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Category Archives: Second Amendment
Posted: October 16, 2019 at 5:39 pm
Published: 10/11/2019 2:12:49 PM
Modified: 10/11/2019 2:12:37 PM
I am not a constitutional scholar, by any means, but there is something about the way that everyone speaks about the Second Amendment to the Constitution that is very puzzling to me.
The Second Amendment is simply one sentence, containing two ideas. The first idea is almost never mentioned in discussion of the amendment. The only thing ever mentioned is the second idea: the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Why does the first idea never get mentioned? A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
That part of the sentence gives me the impression that people who keep and bear arms are meant to be part of a well-regulated militia, like, for example, the state National Guard. That would be quite a change. It would mean that people who use guns would need to be registered as part of a militia. That is, they would undergo some sort of group basic training, and regular periodic reviews to maintain their skills.
Why is this half of the Second Amendment never discussed and certainly never implemented?
Read the original post:
Marianne Preger-Simon: Why is half of the Second Amendment ignored? - GazetteNET
Posted: at 5:39 pm
The Supreme Court will hear a gun control case in December that could significantly limit the ability of state and local governments to regulate guns for public safety reasons.
The case involves a New York City regulation on transporting handguns that was repealed in July. Although that original rule is no longer in effect, for now the court has not determined the matter to be moot, so the case will move forward.
In this dispute and others, opposition to gun regulations is often grounded on the premise that once an individual interest is identified as a fundamental right, that interest prevails over all countervailing public concerns.
That premise is profoundly mistaken. And, importantly, it is inconsistent with the way that constitutional doctrine has developed with other fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Second Amendment rights should be treated no more favorably, despite the political rhetoric of gun rights supporters who claim that any firearm regulation is an unconstitutional infringement on their rights.
Of course, a constitutional right does carry with it a strong presumption against government interference with that particular activity, even though the exercise of the right involves a societal cost. We protect freedom of religion, for example, even though we know that some religious practices like pulling children out of school after the eighth grade might be considered problematic or harmful.
But there is a critical difference between assigning a high value to a constitutional right when balancing it against social concerns, and arguing that the right necessarily overrides the publics ability to regulate that activity in ways that may be needed to protect the community.
The doctrine surrounding freedom of speech is instructive. No one doubts that speech rights are taken seriously in America. Yet the right to free speech is not absolute and can be regulated in numerous circumstances. Courts subject government regulations that affect speech to different standards of review that balance the publics interest against the individuals liberty. Among factors considered are the kind of speech involved and the location and manner of the restriction.
For example, a ban on rallies on public streets in residential neighborhoods after 9 p.m. would likely be upheld even though it burdens speech, so long as the law did not discriminate based on the message rally speakers expressed.
So too with protections for personal privacy under the 4th Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. That amendment doesnt bar all searches and seizures, but instead requires that such intrusions be reasonable, a concept that inherently involves some kind of balancing of interests. Hence, we all must endure airport security screening searches because they are a reasonable means to protect air travel safety.
The individual right to bear arms for self-defense, as announced by the Supreme Court in 2008, is likewise not unlimited. Even though the court in that case struck down a flat ban on possession of handguns that might be used for self-defense in peoples homes, it observed that states could for historical and public-policy safety reasons prohibit people with felony convictions or people with mental illness from possessing guns, demonstrating that the very scope of the 2nd Amendments protection takes account of countervailing public objectives. For instance, some states require that gun owners keep their firearms locked up if there are children living in the home, even though gun owners might prefer easier access to firearms for self-defense.
Or consider the contours of self-defense itself. A 2nd Amendment right to keep guns for self-defense does not eliminate the need for society to think about how guns should be responsibly employed, even in self-defense situations. If someone uses a gun purportedly for self-defense purposes and kills another person, the 2nd Amendment does not preclude an evaluation of whether the alleged threat was sufficient to justify the use of deadly force or whether the killing involved excessive force because reasonable non-lethal alternatives were available for the shooter to defend himself.
