Tony Henderson was a lawful firearms owner until he was convicted of a felony unrelated to his firearms. While his trial was pending, he turned his firearms collection over to the government as a condition of bond. After his conviction, the government would not let Henderson sell his firearms to an unrelated third party because the government claimed this would amount to unlawful “constructive possession” — even though the government physically possessed the firearms.
CLDEF filed an amicus curiae brief arguing that the “constructive possession” theory was improperly applied to this type of case, in nothing more than a naked attempt to deprive Henderson of his property although not able to rely on the federal forfeiture laws. Furthermore, the government’s actions constitute an infringement on Henderson’s right to keep and bear arms by treating the Second Amendment protected firearms as a highly disfavored category of personal property.
On May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the lower court decisions denying Henderson’s firearms transfer request.
CLDEF Amicus Curiae Brief (December 15, 2014)
U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument (Feb. 24, 2015) transcript