to three years' probation . Suarez pled guilty in a Maryland state court to unlawfully carrying a handgun without a license, a misdemeanor subject to possible imprisonment for “not less than 30 days and not [more than] three years or a fine.” He received a suspended sentence. Pennsylvania law disqualified both from possessing firearms due to their convictions. The Third Circuit ruled in favor of the men, who brought as-applied challenges to the prohibition. Federal law generally prohibits the possession of firearms by any person convicted of a “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year,” 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), excluding “any State offense classified by the laws of the State as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less,” and “[a]ny conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored.” The court noted its 2010 “Marzzarella” decision, adopting a framework for deciding facial and as-applied Second Amendment challenges. In its 2011 “Barton” decision, the court held that the section 922(g)(1) prohibition does not violate the Second Amendment on its face. In addressing how a criminal offender may rebut the presumption that he lacks Second Amendment rights, the majority concluded that Marzzarella's two-step test drives the analysis: whether the challenged law imposes a burden on conduct falling within the Second Amendment's scope and, if so, whether it survives intermediate scrutiny.