TABLE OF CONTENTS
The second amendment is not as cut and dried as one thinks with regards to keeping and bearing arms. Americans regard the 2nd amendment as an individual right, where once it only applied to states and their rights to protect themselves. The surprising Minnesota Supreme Court case of the 2nd Amendment of Benjamin Tapia is such a case that questioned the system of bearing arms.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted in 1791 and is part of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments, giving rights to Americans to keep arms such as guns.
Groups of men known as militia worked to protect their town and states, making use of their own weapons. People believed that the federal government should only have an army to fight foreign enemies. The Second Amendment allowed states to keep their militias and individuals to keep their guns.
2nd Amendment for Militia or Individuals?
People have always debated whether the Second Amendment just applies to militias or to individual citizens. When all is said and done, based on the Second Amendment, the government is not able to stop citizens from owning weapons but it can regulate firearms, and to this end, there are laws in place to prevent certain people from owning guns. The surprising Minnesota Supreme Court case of the 2nd Amendment win is proof that this law is for every citizen.
We are living in a violent society, and protection is as the top of the list when it comes to the reasons why people want to own a gun. Introduce more severe punishment for criminals and gun ownership will go down, but people believe if those criminals get off lightly, they themselves need to protect themselves.
Many are shot each year
When you do your research, you see that guns are actually deeply ingrained in American society. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows Americans the right to bear arms. The people who own these guns say that the right to own firearms is essential to their sense of freedom. The problem comes in because, with this gun ownership, you are always hearing of mass shootings in the United States. Obviously, this has spurred a debate in Congress about whether gun ownership should be limited.
They need to must pass a background check so as to buy a gun. These gun laws help with keeping track of guns and the government can also limit the type of weapons people can own and where they can carry them.
The Supreme Court always held the opinion that the Second Amendment only applied to the federal government and therefore did not do anything to stop them from regulating gun ownership.
There were a couple of court cases like the surprising Minnesota Supreme Court case of Benjamin Tapia that changed this opinion however and in 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court invalidated a federal law that made it illegal for most Washington DC citizens to own a gun.
In a 5-4 decision, it was ruled that the 2nd Amendment also protect individuals outside state jurisdiction. A couple of years later, in 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court outlawed another ban on handguns.
One of the most debated Amendments
The Second Amendment is one of the most debated amendments in the United States, and not without reason as there has been a surge in mass shootings that has prompted many Americans to want stricter gun laws.
But the National Rifle Association argues against gun control measures, believing the restrictions to actually be a violation of their 2nd Amendment rights. It was in 2018 that there was a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The survivors of that shooting became gun control activists, calling their movement #NeverAgain.
A million school kids took part in a National School Walkout to protest against these frequent school shootings and to demand improved gun laws. Florida passed a bill on March 9 that raised the minimum age to buy a weapon. One of the first federal gun control efforts was the Brady Bill, passed in the 1990s and mandating background checks for gun purchases.
The name of the Bill came about because of a former White House Press Secretary James S. Brady. In 1981, he managed to survive being shot in the head during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan 1981.
The state of Minnesota has different statutes punishing the possession of a firearm or other kind of weapon as well as carrying a firearm without the proper permits in place. But Benjamin Tapia’s surprising Minnesota Supreme Court case is a question on the law that if it’s only applied for the actual criminals.
Certainly, possession of a firearm together with some other offense will make the potential punishment much more serious, such as prison time.
Surprising Minnesota Supreme Court Victory: The case of Benjamin Tapia
The surprising Minnesota Supreme Court case of Benjamin Tapia revolves around the 2nd amendment.
It was in 1988 that Benjamin Tapia stole a car and was not allowed to possess a firearm for 10 years. This, in spite of his crime not being of a violent nature. Under Minnesota law at the time, a person was was convicted of a violent crime was not able to possess a firearm. Benjamin Tapia was not allowed to own a firearm until 1998.
It is thought that because Tapia did not commit a crime of violence, he should not have had to give up or lose his 2nd Amendment rights to keep arms. It is believed that his 2nd Amendment rights were infringed upon.
Years later, in 2003, statutes were amended and those that were found guilty of a violent crime had to the fact not 10 years of a ban on firearms but a lifetime ban.
The law was also backdated to previous cases, and that included the crime of Benjamin Tapia. So instead of waiting for 10 years, it meant that Tapia would never be able to buy a firearm again.
In 2014, the Minnesota legislative branch revised the statute again, removing motor vehicle theft from its list of ‘violent crimes’. But in Tapia’s case, the amendment only applied to crimes committed after August 1st and that meant that he was still bound to the lifelong ban from owning a firearm.
Had he committed his crime on the 2nd of August, 2014, he would have been able to buy a firearm. The fact that he committed his crime 15 years prior meant that he would face a lifetime revocation of his 2nd Amendment rights. Here is the twist of the surprising Minnesota Supreme court case began as a law firm called Leverson Budke took Tapia’s case.
