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Name: U.S. v. Kafka
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/23/2000
Subsequent History: None

Appellant’s challenge to 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(8) as a violation of due process, either facially or as applied, failed here. Section 922(g)(8) prohibits the possession of a firearm by an individual subject to a domestic violence restraining order issued after a hearing in state court. The statute requires that an individual charged have received actual notice of the restraining order hearing and have had an opportunity to participate in the hearing. To obtain a conviction the government need only prove that the act of possession was “knowing,” not that the individual know of the prohibition on the possessing of arms. Because the issuance of the restraining order transformed the otherwise “innocent” nature of gun possession by specifically curtailing appellant’s activities in light of the court’s recognition of his past behavior, it should have alerted appellant to the possibility of other limitations on his conduct, including the possession of firearms. Accordingly, departure from the rule that ignorance of the law is no defense was not required here.