The national debate now has focused on proposed regulations such as background checks and assault weapons bans. Whether specific measures would be permissible under the Constitution depends on their particulars, but the big point is that particulars matter.
In evaluating gun control regulations, its legitimate to take into account the social harms and risks arising from individuals keeping, bearing and using firearms. Constitutional analysis of the 2nd Amendment, as with other fundamental rights, requires some kind of balancing of interests, which includes considering the states need to promote public safety.
Vikram D. Amar is dean and professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Alan E. Brownstein is professor of law at the UC Davis School of Law.
Continue reading here:
Opinion: What the gun lobby gets wrong about the 2nd Amendment - Los Angeles Times
Weiser: Sheriffs Will Enforce Red Flag Orders When Faced With Reality Of Dangerous People – Colorado Public Radio
Posted: at 5:38 pm
Weiser and House Majority Leader Alec Garnett are working together on the details for implementation.
The law, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020, will allow judges to issue Extreme Risk Protection Orders at the request of family members or law enforcement. It would require police to temporarily remove guns from a person they fear could be dangerous or suicidal.
Critics say the law goes too far in infringing on Second Amendment rights and doesnt do enough to protect the due process rights of gun owners. Gun rights groups have held sessions for firearms owners around the state, warning them of ways they believe the law could be abused.
Some sheriffs have said they will not enforce it and a number of county commissions have passed resolutions to prevent local law enforcement from carrying out ERPOs.
Almost all those ordinances say the following, we dont want our sheriff in our county to implement an unconstitutional gun law to which I have always said in those counties, I dont either, Weiser said. And the extreme risk protection law is constitutional and will be upheld.
A Second Amendment rights group has challenged the law in court, arguing state lawmakers violated legislative rules when they passed it. Weiser has asked for that suit to be dismissed.
Weiser said if a sheriff refused to comply with a judges ERPO, he could be held in contempt of court. In that situation, Weisers office would defend the judge if the sheriff appealed the decision.
State Rep. Garnett said he is working with law enforcement to give them maximum flexibility on how to retrieve the guns once an ERPO is handed down from a judge. That includes allowing law enforcement, with a warrant, to go into a house when someone isnt home.
Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son died in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, said Colorados soaring suicide rate is a good reason to get the controversial ERPO law right.
This is something that will save lives. Maybe not in the situation that affected my son Alex, he said while sharing a stage with Weiser. But three-quarters of the people in this state who died by gun violence died by suicide ... We can do something about that.
Posted: at 5:38 pm
Mickelle Bisbee Staff Writer
Since the United States of America has a militia that is necessary for the security of keeping this nation free, the people have the right to keep and bear arms, and according to the second amendment of the constitution, that right shall not be infringed.
This amendment has become a heated conversation between political parties, asking whether laws concerning guns shall be stricter or not. To come and talk about this issue is Lucas Botkin, CEO of T-REX ARMS.
[Turning Point USA] likes Lucas because he is bold and passionate, two things which certainly make him stand out, said Lily Guthrie, president of the Recognized Student Organization, Turning Point USA. This event is one everyone can enjoy and find informational because the topic of guns and the 2nd amendment is not an everyday event here on campus.
Today from 6 to 8 p.m. in the College of Agriculture Auditorium, Botkin will be breaking down the firearm culture and how that culture affects peoples views on guns, according to his Instagram post on the event.
Students should be interested in this event because issues such as guns and the 2nd amendment impact their daily lives, no matter what views they hold on the subject they owe it to themselves to hear all sides of the argument and be as informed as possible, Guthrie said.
Guthrie said that they chose Botkin to come to the university and talk to students because of his passion and expertise on firearms and the 2nd amendment.
The 26-year-old took a leap into starting his company in 2013. With little money, he began playing around with Kydex, a type of thermoplastic, and was making holsters with the material for himself and a few others.
After a while, he decided that it would be a good idea for him to build a company to make high-end products that dont exist in the market right now, according to an interview he had with ARBuildJunkie.
