United States v. Benamor, No. 17-50308 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit filed an amended opinion affirming a conviction for knowingly possessing a firearm as a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1); denied a petition for panel rehearing; and denied a petition for rehearing en banc.
The panel held that the district court correctly refused to instruct the jury that, to convict, they had to find that defendant knew that his firearm was manufactured after 1898. In this case, defendant did not dispute the government's evidence that his gun could not have been manufactured before 1915, and he offered no evidence that he reasonably believed that the gun was manufactured before 1898. Therefore, the panel held that defendant failed to meet his burden of production to put the antique firearm affirmative defense at issue, and his sufficiency of the evidence argument failed as well. The panel also held that, at a minimum, the prior convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition proved beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant had the knowledge required by Rehaif v. United States , 139 S. Ct. 2191 (2019), and that any error in not instructing the jury to make such a finding did not affect defendant's substantial rights or the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the trial. Finally, the confrontation clause error was harmless.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on June 6, 2019.