We are extremely proud to announce that Chief Counsel Joshua Prince was successful in a second Second Amendment as-applied challenge in relation to a prior mental health commitment.
As our viewers are likely aware from Attorney Prince’s blog article Monumental Decision from the Middle District Court of Pennsylvania Regarding Mental Health Commitments and the Second Amendment, approximately three months ago, Attorney Prince was successful in obtaining relief for Mr. Yox, who had previously been involuntarily committed as a juvenile but later went on to honorably serve in our Armed Forces and later as a state correctional officer. Under federal law, Mr. Yox was permitted to possess a firearm and ammunition in his official capacity as a law enforcement officer, but was precluded from possessing a firearm and ammunition in his private capacity. In fact, in providing relief to Mr. Yox, the court declared:
Indeed, Mr. Yox provides the perfect test case to challenge § 922(g)(4), as the illogical contradiction of being able to possess firearms in his professional capacities but not being able to possess a firearm for protection in his own home puts in relief a factual scenario where an as-applied Second Amendment challenge to this statute may succeed.
Indeed, if Mr. Yox were not to succeed on his as-applied challenge, we cannot imagine that there exists any person who could.
Unfortunately, the court had previously dismissed his co-plaintiff’s (Mr. Keyes’) identical arguments on the basis that the Pennsylvania Superior Court had already considered his Second Amendment challenge and found against him in In re Keyes. After rendering its decision on Plaintiff Yox’s claims, Mr. Keyes filed a request for the court to reconsider its prior ruling and arguing that it would be a manifest injustice if the court were deny him relief based on the faulty decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Yesterday, Judge John E. Jones, III. overturned his prior holding finding that Mr. Keyes’ Second Amendment as-applied claim was barred and declared that Mr. Keyes “is in a materially identical situation” to Mr. Yox and that denying Keyes, while granting relief to Mr. Yox, would seem to constitute an “inequitable administration of the law” and “manifest injustice.”Judge Jones specifically declared in finding that the Pennsylvania Superior Court incorrectly analyzed his prior Second Amendment challenge:
The result is that Keyes is left behind while his co-Plaintiff receives full relief simply because Keyes pursued his Second Amendment claims in what turned out to be the wrong court. He is left with no recourse to receive vindication of his constitutional right to bear arms, even though this Court has, for all material purposes, made clear that his claim has full merit. This is a grossly unfair and inequitable result.
Judge Jones went on to state that “[w]e would be hard pressed to think of a better example of an inequitable administration of the laws, and it is a circumstance that cries out to be rectified.”
Please join us in congratulating Attorney Prince for this monumental victory, as well as, Judge Jones for ensuring that for every wrong committed, the court has the power to correct it. It is extremely refreshing to see a judge who is willing to reconsider his or her own prior holdings and decisions to ensure that justice prevails.
8 thoughts on “Press Release: Second Mental Health As-Applied Challenge Success”
That is truly a fantastic job. Freedom lovers owe a debt to Mr. Prince’s skill and perseverance.
Great work Josh. This is why I carry your phone not number in my wallet. God forbid I ever have to protect myself or my family. However, if I do I intend to call Josh to represent me.
Well done Mr Prince, mazeltov to you and your clients. If I ever need help in my neck of the woods I may call you for a referral. The Second Amendment is the body guard of the First Amendment.
Great work Mr. Prince. I have a similarly situated client here in Washington State. I am hoping you will send me your federal court pleadings so I can don’t have to recreate the wheel.
I beg to differ on the “perfect test case.” I think mine would be at least on par. Extremely vague 302 petition statement, made AFTER being brought in by the police, but not made BY the police. Seen by the ER doc BEFORE any statement was made, but I requested to be placed in the VAMC… again, BEFORE any statement was made. Held at ER for 18 hours, but not evaluated by anyone, during which time “patient cooperative” was written in my chart 5 times, beginning with the first entry…
I can also introduce a confirmation that the vague statement was made to cover up a sexual assault of a minor crime made by the complainant. So, procedure wasn’t followed, vague complaint made after initial contact, never followed up on… tell me that my case doesn’t have merit.
Oh, forgot to mention… Was military (honorably discharged) vet prior to… and have been sworn law enforcement for nearly a decade since. Didn’t even know about the prohibition until 2015. 1998 “commitment” just prior to the ATF’s famous letter saying 302’s aren’t sufficient to trigger prohibition.