Tuesday, May 19, 2020

RFRA Defense Rejected In Possession of Firearms Case

Inner City Press reports on a sentencing decision handed down yesterday in a New York federal district court in U.S. v. Cruz. The trial court judge rejected defendant's Religious Freedom Restoration Act defense in his sentencing hearing for illegal possession of a loaded firearm. Defendant's counsel argued that defendant's possession of the firearm was "solely for use in the ceremonial practice of his religion, Palo Mayombe. Firearms hold only symbolic meaning in the ritual practice of the religion and involve no violence or threat of violence." The judge sentenced defendant to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.