United States v. Class, No. 15-3015 (D.C. Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The DC Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for violating a federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms on the grounds of the United States Capitol. Defendant had pleaded guilty to violating this law after parking a car containing three guns on a street near the Capitol.
The court held that the Second Amendment does not give defendant the right to bear arms in the Maryland Avenue parking lot because it was set aside for the use of government employees, was in close proximity to the Capitol building, and was on land owned by the government. Therefore, the court considered the lot as a single unit with the Capitol building, and concluded that the lot was a "sensitive" place where firearms prohibitions were presumptively lawful. Defendant's arguments to the contrary were unavailing. The court also held that defendant's conviction did not violate the Due Process Clause where the text of the Capitol Grounds ban was quite clear, and an ordinary citizen would readily understand from the text of the statute that he may not carry a firearm on the Capitol Grounds or inside the Capitol.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on July 5, 2016.