(Headline USA) President Joe Biden’s Justice Department defended a ban on drug users owning guns even as Hunter Biden’s legal team prepares to challenge the policy as part of his defense against federal charges.
The government asked the Third Circuit Court of Appeals this week to uphold the conviction of Erik Harris, a college student who was charged after admitting he used marijuana while owning guns. DOJ attorneys argued the sentence is necessary for public safety reasons.
“Harris claimed to lose one of his firearms (potentially at a bar) on the same evening that he smoked marijuana and was drunk,” wrote Andrew Noll, a DC-based attorney with the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Noll went on to argue that the broader ban on drug users from purchasing weapons is due to the fact that drug users are more likely to be impaired.
“Users are unlikely to put their guns away before using drugs and retrieve them only after regaining lucidity,” Noll wrote. “And it is unclear how the government could reasonably administer a regime that permitted confiscation only during the several-hour period a person is intoxicated.”
Hunter Biden is facing federal charges for three gun felonies related to a 2018 incident in which police recovered a firearm registered to him from a trash can in Delaware. Records show Biden purchased the weapon by lying about his drug use, denying that he was an active drug user on the form.
Biden’s attorneys reportedly plan to invoke the Second Amendment to defend Biden’s right to purchase the weapon, even if that means overturning his father’s restrictions.
In a letter addressed to the U.S. attorney supervising the probe of the first son, Biden’s lawyers called the drug-user prohibition “constitutionally dubious at best.”
“[I]t is patently clear that the statutes underpinning the Government’s firearms case will be struck down,” Hunter’s lawyers wrote.