The Armed Career Criminal Act (AACA) prohibits convicted felons from owning firearms. In general, it can get a felon up to 10 years in prison. But: if the offender has 3 or more earlier convictions for ‘serious drug offense’ or ‘violent felony,’ the ACCA increases his prison term for a minimum of 15 years, and a maximum of life.
Pretty tough stuff!
But recently the Supreme Court has held that a district court does not have the power to increase a sentence under the ACCA’s residual clause. Now courts will grapple with the state and federal definitions of ‘violent’ before applying more draconian years to a felon’s sentence.
Johnson v. United States, 192 L.Ed.2d 569 (2015)