Surprising Minnesota Supreme Court Victory: Enter Leverson Budke
Leverson Budke is a law firm in Minnesota known for providing its clients with the highest level of legal representation possible. With experience as a gun rights lawyer with decades of experience, Leverson Budke won the surprising Minnesota Supreme court 2nd Amendment case in an unusual way by implementing an order that is scarcely used and that is known as a Writ of Mandamus.
It is not commonly used because even the US Attorney’s office believes it should only be used in times of ‘exceptional circumstances’. Leverson Budke used this innovative and genius strategy in this surprising Minnesota Supreme court case to reverse the court’s decision that would not allow Tapia a permit to have a handgun in the state.
Appealing a Supreme Court 2nd Amendment case may seem impossible, and in fact the Supreme Court of Minnesota reviews about 1-2% of the petitions they get each year. This means about 7-15 cases each year.
Once the Supreme Court agrees to review a case, preparing an argument can be quite a task what with all the paperwork and red tape. But in Benjamin Tapia’s case it paid off and just weeks ago, on October 21, 2020, the surprising Minnesota Supreme Court announced that they had ruled in Tapia’s favor and that his 2nd amendment gun rights would be restored.
Tapia has got Leverson Budke’s devotion to the case to thank for this as the law firm went to great lengths and determination to do this for him. Chief justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea turned the decision around and granted Tapia’s petition to give him back his gun rights. With implementation of the Writ of Mandamus Benjamin Tapia got the surprising Minnesota Supreme court victory.
When you look back, Tapia’s first appeal was not successful, and there was just one judge that ruled in his favor. Tapia had agreed that he had committed a crime of violence, and subject to the lifetime ban, Leverson Budke believed that the 2014 amendment should not include Tapia from such an obligation and this belief brought the surprising Minnesota Supreme Court victory.
Also, there was also the state v. Schulter case with a similar story. It was in 1986 that Schulter was convicted of a felony, and at the time of his arrest and trial, his felony, unlike Tapia’s, was not considered to be a crime of violence.
In 2000 however, the Minnesota legislature amended the law and made drug possession, of which Schulter was guilty a violent crime. When Schulter was later found to also be in possession of a firearm, because of his violation of the law, he was charged. People thought that State v. Schulter was exactly what Tapia needed, but most people did not regard it as applicable to his supreme court 2nd amendment case.
Yes, Tapia did lose his case with the Minnesota appellate court, but the professional and dedicated team at Leverson Budke were more determined than ever to continue the fight and to take Benjamin Tapia’s dispute to the Minnesota Supreme Court and brought the Surprising Minnesota Supreme Court Victory.
In presenting Tapia’s Minnesota Supreme Court 2nd amendment case, the law firm of Leverson Budke knew they had to to come up with a compelling argument and the first truth they would present to the high court was the fact that Tapia was not involved in a crime of violence, and that it was ridiculous to therefore be held to the same standards as those who committed such crimes.
In other words, he rightfully should have been allowed to own a firearm, even once he was arrested.
They reviewed what is known as the ‘canons of statutory construction’. This is how a person interprets a certain statute of law. There is a rule among lawyers saying that if there is more than one interpretation to a law it can be considered as unclear as there are other interpretation to confuse the matter.
When looking at the 2014 amendment, they concluded that there were two interpretations because the word ‘crime’ could actually mean two things – crimes of violence, but also crimes committed while possessing a firearm.
They believed the 2014 law proved to be unclear and that Tapia should be allowed to keep his firearm. The law firm of Leverson Budke was wanting the Minnesota Supreme Court to see their point of view and that is that Tapia’s crime should not disqualify him from possessing a firearm.
What lawyers are capable of doing for their clients
Although Tapia had lost his appeal, Leverson Budke had the confidence that they had enough evidence to support their claims. The court agreed with Leverson Budke’s statements, and their surprising Minnesota Supreme Court victory for Tapia was a display of what can be done when a good lawyer goes full out for their client.
And so, the crux of the matter is that a law firm such as Leverson Budke will defend Your 2nd Amendment Rights just like Tapia’s Surprising Minnesota Supreme court victory. There are a lot of laws with regards to owning a firearm and if you have been convicted of another crime along with also owning a firearm, things get even trickier. Your Second Amendment gun rights could well change based on the crime you are been convicted of.
Trying to go it alone to restore your gun rights is never going to work for you and will just give you an added load of stress. Even if you think you have got a good case, the judges and lawyers you come up against are wise, experienced, and aggressive. They will make it that you wish you had your own legal representation to take them on.
If you have been convicted of a crime, your gun rights will still remain as is, but with other, larger crimes, the circumstances may well be very different.
It is a known fact that domestic violence crimes see gun rights revocations aplenty. The bottom line is that whatever crime you have been involved in, you are always going to need an experienced knowledgeable attorney who is well clued up in Second Amendment laws. The skilled attorneys at Leverson Budke are your best bet then.