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USA v. Ramos and Compean

On May 25, 2007, Gun Owners Foundation filed a Brief Amicus Curiae in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit supporting the appeal of Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean. Counts four and five of the indictment charge the two with "Discharge of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence," which the Supreme Court has ruled is only a sentencing factor, not one of the three elements "using," "carrying," or "possessing" a firearm. See Harris v. United States, 536 U.S. 545 (2002).

Thus, the amicus brief asks the court to overturn the convictions of Ramos and Compean in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, on the ground that these two Border Patrol agents were each sentenced to 10 years in prison for committing a federal crime which does not exist. GOF was joined in the amicus brief by three Congressmen (Walter B. Jones, Virgil H. Goode, Jr. and Ted Poe) who have been outspoken in defense of Ramos and Compean, and three other nonprofit organizations.

On June 18, 2007, Congressman Walter Jones addressed the U.S. House of Representatives about the Ramos and Compean case, in particular discussing the amicus brief filed by Congressman Jones, Gun Owners Foundation and others in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Congressman Jones explained how the agents were convicted of a crime which Congress never enacted into law. The Congressman has asked the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the matter and to ensure that justice be done.

On August 18, 2008, GOF filed an additional brief in support of a petition for rehearing en banc in the case.

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