Cases & Deals

Honorably discharged military veteran obtains firearm license, overcoming unlawful denial based on 30-year-old misdemeanor charge

Client(s) Client A

Jones Day represented an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Navy who had been permanently barred from carrying any firearm in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts due to a non-violent misdemeanor charge for the simple possession of under a half-ounce of marijuana over 30 years ago, when he was 21 years old. The Virginia state court that had heard that charge dismissed it under Virginia's first-offender statute, following our client's completion of a year of probation, and he has never been charged with any other crime. In August 2014, Jones Day filed a civil-rights complaint in Massachusetts federal court alleging that the Commonwealth's denial of our client's firearm license violated his rights under both state law and the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Government officials in Massachusetts then moved quickly to grant him a license and resolve the case, claiming that the denial had been based on mistaken FBI records even though state officials had previously told our client that he was barred from obtaining a license based on the correct information that he had given them. In addition to vindicating our client's rights by obtaining a firearm license, Jones Day attorneys also worked with the FBI to ensure that federal records reflect that he has never been convicted of any crime.