by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The N.C. Court of Appeals offered a mixed ruling today in a case challenging the state’s Felony Firearms Act, which limits ex-felons’ right to own guns. A judge had ruled the act unconstitutional last year in the Caswell County case of Richard Johnston, who had owned guns without incident from 1988 to 2004, when the Felony Firearms Act forced him to surrender his guns because of an earlier conviction stemming from a criminal act in the 1970s.
The Appeals Court reversed much of the trial-court ruling that the Felony Firearms Act violated Johnston’s constitutional “due process” rights. Appellate judges did send the case back to the trial court for more evidence. Judge Cheri Beasley, in one of her last opinions before heading to the N.C. Supreme Court, dissented from part of the majority opinion and would have thrown out more of Johnston’s arguments.
In other Appeals Court opinions released this morning: