Talks of Second Amendment Sanctuary could be on at next Harrisonburg City Council Meeting – WHSV

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) After weeks of discussions and many Virginia counties becoming Second Amendment Sanctuaries, one political party was out making sure supporters make it to the polls.

On Saturday, members of the Republican Party were out in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County to let the community know they do not agree with the plan being put forward in the General Assembly.

Back in December Rockingham County's Board of Supervisors saw a huge attendance with more than 3,000 citizens showing out and voicing their concerns at their meeting held at Spotswood High School. The board voted to make the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

Jennifer Brown, Chair of the 6th Congressional District Republican Committee, said it is still important to remind everyone who showed up to Rockingham County's meeting they're not in the endgame just yet.

"We're trying to get those people who are interested and not necessarily registered to get registered so that they can get out and vote," Brown said.

There are still some localities around the Commonwealth that have not made mention of where they stand. Brown said the friendly city's time may be coming soon.

City officials told WHSV a council member has requested a resolution be added to the next city council meeting agenda for the council to discuss.

Back in December George Hirschmann, a City Council Member, told WHSV he would support talks of Harrisonburg becoming a sanctuary city with the council.

Although if the topic is on the next agenda it may not be open for public comment.

City officials said the agenda for the Jan.14 city council meeting will available on Wednesday.

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Talks of Second Amendment Sanctuary could be on at next Harrisonburg City Council Meeting - WHSV

Letter to the editor: You can support Second Amendment and … – The Winchester Star

Full disclosure: I am a member of Moms Demand Action, but in this letter I am speaking from my place as a mother and gun-owner.

Too often attempts to address gun violence are portrayed as an attack on the Second Amendment. In reality Americans support reasonable measures to reduce gun violence, including universal background checks and "red flag laws." You can support the Second Amendment while simultaneously accepting that we have a serious problem with gun violence in this country.

In America, we have accepted restrictions on driving, purchasing cigarettes and alcohol, even when and where we can hunt or fish, and the list goes on. To be clear, I take no issue with any of these restrictions. My issue is our collective inability to similarly address gun violence in this country.

As a law-abiding citizen and responsible gun owner, I am keenly aware of the serious responsibilities of gun ownership but also painfully aware of the daily toll of guns in America. I am even more aware that my children have completed more active shooter drills in their tiny lives than I ever had to, which was exactly zero.

We can create a safer gun culture in America, but it will take the voice of responsible gun-owners in the middle to lead that charge. I, for one, am willing to accept reasonable restrictions for a safer society for myself and my children, and I would urge other gun- owners to lend their support to similar measures.

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Letter to the editor: You can support Second Amendment and ... - The Winchester Star

Moore pushes 2nd Amendment resolution – Monroe Evening News

Monroe County commissioner Greg Moore Jr. said he wants to introduce a resolution that would declare the county a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County to protect a person's right to bear arms.

A Monroe County commissioner said he wants to introduce a resolution in January that would declare the county a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County to protect a persons right to bear arms.

Greg Moore Jr., vice chairman of the board of commissioners, told the Monroe News he wants to ward off attempts on any gun bans in Michigan as has occurred in the State of Virginia. Restrictions on assault weapons and certain types of magazines is set to be enacted in Virginia in 2020, although 90 counties in the state have created resolutions proclaiming themselves as 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties there.

Moore, a Republican from Temperance, called the gun ban unconstitutional. He said he heard that there are bills pending in the state Senate that he called red flag laws that would allow authorities to take guns from citizens in Michigan. He said he would like Monroe County to go on record as supporting the 2nd Amendment in the U. S. Constitution that allows citizens to carry weapons with a license.

He said when he was sworn into office as a commissioner, he was asked to defend the rights of citizens and laws in both the state constitution and federal constitution.

This isnt a Republican or Democratic issue for me, its a 2nd Amendment right issue, Moore said Monday. This is something I'm passionate about. Im unabashedly pro second amendment. As our constitution states, our inalienable right to bear arms shall not be infringed. It is for this reason that I sent our chairman, legal team and administrator a resolution that would make the county a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County.

He said he planned to bring the resolution to the boards second meeting in January (Jan. 21). It will not be on the agenda Tuesday when the board holds its first meeting of the new year. He said other counties in Michigan will be watching what Monroe does.

When he posted his plan on Facebook over the weekend, he was surprised that it was shared 500 times and received 400,000 views nationwide.

I was not expecting that, he said. Im not trying to make waves. In this climate, I realize this is a hot-button issue. I would hope every elected official would support the amendment and uphold both the state and federal constitution.

