Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview [July 29, 2015]   [open pdf - 312KB]

"The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), requires imposition of a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for recidivists convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g), who have three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. Section 924(e) defines serious drug offenses as those punishable by imprisonment for 10 years or more. It defines violent felonies as those (1) that have an element of threat, attempt, or use of physical force against another, (2) that involve burglary, arson, or extortion, or (3) that constitute crime similar to burglary, arson, or extortion under the section's 'residual clause.' The Sentencing Commission recommended that Congress consider clarifying the statutory definitions of the violent felony categories. Thereafter in 'Johnson v. United States', the Supreme Court declared the residual clause unconstitutionally vague and thus effectively void. Otherwise, constitutional challenges to the application of §924(e) have been largely unsuccessful, regardless of whether they were based on arguments of cruel and unusual punishment, double jeopardy, due process, grand jury indictment or jury trial rights, the right to bear arms, or limits on Congress's legislative authority."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41449
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations