United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. Nye, Chief U.S. District Court Judge
before the Court is Defendant James Michael Bartley's
(“Bartley”) Motion to Dismiss Indictment. Dkt.
15. Bartley claims that the charge brought against him under
18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4) for illegal possession of a
firearm, is unconstitutional as applied in this case.
reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the
facts and legal arguments are adequately presented.
Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and
because the Court finds that the decisional process would not
be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will
decide the Motion without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc.
Civ. R. 7.1(d)(1)(B).
reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES the Motion.
is a 47-year-old, college-educated military veteran. He
served two multi-year tours of duty in the United States Army
and has lived most of his life in the intermountain west.
Dkt. 15-1, at 3. In 2011, at a misdemeanor proceeding for
driving under the influence, Bartley's mental competence
was evaluated. A state court judge found that Bartley was not
fit to proceed because he could not assist in his own
defense. The judge also found that Bartley lacked the
capacity to make informed decisions about treatment and
committed Bartley to the Idaho Department of Health and
Welfare pursuant to Idaho Code § 18-212. Dkt. 22, at 1,
6. Bartley was released from the Idaho Department of Health
and Welfare's custody approximately six weeks later.
Id. at 5.
29, 2018, Bartley was riding his bicycle in a Boise parking
lot when an altercation occurred with another person. At some
point in the altercation, Bartley pulled out a Glock pistol
and waved or pointed it in the direction of a person. Dkt.
21, at 2. He was eventually arrested, then indicted by a
grand jury for unlawful possession of a firearm in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4) based on his prior adjudication
and mental evaluation in connection to the 2011 case. Bartley
then filed this Motion to Dismiss Indictment on April 30,
argues the indictment must be dismissed based on three
theories. First, he argues that his Second Amendment rights
have been violated. Second, he argues that he has never been
adjudicated a “mental defective” or
“committed to a mental institution” and therefore
§ 922(g)(4) does not prohibit him from possessing
firearms. Last, Bartley argues that his due process rights
have been violated. The Court finds that Bartley's Second
Amendment rights have not been violated, that §
922(g)(4) does apply to him, and that his due process rights
have not been violated.
Government contends that Bartley's Second Amendment
argument is really based on equal protection and therefore
the statute in question need only “be rationally
related to a legitimate governmental purpose.” City
of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, 473 U.S. 432, 446
(1985). Regardless of the standard applied, the Court finds
that Bartley's motion fails on all three argued theories,
so the Court will not specifically address this part of the
statute is challenged on Second Amendment grounds, strict
scrutiny or intermediate scrutiny may apply. District of
Columbia. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 628 n.27 (2008). For
a statute to withstand intermediate scrutiny, the Government
must demonstrate a “significant, substantial, or
important” objective in enforcing the statute.
United States v. Chovan, 753 F.3d. 1127,
1139 (9th Cir. 2013). It must then show there is a
“reasonable fit between the challenged regulation and
the asserted objective.” Id. Conversely, under
strict scrutiny, “the law must advance a compelling
state interest by the least restrictive means
available.” Bernal v. Fainter, 467 U.S. 216,
Ninth Circuit has explained that whether strict scrutiny or
intermediate scrutiny applies in a Second Amendment challenge
to a statute depends on two factors: “(1) how close the
law comes to the core of the Second Amendment right, and (2)
the severity of the law's burden on the right.”
Chovan, 735 F.3d at 1138. A “restriction that
implicates the core of the Second Amendment right and
severely burdens the right warrants strict scrutiny while a
restriction that does not implicate a core Second Amendment
right, or does not places ...