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Gooch v. State

Supreme Court of Arkansas

May 21, 2015

DAVID GOOCH, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

Editorial Note:

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the printed official reporter.

APPEAL FROM THE YELL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. 75-NCR-13-102. HONORABLE JERRY DON RAMEY, JUDGE.

John C. Burnett, for appellant.

Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Karen Virginia Wallace, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

OPINION

Page 297

ROBIN F. WYNNE, Associate Justice

Appellant David Gooch entered a conditional plea of no contest to one count of Class A misdemeanor possession of a firearm by certain persons. He now appeals, arguing that the circuit court erred in denying his motion to dismiss because (1) he had not been adjudicated mentally ill or involuntarily committed to a mental institution as required by Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-73-103(a); (2) section 5-73-103(a)(3) is void for vagueness and deprives him of his right to due process as guaranteed by the United States Constitution; [1] and (3) section 5-73-103(a)(3) violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and article 2, section 5 of the Constitution of Arkansas. Because Gooch's first point is not properly before this court on appeal from a conditional plea, we dismiss on that point; and because the remaining points were not raised below and ruled upon by the circuit court, we affirm on those points without reaching the merits of Gooch's arguments.

The State filed a felony information charging Gooch with committing the offense

Page 298

of possession of a firearm by certain persons on or about September 4, 2013.[2] On November 27, 2013, Gooch filed a motion to suppress evidence and a motion to dismiss. In his motion to dismiss, Gooch stated that he had been charged under Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-103(a)(3), and he alleged as follows:

4. That on March 29, 2012, the Circuit Court of Yell County, Arkansas, in Case No. P 2012-14 entered an Order of Involuntary Admission to the Arkansas State Hospital for a period of seven (7) days from the date of detention for evaluation to determine whether treatment for drug dependency or mental illness is appropriate.
5. That the Defendant agreed to the admission and was released without a finding of mental illness.
6. That Act No. 74 ยง 3 of 1987 enacted February 19, 1987 allowed the Governor or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to determine which such persons convicted of a felony, adjudicated mentally ill, or committed to a mental institution should be relieved of the restriction of not being allowed to possess or own a firearm. Under the current procedures only felons have a mechanism to restore their right to possess or own a firearm. In addition, the Federal NICS Improvement Act of 2007 (NIAA) allows states ...

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