When it began, all I had was a very small toaster oven that cost about five dollars at Goodwill. In total, I started the company for about 1,000 dollars, Botkin said in the ARBuildJunkie interview. At first, the products were not that great. But as time went on, I started experimenting with new designsthe first of which was the Sidecar [a T-REX ARMS holster].
As someone who is an expert in his field, Guthrie said she is excited to see students get exposure on the different views of firearms and to learn something from Botkin.
People interested in Botkin can follow him on his social media platforms for updates and videos on his products, as well as education insights on the 2nd amendment: Facebook at T.REX ARMS and Instagram at lucastrexarms.
Go here to see the original:
CEO talks second amendment freedom - The Branding Iron
Sheriff Leads Charge for Hood County to Become Fifth ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ in Texas – The Texan
Posted: at 5:38 pm
In light of Beto ORourkes viral comment, Hell, yes, were going to take your AR-15, many residents in Hood County became concerned about where local law enforcement stood on the issue.
I have people ask me all the time, What are you going to do to protect my gun? Are you gonna work with the feds to take my AR-15? said Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds a few weeks ago. Were not. Were not going to do that. Im going to work with the court. Were going to try to pass a sanctuary county bill.
On October 8, the Hood County Commissioners Court passed a resolution declaring a Second Amendment sanctuary county for gun-owners by vowing not to enforce any unconstitutional firearm laws that could be enacted by the state or federal government.
I overwhelmingly support this initiative, said state Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, and it would not have been possible without the courageous support of Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds who has championed the issue and who would ultimately, along with the people, be the one to ensure the measure is enforced.
Deeds push for Hood County to become a sanctuary county for the Second Amendment follows in the footsteps of four other Texas counties to pass such resolutions.
Get started today for free and become the most informed Texan you know after your first month, it's just $9.00.
Edwards County passed the first resolution in Texas in June 2018. The official Facebook account for the county published a photo of the document along with a post arguing that the number of gun-related deaths is small compared to other fatalities.
If the anti-gun movement focused their attention on heart disease, the post reads, even a 10 percent decrease in cardiac deaths would save twice the number of lives annually of all gun-related deaths (including suicide, law enforcement, etc.).
The resolution, signed by the county judge and three of the four commissioners, stated that any gun law violating the federal or state constitutions would be viewed as unconstitutional by the commissioners court and that it would not authorize any enforcement of those laws.
Several potential laws were specifically mentioned, including registration requirements for existing lawfully owned firearms, prohibitions, regulations, and/or use restrictions related to ownership of non-fully automatic firearms, and expanded background checks.
Not quite a year after Edwards County passed their resolution, other counties in Texas began to follow suit.
In March 2019, Hudspeth County became a sanctuary county at the request of Sheriff Arvin West; the Democratic Commissioners Court in Presidio County made that county one in July; and Mitchell County joined the growing number in September.
Proponents of the measure point out that in some placesespecially in rural areas police officers can take up to an hour to respond to 911 calls. In such places, owning a gun is the most reliable means of self-defense.
Supporters want assurance that local law enforcement will not encroach on their constitutionally protected rights if ORourkes gun confiscation policies or, more likely, red flag laws or Lt. Gov. Dan Patricks suggestion of expanded background checks are enacted.
Not all counties are embracing the idea, though. Three court commissioners in Brewster County, which neighbors Presidio County along the Texas-Mexico border, blocked the proposal in September to become a sanctuary for gun owners.
According to Marfa Public Radio, Brewster County Commissioner Sara Colando said that she was afraid the resolution would put the county in dicey legal territory.
The first Texas counties passing the resolution are certainly not among the first counties in the nation, though. Over half of the counties in Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, and Washington have passed resolutions to become Second Amendment sanctuaries.
Those states have seen stricter gun regulations in recent years.
The New Mexico legislature, for instance, passed a bill to expand background checks and looked into implementing some form of a red flag law.
