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Supreme Court will review reach of federal gun ban in state domestic violence convictions


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals from two Maine men who say their guilty pleas for hitting their partners should not disqualify them from owning guns.

The justices on Friday said they would review lower court rulings that upheld convictions against Stephen Voisine and William Armstrong III for owning guns even after Voisine was convicted of slapping his girlfriend and Armstrong was convicted of hitting his wife. Voisine's gun ownership came to light only after an anonymous report that he shot a bald eagle.

Federal law bars a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence involving the use of physical force or a deadly weapon from possessing a firearm. Voisine and Armstrong argue that Maine's law and their guilty pleas are too vague to bar them from gun ownership.

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