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Barrett defends opinion on gun rights for felons

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Posted at 1:07 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 15:23:34-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is defending an opinion she wrote arguing that a person who's convicted of a nonviolent felony should not automatically be disqualified from owning a gun.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois challenged Barrett’s argument, saying it would make it easier for felons to bring guns into his home city of Chicago, which is plagued by gun violence caused in part by guns brought in from Barrett’s home state of Indiana.

In a dissent in the 2019 gun rights case of Kanter v. Barr, Barrett argued a conviction for a nonviolent felony such as mail fraud was not enough to disqualify someone from owning a gun.

Durbin accused Barrett of judicial activism, noting a Supreme Court ruling by Barrett’s mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, upheld the idea that felons can be barred from gun ownership.