The Latest: Lawyer who won gun ownership case expects appeal

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) " The Latest on a federal appeals court ruling giving some people convicted of crimes a chance to legally own guns (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

A lawyer for two men who've won a federal appeals court decision saying they can legally own guns despite criminal convictions says he expects the Justice Department to appeal.

Attorney Alan Gura said Thursday he can't see a public interest in keeping firearms away from his clients, two Pennsylvania men who won their case before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gura says the two men are "plainly nonthreatening." One pleaded guilty to corruption of minors and the other pleaded guilty to possessing a handgun without a license.

The court was split 8 to 7, saying the two men's offenses were minor and the ban applies to serious crimes.

A Justice Department spokeswoman says the agency isn't commenting on the decision. Any appeal would go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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12:40 p.m.

A federal appeals court is giving some people convicted of crimes a chance to legally own guns in a decision that loosens longstanding rules.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with two Pennsylvania men Wednesday, saying their crimes were minor even though they could have produced jail time of more than two years.

The court restored gun ownership rights to a man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor corruption of minors for a consensual sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl working at his bakery.

It also ruled in favor of a man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of a handgun without a license.

The 3rd Circuit says the federal gun ownership ban requires the offenses to be considered serious crimes.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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