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Name: People v. Odell (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 307
Case #: B319448
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 06/05/2023

Penal Code section 29800(a)(1), possession of a firearm by a felon, does not violate the Second Amendment. Johnson initiated a verbal and physical altercation with Odell at a motel where they stayed as separate guests. Johnson ultimately obeyed the motel manager’s order to return to his room. Odell retrieved a gun from his car and followed Johnson to his room. Video footage captured images of the men grappling. The fight continued away from the camera’s lens, and it was during that time Odell shot Johnson to death. A jury convicted Odell of possession of a firearm by a felon and second degree murder, finding that he had personally and intentionally discharged a gun causing death. He appealed. Relying on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen (2022) 142 S.Ct. 2111, Odell argued the felon-in-possession law violates the Second Amendment. Held: Affirmed, but the court ordered sentencing corrections. The “Second Amendment has boundaries” and is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Section 29800 is constitutional because “[p]eople convicted of a felony have demonstrated a capacity for poor judgment that endangers others” and are not law-abiding, a key qualifier for the right to keep and bear arms. The court agreed with People v. Alexander (2023) 91 Cal.App.5th 469. [Editor’s Notes: (1) The Court of Appeal also concluded that, to the extent the prosecutor misstated the law on provocation during closing argument, the error was harmless under any standard. (2) Additionally, the trial court properly declined to instruct on self-defense. There was no evidence suggesting Odell believed he was in imminent danger of death or injury. (3) The trial court properly rejected an instruction on involuntary manslaughter.]