APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 513-804, SECTION " D" . Honorable Frank A. Marullo, Judge.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.
Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, Kyle Daly, Assistant District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT/STATE OF LOUISIANA.
Christopher A. Aberle, LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, Mandeville, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.
(Court composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Rosemary Ledet).
Daniel L. Dysart, J.
[2014-0655 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] The State of Louisiana appeals a ruling of the trial court, which quashed the bill of information charging the defendant, Rickey Jackson, with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the ruling of the trial court and remand for further proceedings.
Rickey Jackson was arrested on August 24, 2012. A security guard detained him outside of an uptown bar after Jackson was observed standing on the corner near the bar holding a gun. Pursuant to 911 calls and a dispatch, a NOPD officer arrived on the scene several minutes later and found the defendant handcuffed by the guard. The guard had seized the gun from the defendant, and gave it to the officer when he arrived. The officer was unable to cock the gun to unload it at the scene. Later, personnel at Central Evidence and Property dismantled the gun with tools, and removed one spent casing. It was determined that there was no live ammunition in the gun.
The trial court heard testimony from the arresting officer at the preliminary hearing on December 12, 2012, and took the matter under advisement. Prior to the [2014-0655 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] court's ruling, the defendant filed a " Motion to Declare La. R.S. 14:95.1 Unconstitutional." The defendant argued that Louisiana's felon dispossession law embodied in La. R.S. 14:95.1, did not pass strict scrutiny as provided for by the Louisiana Constitution, and that, therefore, the entire statute was constitutionally invalid.
At the hearing on January 18, 2013, the trial court found no probable cause holding that the weapon in question was inoperable. The trial court then quashed the bill of information finding that " ...they [the State] didn't use proper scrutiny in regard to this case."
On January 25, 2013, the State filed a motion, requesting the court to reconsider its ruling, arguing that there is no requirement that a firearm be operable, and that the attorney general was not served as required when a defendant challenges the constitutionality of a state statute.
The trial court granted the motion to reconsider. The State filed a memorandum in opposition to the defendant's motion to quash on March 8, 2013. On that same date, after hearing additional oral argument, the trial court ...