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Fed Prisoner's Conviction for Possessing Body Armor Affirmed

Carl Patton, a federal prisoner with a violent criminal history, was convicted under federal law of unlawful possession of body armor pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 931. He claimed that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution didn't authorize Congress to regulate the body armor because he bought it in the state where he was found with it; thus, it didn't affect interstate commerce.

The federal district court found that since the body armor was made in another state, the Commerce Clause authorized Congress to regulate it. Following his conviction, Patton appealed.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit agreed with the district court's Commerce Clause analysis. It also found that the district court properly disallowed Patton's necessity defense, that rival gang members were trying to kill him, because such danger was not imminent. See: United States v. Patton, 451 F.3d 615 (10th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 127 S.Ct. 1247 (2007).

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Related legal case

United States v. Patton