According to Reuters, Sheriff Tony Mace of Cibola County said that he did not want to waste resources enforcing the new background check regulations.
There are whole sanctuary county, city, and state movements, and those are essentially saying Hey, we can shield immigrants from the federal law, Mace told Pacific Standard. Theyre picking and choosing which laws they want to follow as a state, so were thinking as a county, why cant we take this back to our commissioners and say were going to draft a resolution that says our counties are Second Amendment sanctuary counties.
With the support of the New Mexico Sheriffs Association, chaired by Mace, 25 out of the states 33 counties have passed some sort of resolution.
Gun restriction laws in other states may have prompted the majority of counties there to pass the Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions, but the four Texas counties becoming sanctuaries this year could be a sign that Texans are concerned that their right to bear arms is also threatened by politicians here.
A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.
Here is the original post:
Sheriff Leads Charge for Hood County to Become Fifth 'Second Amendment Sanctuary' in Texas - The Texan
Posted: at 5:38 pm
Beto ORourke may in fact be the most honest of the Presidential candidates. He may have gone full Swalwell in an attempt to revive a disastrouscampaign; however in recognizing his present shortcomings, Beto ORourke has gone the AOC route of revealing the poorly hidden secrets of the Democrat Party. For years, the right was (falsely) accused of using a straw man fallacy with gun confiscation, but Beto ORourkehas now been unabashed in championing the policy. ORourke merely confirmed what we already knew: the socialists want to confiscate our guns. They want the monopoly on force, so they can upend our way of life.
But this upheaval, revolution, is not about redistributing the wealth, fixing the climate, or reducing violence. Beto ORourkes latest Freudian slip is all the more telling. At the gay town hall hosted by CNN, Beto ORourke said that the government should strip away tax exemption from churches that refused to partake in the gay agenda, which includes but is not limited to the performing of marriages, removal of ministry standards that prohibit (blatant) non-Christians, and permitting men to pee with little girls. Put more concisely, Beto ORourke wants to use the government to coerce the doctrine of the church.
Blatant unconstitutionality aside, if the socialists have their way, we will be at the mercy of the courts, legally speaking, who have an entrenched precedent of conjuring their own law. There have long been talks by atheist about taxing churches, a less unconstitutional means of persecuting the church. The atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation erroneously claims that we pay more in taxes because churches pay nothing, ignoring the history of the income tax in America. The Supreme Court touched on this issue in 1970, ironically close to Roe v Wade. The Supreme Court maintained in Walz v Tax Commission of the City of New York that:
Obviously a direct money subsidy would be a relationship pregnant with involvement and, as with most governmental grant programs, could encompass sustained and detailed administrative relationships for enforcement of statutory or administrative standards, but that is not this case. The hazards of churches supporting government are hardly less in their potential than the hazards of government supporting churches;each relationship carries some involvement, rather than the desired insulation and separation. We cannot ignore the instances in history when church support of government led to the kind of involvement we seek to avoid.
The exemption creates only a minimal and remote involvement between church and state, and far less than taxation of churches. It restricts the fiscal relationship between church and state, and tends to complement and reinforce the desired separation insulating each from the other.
Even a Supreme Court devoid of Christians would have agreed that the Establishment Clause is best maintained through the financial insulation of church and state, that history showed that when the church supporting the state was as threatening to freedom as the reverse. But what Beto is suggesting is a next level takeover. He wants to use government to manipulate the doctrine. So after he has taken your guns, he will use civil rights law to target the church. But remember, nothing about Beto ORourke is original. Hes just trying to be AOC while also trying to be Eric Swalwell. The Equality Act that Taylor Swift loves to promote would also place churches in the cross hairs of the law, should they remain faithful.
This isnt a new ambition. Socialism is atheistby its nature and has never existed with a thriving church. In similar fashion, socialism has corresponded with the direct persecution of the church,often with genocidal purposes. An ideology that lumps people in with the collective dismisses the individual pursuit of a relationship with God.
