BREAKING: Americans under felony indictment have a right to buy guns, judge rules

Sept 20 (Reuters) - A federal law prohibiting people under felony indictment from buying firearms is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Texas has concluded, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that significantly expanded gun rights.

U.S. District Judge David Counts, an appointee of Republican former President Donald Trump, reached that conclusion on Monday in dismissing a federal indictment against Jose Gomez Quiroz, who had been charged under the decades-old ban.

Counts cited the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June declaring for the first time that the right to "keep and bear arms" under the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment protects a person's right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.

Counts said that while the U.S. Supreme Court decision did not erase societal and public safety concerns about guns, it had "changed the legal landscape."

"The Second Amendment is not a 'second class right,'" Counts wrote. "No longer can courts balance away a constitutional right."

Quiroz's attorney and representatives for U.S. Attorney Ashley Hoff, whose office prosecuted the case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

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