Court overturns gun charge stemming from local domestic abuse conviction
By Chris Eger
Sitting in Denver at the Byron White Courthouse, a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit found a lower court had erred in the case of Alex Pauler. (Photo: USCourts.gov)
A unanimous panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a Kansas man prohibited from gun possession due to a prior domestic battery charge shouldn’t be.
The court on Tuesday overturned the conviction on a federal weapons charge of Alexander Pauler, a Wichita man found with a gun after his conviction on a previous misdemeanor crime of domestic violence made him a prohibited firearms possessor. The court held that only a history of domestic abuse convictions under federal, state or tribal law can strip away gun rights, while Pauler had been charged with breaking a Witch municipal domestic battery ordinance.
Under federal law, those found guilty of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence can lose their gun rights, which Pauler was convicted of in 2009 after punching his girlfriend. He subsequently found himself in federal court in 2014 after he was found with a .40 caliber Glock in his vehicle after allegedly pulling it at a party and charged by a grand jury with possession of a firearm by a prohibited