Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States of America v. Ron Bryant

April 3, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE,
v.
RON BRYANT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Per curiam.

11-5452-cr

United States v. Bryant

(Argued: December 11, 2012)

Before: POOLER, HALL, LIVINGSTON, Circuit Judges.

Defendant Ron Bryant appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York convicting Bryant of one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and sentencing Bryant to a total effective sentence of 81 months' imprisonment. On appeal, Bryant argues that his conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) for unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking is barred by the Second Amendment because his conviction burdens his lawful right to possess a firearm for self-defense in his home. We reject Bryant's challenge, and we join our sister circuits in holding that 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) is constitutional as applied and that the Second Amendment does not safeguard the unlawful purpose of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. For the reasons stated herein and in an accompanying summary order addressing the remainder of Bryant's challenges, we AFFIRMthe judgment of conviction.

AFFIRMED.

Defendant Ron Bryant ("Bryant") appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York (Siragusa, J.) convicting Bryant of one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1), and sentencing Bryant to a total effective sentence of 81 months' imprisonment. We decide three of four issues in an accompanying summary order. We write here to address Bryant's argument that his conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) is barred by the Second Amendment.

Following the conclusion of trial but before sentencing and entry of final judgment, Bryant filed a motion to vacate his 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm. He argued that the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), which had issued after the date of his conviction, required his § 924(c) conviction be vacated. Specifically, he argued that under Heller's clarification of the Second Amendment, he had a right to possess the "legal shotgun" he had purchased and retained within his home in order to protect himself. That motion was denied. Bryant argued below and now argues to us that "it cannot constitutionally be assumed that all such people" charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 942(c)(1) "pose a risk of future violence." On that basis he asserts that § 924(c) is unconstitutional as applied because his conviction burdened his constitutional right to keep and bear arms in defense of his own home. We reject Bryant's challenge, and we join our sister circuits in holding that 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) is constitutional as applied and that the Second Amendment does not safeguard the unlawful purpose of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

For the reasons stated herein and in an accompanying summary order addressing the remainder of Bryant's challenges, we AFFIRMthe judgment of conviction.

I. BACKGROUND

In March 2007, officers from the Rochester Police Department executed a search warrant for a residence at 102 Cottage Street, a home in Rochester, New York. The search recovered in the master bedroom of the residence:

[S]even small baggies containing a white rock-like substance in an unmarked pill bottle on top of the television, approximately $83 cash next to the pill bottle, a loaded 12 gauge Remington shotgun with one round in the chamber and four rounds in the magazine underneath the bed, $700 in a phonebook in a headboard drawer, two digital scales (one in the headboard of the bed and one underneath the bed in a shoe box which also contained pieces of Bryant's mail), a bottle marked "Superior B Crystallized Powder" containing a powder or "cut" on the headboard, $1,000 in a lockbox underneath the bed, and a box of 12 gauge shotgun shells in the closet.

Appellee's Br. at 4 (record citations omitted). The search also recovered new plastic bags of assorted sizes in the basement and pieces of mail addressed to Bryant in the kitchen.

After completion of the search, Bryant, who had been in the residence when the police arrived, agreed to speak with a Rochester police officer. His statement was memorialized in writing and signed by ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.