His post on Facebook drew the following comments: Kim Millikin wrote: Lets make many counties in Michigan 2nd amendment sanctuary counties. Im all in. Im in Tuscola... let us stand up for our rights now! Lets show them we are awake.

Phillip Hofmeister said in Michigan, the Board of Commissioners has no authority to bind the county sheriff to follow it. So the resolution, while touching and a nice gesture, has little effect in law.

Ron Rogers said he wanted to use Moores suggestion to send to his board of commissioners in Collier County, Florida, where he lived. We need to keep this movement pushing forward, Rogers said.

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Moore pushes 2nd Amendment resolution - Monroe Evening News

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Decision on 2nd Amendment to be Announced – Signals AZ

By Kristina Abbey | on December 30, 2019

"Talking Glass" Audible Stories on Signals AZ made possible by The Fain Signature Group - Celebrating 60 Years of Community Building

On Thursday, January 2nd at 8:30 am the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors will announce their decision whether to declare Yavapai County a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County at the Yavapai County Admin Building at 1015 Fair Street, Prescott.

The 2nd Amendment reads: 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.A 2nd amendment Sanctuary, also known as a gun sanctuary, refers to states, counties, or localities in the United States that have adopted laws or resolutions to prohibit or impede the enforcement of certain gun control measures perceived as violative of the Second Amendment. The sanctuary declaration would prohibit county employees from enforcing certain state gun control laws.

Residents of Yavapai County are encouraged to attend this meeting to hear the results of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors decision on whether or not to declare Yavapai County a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County.

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Makes Decision on 2nd Amendment Sanctuary

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Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Decision on 2nd Amendment to be Announced - Signals AZ

Secure the Schools, Save the Second Amendment – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Secure the Schools, Save the Second Amendment, iStock-178748573

United States -(AmmoLand.com)-When discussing how mass shootings are a major vulnerability for our Second Amendment rights, there is one place in particular that Second Amendment supporters should be paying attention to: Schools. These are the worst types of mass shootings for obvious reasons. Not only is there a horrific tragedy, but all too often, the victims are children with a whole life ahead of them.

The mass shooting at Columbine prompted a new push for semi-auto bans. That was bad enough for Second Amendment supporters, but the Sandy Hook mass shooting was, in some ways, a game-changer. Why? In addition to a half-dozen teachers, 20 six-year-old children were killed. This was easily the most horrific event you could imagine outside a major terrorist attack. We will never know whether that horrific act was a crime or act of madness, due to the shooter committing suicide, but that doesnt negate the horror nor the damage done to our rights.

Lets face it, even though Second Amendment supporters beat back efforts to reinstate a federal semi-auto ban, in some ways, the cause of freedom still lost. It wasnt just seeing new semi-auto bans pass in several states, it also came in the form of anti-Second Amendment extremists upping their attacks.

Things went even further after Parkland. Now, any Second Amendment supporter knows how the bumbling cowards of Broward County failed to stop the shooter long before that tragic and horrific mass shooting. Those failures, though, are what Second Amendment supporters must address.

Again, it should be common sense for Second Amendment supporters to work to address school shootings. Again, if we dont have Second Amendment-compliant solutions, then Bloombergs bought-and-paid-for politicians and stooges will propose their extreme anti-Second Amendment agenda and a bunch of freaked-out soccer moms will back that agenda in order to protect their kids.

What sort of Second Amendment-complaint solutions should be considered? Making the schools harder targets is one of them. Passive security measures, like metal detectors and surveillance cameras, are one option. Another, of course, is better active security armed security presence, including, but not limited to, willing school personnel.

This generates controversy but shouldnt. Second Amendment supporters are all too familiar with the harsh reality that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Thankfully, the NRA School Shield program is being offered. This program is something Second Amendment supporters should be promoting at their local school boards if for no other reason than to get the refusal to consider the program on the record.

But that is only part of the solution. The fact is, as was shown with Parkland, the potential shooter gave off a lot of warning signs. Some existing laws could have addressed the situation: Second Amendment supporters may not like the Gun-Free School Zones Act, but it could be a tool to at least address some potentially dangerous students (keep in mind, the Parkland shooter was caught with ammunition and knives on school grounds) and given the expansion of concealed carry, there is much less chance a law-abiding citizen exercising their Second Amendment rights will be caught up in it. As is the case with other mass shootings, the debate over ERPOs/red flag laws also enters into this, along with the use (or lack of use) of civil commitment laws. Its not ideal, but we need to focus on what is achievable, and deal with the situation as it is, not how we wish it to be.

