An expansion of Second Amendment rights last June by the U.S. Supreme Court referred to by President Joe Biden as an "affront to common sense and the Constitution," could benefit Hunter Biden, who is under investigation by the Department of Justice for several potential offenses, including whether he lied on a federal firearms application in 2018 when asked whether he was addicted to drugs, according to Politico.
The ruling, in which the high court struck down New York state's concealed carry law, was recently cited by Hunter Biden's defense team to persuade DOJ investigators that a prosecution against him for the allegation would likely be thrown out, reports The New York Times.
When Hunter Biden bought the gun, he filled out a 4473 form on which he avowed that he was not an "unlawful user of, or addicted to," any "controlled substance."
But according to his 2021 memoir, he frequently used crack cocaine at the time.
The Supreme Court's ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen has led to dozens of lawsuits across the country challenging aspects of the federal firearms background check system.
Biden's team has cited one case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which includes Delaware, where a Pennsylvania man who was denied a gun permit over an old misdemeanor is asking to be granted gun ownership based, in part, on Justice Clarence Thomas' opinion.
The case is likely to be decided over the next several months and could be important for Biden. David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, was appointed by former President Donald Trump and is leading the probe.
Most courts have still upheld the law banning drug users from owning guns, though, says Jeff Welty, a professor at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina, who closely tracks gun cases.
"A majority isn't everybody," Welty said. "And given how unsettled the law is in this area, I think anyone charged with a violation of that statute would give serious consideration to raising the Second Amendment as a defense."
Solange Reyner ✉
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.