Lionel Brogen was convicted of "wearing, carrying and displaying" a handgun in public and sentenced to three years in prison on that charge. He was also convicted and sentenced for burglary, but the appeal and subsequent ruling on the appeal did not affect the second charge or sentence, only the possession of a handgun charge.
The court basically held that the trial judge exceeded his authority and discretion when he gave supplemental instructions to the jury that the burden to prove the gun was licensed rested with Brogden. Since the licensing status of the weapon was not an issue at trial, and was not brought up during it, the appeals court ruled the judge had no discretion to introduce the point to the jury. So it overturned the verdict and sentence on that one charge.