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Firearm Possession Sentence Affirmed

By FindLaw Staff on May 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Wright, No. 09-12685, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for knowingly possessing a firearm and ammunition that affected interstate commerce, holding that 1) because the Sentencing Commission's intent was clear, there was no need to address the rule of lenity; 2) community control was sufficiently analogous to probation to warrant the application of U.S.S.G. section 4A1.2(k); and 3) 18 U.S.C. section 922(g) only required that the government prove some "minimal nexus" to interstate commerce, which it may accomplish by demonstrating that the firearm possessed traveled in interstate commerce.

As the court wrote:  "Ricky Wright appeals his conviction and eighty-four month sentence for knowingly possessing a firearm and ammunition that affected interstate commerce after having been convicted of a felony. Wright presents a case of first impression as to whether section 4A1.2(k) of the United States Sentencing Guidelines applies to Florida's community control program. Wright also challenges the constitutionality of his conviction by alleging that Congress exceeded its authority in passing the law under the Commerce Clause. After careful consideration, we find that section 4A1.2(k) applies to Florida's community control program. We also find that Wright's conviction is constitutionally sound. Accordingly, Wright has presented no reversible error and we affirm the decision of the district court."

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