Disarming the Batterer: United States v. Castleman

The 2014 United States v. Castleman decision ensures that individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence—even those that include as an element “offensive touching”—will be subject to the federal prohibition on possession of firearms. This article includes analysis and prosecution strategies for domestic violence cases in response to the decision. It ultimately concludes that the effectiveness of the federal statute as a means of disarming such offenders will depend upon the care and diligence of prosecutors who must correctly identify and prosecute those offenders so that professionals having the responsibility for enforcing that prohibition can accurately and easily determine their ineligibility to possess a firearm.