U.S. Supreme Court to hear TN case on guns and domestic violence

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will decide whether a man’s Tennessee misdemeanor domestic assault plea should ban him from owning a gun.

The high court on Tuesday agreed to hear an appeal of James Castleman’s case.

Castleman pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor domestic assault in 2001. He was then charged in 2009 with illegal possession of a firearm by a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. A federal judge threw those charges out.

Federal law bars a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence involving physical force or a deadly weapon from possessing a firearm. The judge said that the Tennessee misdemeanor domestic assault conviction does not require that physical force be used, and so the federal ban could not apply to Castleman.

The government wants that decision overturned.

Note: The case was initially heard by U.S. District Court Judge Jon Phipps McCalla of Memphis. Link to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision HERE.