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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Firearms Conviction

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announces that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction of Todd Karl Bramer who pled guilty on June 15, 2015, to one count of possession of firearms by a prohibited person.  In his written guilty plea, Bramer admitted to knowingly possessing firearms, including two handguns and at least one other firearm, while “being an unlawful user of marijuana.”  He also waived the right to appeal all non-jurisdictional issues. 

In his appeal, Bramer argued that the statute under which he was convicted was unconstitutionally vague because the term “unlawful user” is vague.  The Eighth Circuit found that Bramer admitted in his written plea agreement to being an unlawful user of marijuana while in knowing possession of at least three firearms, and therefore the court found no basis in the record to conclude that the term “unlawful user” of a controlled substance was unconstitutionally vague as applied to him.

Assistant United States Attorney John Haak prosecuted the case, and Assistant United States Attorney Connie Larson handled the appeal for the government.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

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Updated August 11, 2016