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In a two-fisted defense of individual rights against the power of the federal government, U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings of Lubbock struck down as unconstitutional a federal criminal provision in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which prohibits the possession of a gun by persons subject to certain family law court orders.

Cummings’ March 30 opinion in United States v. Timothy Joe Emerson declared that the statute, 18 U.S.C. &922(g)(8), violates the Second Amendment because it allows a state court divorce proceeding, without a finding of threatened future violence, to deprive automatically a citizen of his right to keep and bear arms.

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