Brief of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae In Support of Petitioner
Argument: Mens Rea is a foundational safeguard against punishment for unknowingly unlawful conduct. A knowing violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g) requires knowledge of the status element making the possession of firearms or ammunition illegal. That the crucial element is the status of the accused himself does not permit dispensing with Mens Rea.