U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Conviction for Possession of a Firearm With an Obliterated Serial Number Passes Constitutional Muster

US v. Marzzarella, 09-3185, involved a prosecution of defendant for possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, in violation of section 922(k).  In affirming the district court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment, the court held that section 922(k) passes constitutional muster even if it burdens protected conduct.  Further, section 922(k) passes muster under intermediate scrutiny as regulating the possession of unmarked firearms - and no other firearms - fits closely with the interest in ensuring the traceability of weapon.  And, even if strict scrutiny were applied to section 922(k), the statute still would pass muster as the statute protects the compelling interest of tracing firearms by discouraging the possession and use of firearms that are harder or impossible to trace, and it is also narrowly tailored.

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