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Forum and Responses

Forum and Responses

Todd Patterson, a 33-year-old husband as well as father of an adopted
daughter from Uganda, is a proud gun owner who has multiple handguns,
shotguns, and two automatic weapons. In this case an automatic weapon is
defined as a firearm that continuously fires so long as the user
presses the trigger and there is ammunition in the gun.

Todd has
no criminal record. When he was 17 years old, after losing both his
parents in a plane crash, he had a mental breakdown resulting in a
six-month institutionalization. Todd lives in the fictitious state of
Varneyland where he works as a social studies teacher and soccer coach
at a local high school.

On a sunny morning in the neighboring
state, a man with a history of mental illness enters an elementary
school and kills 3 teachers and 10 students with an automatic assault
rifle. In response to this shooting, many states across the country,
including Varneyland, pass legislation requiring the registration of all
automatic weapons. As part of the registration process, those seeking
to register their automatic weapons are required to submit to a mental
health background check.

In filling out the application to
register his automatic weapon, Todd reveals his prior
institutionalization, but also states that he has not had any mental
health issues since he was a teenager. When the state of Varneyland
conducts Todd’s mental health background check, it uncovers that Todd
had a diagnosis of major depression with suicidal tendencies. Todd’s
mental health records also reveal a history of self-harm.

Based on
the review of Todd’s mental health records, Varneyland denies Todd’s
application to register his automatic weapons and sends Todd a letter
demanding that he forfeit his automatic weapons or risk criminal and
civil penalties. Because Todd refuses to hand over his automatic
weapons, the state police arrest him and charge him with possession of
an unregistered automatic weapon (a felony crime under Varneyland law).

At
his criminal trial, Todd argues that the registration requirements and
his subsequent arrest are violations of his Second Amendment rights.

Based
on recent case law, do you think that Todd’s arguments possess any
merit? Please be sure to specifically discuss recent case law and how it
affects Todd’s case.

Please note that the recent
2nd Amendment case law is described in the lessons for week 4 located in
the lessons section of the classroom.

Please note that your answers have nothing to do with your personal feelings, thoughts or experiences with these issues.
Your answers are based purely on the law, specifically precedent set by
case law. Reviewing the week 4 lesson will be very helpful to you in
finding relevant case law.

After you have answered these
questions respond to at least 3 student’s postings. Respond to students
who have offered a different perspective or opinion than yours. Be sure
to ask thought-provoking questions of your classmates to further and
deepen the discussion.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please

research and share a current Constitutional issue from the news

headlines. Please briefly share the details of this issue with the class

and discuss specifically which Amendments or sections of the

Constitutions are at issue. Finally, how do you believe this issue

should be handled from a Constitutional perspective, note that this may

be different from your personal opinions on the matter. In other words,

if this issue was before you as a Supreme Court Justice, how would you

decide the matter from a Constitutional interpretation standpoint?