Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Aron J. Estaver

First Page



There is currently a split among U.S. Circuit Courts regarding 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), a provision of the Gun Control Act of 1968 that makes it a crime for any individual "who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to possess or receive a firearm in interstate or foreign commerce or affecting interstate commerce." The U.S. Supreme Court will examine the split later this year when it hears the case of United States v. Small. The Author argues that the Supreme Court should determine that Section 922(g)(1) of the Gun Control Act of 1968 is ambiguous in its application to foreign felony convictions because of the legislative history of the Gun Control Act and the potential constitutional problems that may arise from recognition by U.S. courts of foreign convictions. More specifically, the Author proposes that the U.S. Supreme Court either affirm the Restatement test adopted by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and allow for discretionary inclusion of foreign felony convictions or hold Section 922(g)(1)'s scope to cover only domestic felony convictions, which would help pave the way for Congress to speak more clearly to the issue and conclusively prohibit dangerous felons, both domestic and foreign, from owning handguns.