January 14, 2019
The Supreme Court will decide whether an illegal alien from the United Arab Emirates was wrongfully convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm.
The case was occasioned in December 2015, when Hamid Mohamed Ahmed Ali Rehaif was arrested in Florida after renting a gun at a shooting range and purchasing ammunition. Federal law prohibits certain classes of people from possessing guns, including illegal aliens.
Rehaif is a citizen of the United Arab Emirates. He came to the United States in 2013 to attend the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), but was dismissed for academic reasons on Jan. 21, 2015. His lawful immigration status terminated shortly thereafter on Feb. 23, 2015. Therefore, he was in the U.S. illegally when he rented the gun and procured ammunition.
At trial, the judge told the jury that “the [prosecution] is not required to prove that [Rehaif] knew that he was illegally or unlawfully in the United States.” The legal question the Supreme Court will decide is whether that instruction was correct.
This article was posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:53 am