12.10.2007

10th Circuit Notes Split Re How Court Determines Felon's Right to Possess Firearms upon Release from Parole or Imprisonment

Per U.S. v. Baker, --- F.3d ----, 2007 WL 4269055 (10th Cir. Dec. 6, 2007):

In this Circuit, however, to determine whether state law expressly restricts a felon's right to possess firearms, we “look to the whole of state law.” Burns, 934 F.2d at 1160 (consulting provisions of the Kansas criminal code to determine a felon's right to possess a firearm).FN4

FN4. We note a split in the circuits regarding whether a court may look only to a certificate of restoration of civil rights upon release from parole or imprisonment to decide whether the certificate expressly limits a felon's right to possess firearms, or whether, as in this Circuit, we may look to the whole of state law to make such a determination. See United States v. Chenowith, 459 F.3d 635, 638 (5th Cir.2006) (noting that the Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits adhere to the former approach, while the Fourth, Sixth, and Tenth Circuits adhere to the latter approach).

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