[Amended/Updated 2/20/16]: In this United States v. Lattanaphom, No. 2:99-0433-WBS Memorandum and Order, Judge Shubb today granted the defendants' motion to dismiss several 924(c) gun counts based on the Supreme Court's recent decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). Johnson held that the portion of the definition of crime of violence in the Armed Career Criminal Act's residual clause is void as unconstitutionally vague.
Judge Shubb applies the Johnson decision to the more common gun charge, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). He reasons that while the Ninth Circuit has not yet decided whether Johnson applies to the definition of "crime of violence" under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), the result is compelled by its recent decision in Dimaya v. Lynch, 803 F.3d 1110 (9th Cir. 2015). There, applying Johnson, the Ninth Circuit reversed the Board of Immigration's decision that a conviction for burglary was categorically a "crime of violence" under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F), which in turn defines crime of violence by reference to 18 U.S.C. § 16--using identical language to that in the § 924(c) residual clause. Judge Shubb also notes that N.D. Cal. Judge Orrick ruled the same way last week. United States v. Bell, No. 15-CR-00258 WHO, 2016 WL 344749, at *12 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 28, 2016).
On February 19, 2016, the Court slightly amended its original decision in denying the government's motion for reconsideration here.
Finally, it worth mentioning that the issue won't help those facing 924(c) sentences in connection with drug trafficking offenses and will only affect some, not all, crimes of violence.