The Second Amendment is a defense mechanism against various forms of government tyranny, among them the aforementioned scenario. Pacifying civilians is neveran end but always a means to an end. A disarmed people are neither safer nor freer. In this case, Beto ORourke, by the progression of his rhetoric, wants to disarm the populace and coerce doctrine. This is the exact reason to refuse disarming. The socialists want to control our doctrine, by extension, what we think. They ultimately, as Beto ORourkes policy suggestion explicitly demands, want to command us to disobey God, to rewrite doctrine to appease the latest whims of society.
The socialists arent floating confiscation just for the sake of confiscation. Institutions that have historically rejected collectivism and adhere to an objective morality standard are natural adversaries to the modern socialist movement. Therefore socialists would see strategic gains in undermining these institutions. This logic is not new or surprising, but is becoming increasingly obvious and less conspiratorial. The words of Beto ORourke corroborate the suspicion that gun confiscation is a means to enact religious persecution among other tyrannies.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
Posted: at 5:38 pm
The Nov. 5th election may bethe most consequential ever for our Second Amendment rights in the Commonwealth. Thats because every seat in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate is up for grabs and gun control advocates, bankrolled by an out of state New York billionaire, are trying to buy the election. In contrast, the NRA is focused on our tried and true grassroots model of educating our supporters on candidates positions on the Second Amendment, and working to ensure they turn out to vote on Election Day.
For a behind-the-scenes look at how the NRA is fighting for you in Virginia, we sat down with Glen Caroline, head of NRAs Grassroots Programs and Campaign Field Operations Division.
Q. How does our Virginia grassroots operation compare with what weve seen in the past from the NRA?
A. Without a doubt, this has been among our most robust campaign efforts ever. We have made tens of thousands of targeted contacts to our supporters using phones, texting, at events, and showing up on their doorsteps. Our Campaign Field Representatives (CFRs) have been working tirelessly to ramp up their efforts as we prepare for a massive Get Out The Vote operation in the closing weeks of the election cycle.
Q. What are we up against from our opponents this year?
A. We are facing the most well-organized and well-funded gun control lobby in our countrys history. It really is unprecedented. The various Bloomberg-backed gun control groups have committed to spending $5 million dollars to win this election, apparently focusing primarily on expensive and misleading television ads and digital efforts.
Q. What do you take from that?
A. We fully expect to be outspent by the control groups, but they will never outwork us. No organization in the country has members as informed and as passionate as the NRA. They are the reason we win elections. Ive been at this for nearly 30 years, and throughout my entire career beginning in the early 90's, Ive seen time and again our voters can swing key elections. I am aware of all the money our opponents are spending, but Im not intimidated. As we often say in Grassroots, dollar bills dont vote, but NRA members do!
Q. Whats themessage to voters?
A. If Bloombergs gun control politicians win in November, its goodbye to our gun rights in Virginia! Its really that simple. These anti-gun politicians want to ban our rifles, criminalize virtually all private firearm transfers, reinstate the failed one-gun-a-month law, and expand gun-free zones. We dont have to guess what will happen, as they tipped their hand earlier this year by pushing this aggressive gun control agenda in a special legislative session.
Q. How can our members get involved?
A. First, you must vote on Election Day. Your vote is your voice, and if you dont exercise your right to vote, you will lose your right to keep and bear arms. Second, get actively involved with our on-the-ground CFR efforts or contact the NRA-PVF endorsed campaign in your area to volunteer to help. You can amplify your voice by educating other pro-Second Amendment voters in Virginia as to whats at stake, and making sure they turn out to vote. If a few hours of your time between now and Election Day arent worth preserving your freedom, what is?
For more information on NRAs grassroots efforts in Virginia and how you can help, call (800) 392-VOTE (8683). If you are unable to personally volunteer with our grassroots efforts, but wish to help support them, please click here.
