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IPFS News Link • Gun Rights

Ban on guns with serial numbers removed is unconstitutional -U.S. judge

•, Brendan Pierson

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston found Wednesday that the law was not consistent with the United States' "historical tradition of firearm regulation," the new standard laid out by the Supreme Court in its landmark ruling.

The decision came in a criminal case charging a man, Randy Price, with illegally possessing a gun with the serial number removed that was found in his car. The judge dismissed that charge, though Price is still charged with illegally possessing the gun after being convicted of previous felonies.

Price's lawyer, Lex Coleman, called the decision "thoughtful, measured and accurate." The office of U.S. Attorney William Thompson in Charleston, which is prosecuting the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The federal law in question prohibits anyone from transporting a gun with the serial number removed across state lines, or from possessing such a gun if it has ever been transported across state lines.

Serial numbers, first required by the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, are intended to prevent illegal gun sales and make it easier to solve crimes by allowing individual guns to be traced.