Denver, CO – January 15, 2021 – Mountain States Legal Foundation’s (MSLF) Center to Keep and Bear Arms is asking the United States Supreme Court to hear the case of a Pennsylvania woman who was denied the right to purchase a firearm because of a ten-year-old false statements conviction.
Lisa Folajtar is by all accounts an upstanding member of society. But ten years ago, in 2011, she pleaded guilty to willfully making false statements on her tax returns — a federal felony punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment. But she was only sentenced to, and completed, three months of home confinement and three years’ probation; she also paid a $10,000 fine and a $100 assessment as well as $250,000 in back taxes, interest, and penalties.
According to the federal government, however, Ms. Folajtar can never again be allowed to own a firearm.
Current federal law prohibits individuals that have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment of a term exceeding one year from possessing firearms—for life. The prohibition is not limited to those who commit violent crimes, felonies, or even those who were actually sentenced to more than one-year imprisonment. The law is so broad that it unconstitutionally prohibits non-violent individuals, like Folajtar, from possessing firearms.
To be clear, Ms. Folajtar is not a dangerous or violent person. She served her time and paid her penalties. Ms. Folajtar has been an upstanding citizen since her conviction and has had no further legal issues. Yet the federal government continues to deny her the ability to exercise her natural and fundamental right to keep and bear arms—a clear violation of the Second Amendment.
“The federal government has no authority to prohibit nonviolent Americans, such as Ms. Folajtar, from possessing firearms,” said Director of MSLF’s Center to Keep and Bear Arms, Cody J. Wisniewski. “Based on the Second Amendment and Founding Era regulations, the federal government can only prohibit dangerous persons from possessing arms. At the time of our Founding, these were most commonly people who were supporting or actively aiding the British Empire or engaged in violent insurrection—not people who lied on their tax returns.”
Folajtar v. Rosen, is the most recent in a group of cases being presented to the Supreme Court regarding the firearm rights of nonviolent misdemeanants and felons. MSLF’s Center to Keep and Bear Arms also recently joined with the Cato Institute and other like-minded organizations to file an amici curiae brief in Holloway v. Rosen, where Mr. Holloway has been denied his Second Amendment protected rights due to a fifteen-year-old misdemeanor DUI.
Follow this link to read the brief.
Follow this link to read the case summary