Posted: September 29, 2019 at 9:42 am
Last January, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, the first major Second Amendment case to be heard by the Supreme Court in nearly a decade and also the first since Justice Anthony Kennedys retirement shifted the Court dramatically to the right.
The case centers on an unusual and recently changed New York City rule that limited where gun owners with a certain kind of permit were allowed to bring their guns.
Gun control advocates, including policymakers in both New York City and the New York state legislature, fear a big loss in the Supreme Court and are desperate to make the case go away. Indeed, New York City changed their gun rules after the Supreme Court announced it would hear the case, and state legislators enacted a new law forbidding the city from bringing back the old rules all in the hopes of obviating the need for the Court to weigh in. Because the legal controversy between the city and the plaintiffs is now over, the city asked the Court to dismiss this case as moot.
The justices are scheduled to discuss whether to dismiss the case at their October 1 conference.
New York State Rifle, in other words, is of two-fold importance. It is important because the Supreme Courts current majority is likely to expand the scope of the Second Amendment significantly if they decide the merits of this case. But it is also important because the debate over whether to dismiss this case will offer a window into the psychology of the Courts Republican majority.
The argument that New York State Rifle must be dismissed as moot is very strong. Should the Supreme Court move forward with the case, it will only add to fears including fears that were recently raised by Justice Sonia Sotomayor that the Court is bending the rules in order to achieve conservative outcomes.
A few months before his death this summer, retired Justice John Paul Stevens offered a surprisingly candid window into the Courts internal deliberations.
In its 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. The Court split along familiar ideological lines, with Kennedy joining his fellow conservatives in the 5-4 majority.
Heller, however, was hardly a total victory for advocates of gun rights. Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalias majority opinion is riddled with caveats. Heller suggests that longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms all remain valid, as are bans on dangerous and unusual weapons.
In a November interview with the New York Times Adam Liptak, Stevens revealed that Kennedy asked for some important changes to Scalias original draft of the Heller opinion. At Stevenss urging, Kennedy requested language stating that Heller should not be taken to cast doubt on many existing gun laws. Without Kennedys intervention, in other words, Heller may not have included the important language limiting the scope of the Second Amendment.
But Kennedy is gone. And his replacement, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, appears very eager to expand gun rights.
Shorter after Heller was decided, the District of Columbias government passed legislation banning semi-automatic assault weapons and requiring gun owners to register their firearms. Dick Heller, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Courts Heller decision, also led the challenge to this new gun law, and the case Heller v. District of Columbia was eventually heard by a panel of three Republican-appointed judges.
Two of those judges largely upheld the law in 2011 (although they called for further proceedings on the registration requirement). The third judge was Brett Kavanaugh, who claimed that both D.C.s ban on semi-automatic rifles and its gun registration requirement are unconstitutional under Heller. (This second iteration of the Heller litigation was never heard by the Supreme Court.)
And Kavanaughs dissent also went even further than that. The future justice did not simply argue that this specific DC law should be struck down. He also suggested that nearly a decade of Second Amendment jurisprudence should be tossed out.
Heller, as mentioned above, was the first Supreme Court case in American history to hold that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own firearms. Since Heller, moreover, the Courts only handed down one significant Second Amendment opinion. And that 2010 opinion, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, merely held that states must comply with the same Second Amendment regime as the federal government.
The Supreme Courts Second Amendment jurisprudence, in other words, is underdeveloped. In Heller, the majority basically hit a reset button that wiped out the Courts prior Second Amendment decisions, which held that the obvious purpose of this amendment was the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, not an individual right to bear arms.
Heller replaced this older framework with an uncertain new framework that emphasized an individual right to self-defense. But the Supreme Court has done little to develop that framework since Heller.
Yet, while the justices have largely avoided big guns cases, the lower courts cannot. And a consensus view emerged among the federal appeals courts regarding how the Second Amendment should be read.
