US appeals panel rules 2-1 backing gun ban in domestic cases

CINCINNATI — A divided federal appeals panel has upheld the ban on guns for people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, even decades after the offense.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges voted 2-1 to affirm a lower court’s dismissal of the challenge by an Ohio man who pleaded no contest in 1997 to a domestic violence charge for “knowingly causing or attempting to cause harm” to his then-wife. Terry Stimmel was blocked in 2002 from buying a gun at a Walmart store after a background check showed his domestic violence record.

Stimmel appealed unsuccessfully first to the FBI and then filed a challenge to the U.S. statute on domestic violence and guns, saying it unconstitutionally undercuts his Second Amendment gun rights.

His attorney says he might appeal further.

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