At least 10 such courts apply what United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Judge Stephen Higginson describes as a two-step analytic framework. Under this framework, severe burdens on core Second Amendment rights are subject to strict scrutiny, the most skeptical level of review that courts typically apply in constitutional cases. Less onerous laws, or laws that govern conduct outside of the Second Amendments core, are subject to a more permissive test known as intermediate scrutiny.
Thus, major burdens on gun owners are especially likely to be struck down, while less consequential burdens are more likely to be upheld.
Kavanaugh, for his part, rejects this consensus framework altogether. In his 2011 dissent, he argued that the consensus view should be abandoned for a different test courts are to assess gun bans and regulations based on text, history, and tradition, not by a balancing test such as strict or intermediate scrutiny. While its unclear how Kavanaughs test would apply in every individual case, the fact that Kavanaugh took a position well to the right of his two Republican colleagues strongly suggests that his test would invalidate more gun laws than would the consensus framework.
New York State Rifle, moreover, offers someone like Kavanaugh the perfect vehicle to upend the consensus framework because the (now repealed) rule at the heart of this case imposes only a minimal burden on gun owners.
New York offers two kinds of handgun licenses. A carry license permits gun owners to carry a handgun for target practice, hunting, or self-defense. Meanwhile, a less permissive premises license permits a gun owner to have and possess in his dwelling a handgun. Premises license holders, however, may only bring the gun outside of their home for limited reasons, which include bringing the gun to seven specific gun ranges to practice shooting.
The plaintiffs in New York State Rifle, each of whom has a premises license, raise a very narrow challenge to this framework. As a federal appeals court explained, some of them seek to transport their handguns to shooting ranges and competitions outside New York City. One of them also owns two homes, and he wishes to be able to transport one gun between those two homes.
New York State Rifle, in other words, involves what Judge Higginson described as a less onerous law that governs conduct outside of the Second Amendments core. This isnt a grand showdown over when and where people can carry guns or whether they bring a gun into their own home. Its a small legal dispute about little more than whether lawmakers can require certain gun owners to practice shooting at certain specified gun ranges.
And yet, this very smallness is what makes New York State Rifle so dangerous to the consensus framework. The rule at the heart of this case is the very sort of gun restriction that the consensus framework is likely to treat as insignificant. And that gives the Supreme Court an ideal vehicle to hold that judges should treat all gun laws with skepticism even very minor ones.
All of this said, there is a strong argument that New York State Rifle must be dismissed as moot. Article III of the Constitution provides that the judicial power only applies to cases and controversies, meaning that federal courts may only hear live legal disputes between parties.
But New York City changed its rules to let people with premises licenses do what the plaintiffs in this case want to do. And the New York state legislature also passed a law providing that gun owners with premises licenses may bring their gun to another dwelling or place of business of the licensee where the licensee is authorized to have and possess such pistol or revolver, to an indoor or outdoor shooting range that is authorized by law to operate as such, or to a shooting competition at which the licensee may possess such pistol or revolver consistent with the law.
So the plaintiffs won! They asked for specific, narrow relief, and the state legislature gave it to them. Theres no longer a legal dispute between the plaintiffs and the defendants in this case, and that makes the case moot.
But a few amicus briefs submitted to the Supreme Court suggest that the case should not be dismissed under a doctrine known as voluntary cessation. Broadly speaking, this doctrine allows a court to continue to hear a case after a defendant voluntarily quits the behavior that led to them being sued. The point of this doctrine is to prevent a defendant from dodging lawsuits by doing something illegal, ceasing their illegal activity for long enough to dismiss any lawsuits challenging that activity, and then resuming their illegal actions as soon as the lawsuits are dismissed.
Yet, as a group of legal scholars explain in their own amicus brief, that doctrine does not apply here. The defendant in this case is New York City. But a law preventing the city from reinstating the challenged rules was enacted by New York state. It would be impossible, in other words, for the city to resume its allegedly illegal conduct because a higher power stripped the city of its ability to do so.
We could know as soon as next week whether the Supreme Court will dismiss the case or whether it will add to Justice Sotomayors fears that the Court is ignoring its own ordinary procedures, in this case by finding away around the mootness doctrine.
Yet even if the case is dismissed, such a decision will only delay a reckoning on the Second Amendment. Eventually, the justices will hear a gun rights case that is not moot. And when that happens, Justice Kennedy wont be around to inject a note of caution into the Courts opinion.
Posted: at 9:42 am
Militia key to 2nd Amendment
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
My dictionary defines militia as A citizen army as distinct from a body of professional soldiers. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency. The whole body of physically fit male civilians eligible by law for military service.
It seems logical that anyone has the right to bear arms; however, it should be to be part of a well-regulated militia. Gun owners, especially male civilians, should be required to register their arms so the government would know who it can call upon for service in an emergency. The government could then reimburse those called up for service for their expenses, such as ammunition expended.
Reference: American Heritage Dictionary
Posted: at 9:42 am
U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- Grassroots Second Amendment activists from across the country are being urged to attend a 2nd Amendment Rally on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., where they hope to deliver a message that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Now is the time for activists to make plans, as the rally is a mere six weeks away. It is being dubbed as a rally for the Second on the 2nd.
As explained by activist Rob Pincus, director of media relations for Save the Second, during an interview with the Right of the People podcast from the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix, Weve got a big election coming up next year. We need to remind the nation, we need to remind ourselves that we are the Second Amendment lobby and thats why the 2nd Amendment rally is important.
Pincus pointed to the rallys website for details. There is also a Facebook page where people can learn details as they emerge. He said there is no sponsorship for this event and no single organization. Funding is provided by people who care about the Second Amendment.
What has sunk in over the past few months is that far too many people are willing to write a checkand say okay, Ive done my part, and then move on, Pincus lamented.
According to the rally website, The Second Amendment Rally is a grassroots event, organized and funded by grassroots activists, open to all supporters of the Constitution and lovers of liberty.
If you own a gun, Pincus said during the podcast interview, you are the gun lobby.
The rally is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and run for three hours.
Just how many will appear would be speculation at this point, but Pincus suggested that organizers are hoping for several thousand rights activists to attend.
Maybe having 10,000 people, 15,000 people standing on the capitol steps, on the capitol grounds, listening to some of the most active leaders the most active advocates inside the Second Amendment community for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, he observed, I think that will be an opportunity for everybody to remember that we are the gun lobby. We are the ones who exercise these rights. We are the ones who benefit from these rights.
Pincus was one of 91 speakers who appeared at the 34th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference over the past weekend. As Ammoland News reported earlier, this years event was the biggest in the conferences history. More than 1,100 people pre-registered and it appears many if not most of them showed up for at least part of the event. In addition, according to Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, the two-day event was viewed by more than 100,000 people as it was live-streamed on the SAF Facebook page.
In the past, gun rights activists have been a lethargic bunch, but this time around things are different. The Second Amendment has been under attack as never before, in part by anti-gunners exploiting mass shooting incidents to push bans on so-called semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, along with registration and one-gun-a-month schemes. Also on the gun control agenda are safe storage mandates, mandatory training requirements, expansion of so-called red flag laws and other restrictions suggesting that proponents are trying to turn Second Amendment-protected rights into government regulated privileges.
What also makes this year different for grassroots activism was the heat-of-the-moment candor by Democrat presidential candidate Robert Francis Beto ORourke during the recent debate. His declaration, Hell, yes were going to take your AR15, your AK47 finally erased any doubt that anti-gunners intend to disarm law-abiding American citizens.
Most noteworthy about the remark was the silence from all the other candidates on the stage, suggesting they all quietly concur with ORourkes threat. His comment was mentioned or alluded to repeatedly during the recent rights conference.
The Second Amendment expressly protects the rights of the individual, Pincus stated. The individual needs to get involved and the Second Amendment rally is an opportunity to do that.
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor atTheGunMag.comand Liberty Park Press,author of multiple bookson the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.