One voice Second Amendment supporters should back is that of Andrew Pollack. Since the death of his daughter in the Parkland shooting, Pollack has founded Americans for Childrens Lives and School Safety (CLASS). None of this groups proposals attack our Second Amendment rights, which should allow Second Amendment supporters to back them in good conscience.

Finally, if you have kids in school, this is important: Talk to them. Encourage them to say something if they see something. Make sure they are prepared to defend the Second Amendment. Find out what is going on in their schools. If they have concerns, sound the alarm.

Mass shootings in schools give anti-Second Amendment extremists the chance to make major gains. The smart move is for Second Amendment supporters to work for preventing them with a Second Amendment-compliant agenda. This isnt being a Fudd, an appeaser, or capitulating to those who oppose our freedoms, it is about heading off attacks on our rights before they happen.

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

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Secure the Schools, Save the Second Amendment - AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Thank the Second Amendment: Texas church shooting stopped in its tracks by armed hero – Washington Examiner

Many Democrats and liberal media figures sneer at the good guy with a gun narrative when it comes to the debate over gun control, dismissing it as a myth clung to by Bible-thumping rednecks. Yet, if there was ever a single incident to remind us just how wrong they are, its the tragic church shooting that was thankfully stopped in its tracks on Sunday.

An armed intruder interrupted a morning service at West Freeway Church of Christ near Fort Worth, Texas, disrupting the ceremony and shooting several worshiping Christians. At least two people are dead as a result, including the suspect, and one injured.

But things could have been much, much worse. Two armed people attending the service intervened and shot the attacker in his tracks after just seconds, undoubtedly saving many lives.

Of course, this is still a tragedy. Someone was killed, and an entire congregation is surely traumatized. The community will need to heal and deserves compassion and support.

Politicizing the shooting with calls to vote for or against a political candidate would be gross. But it's worth pointing out the facts of what happened. Liberals will inevitably politicize future shootings and call for gun control or a rollback of Second Amendment rights. We must remind them that it doesn't hurt to let good people have guns. The good guy with a gun is an everyday reality, not a myth.

There is ample research, not just inspiring anecdotes, to confirm how common defensive gun use is. One study examining the prevalence of self-defense concluded that almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms.

Defensive gun use is not a myth. After how this heroic act unfolded, we should all thank God that this is the case.

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Thank the Second Amendment: Texas church shooting stopped in its tracks by armed hero - Washington Examiner

2nd Amendment rights among top concerns at Harris town hall in Cambridge – MyEasternShoreMD

Enforcement of current gun laws should be the focus rather than enacting feel good laws that lawmakers could boast about passing but that had little positive practical effect.

CAMBRIDGE Congressman Andy Harris (R-1st District) answered questions and listened to his constituents comments at a Town Hall on Monday evening, Dec. 30 at the American Legion in Cambridge. Among those top concerns, second amendment rights, school discipline, and sanctuary county laws. The town hall format allowed for comments and questions from concerned citizens.


Harris spoke critically of the impeachment recently passed by the House of Representatives. He questioned the delay caused by the Houses Democrat leadership to delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate due to not yet selecting managers as part of the process. Harris speculated that the delay was due in part to the fact that Democrats in the House did not want to address the controversy before the holiday break.

Red Flag Laws

Multiple town hall participants asked questions about and made statements opposing red flag laws for firearms. Red flag laws allows for authorities to temporarily take firearms from someone who is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

Harris said that he fully supports the conclusion of the Heller decision handed down by the United States that the right to possess firearms is an individual right rather than a collective right held by a government sanctioned militia, and he said that the current red flag law prototypes would take away the constitutional rights by ex parte legal proceedings, proceedings in which the subject of a judges temporary ruling is not permitted to take part, and in Harriss estimation, is therefore denied their constitutional right to due process.

Harris said that mass shooting deaths are tragic, the numbers of people killed are far exceeded by the number of death from gun crimes that already violate existing laws intended to prevent such crimes. He continued with the assertion that enforcement of current gun laws should be the focus rather than enacting what he called feel good laws that lawmakers could boast about passing but that had little positive practical effect.

He said that outside of any federal consideration that Marylands state red flag laws should be reviewed in terms of how many complaints turn into temporary confiscations, and how many Marylanders that have guns taken from them by a judge, receive mental health treatment.

Other Firearms Issues

Harris answered a question on whether Congress could pass a law that would expand reciprocity for out of state firearms carry permit holders by saying that he thought that an agreement on reciprocity from the legislature was unlikely, but he pointed to an upcoming legal challenge that could make reciprocity agreements more uniformly applicable.

One town hall participant questioned Harris on whether he supported sanctuary counties.

To me thats not the solution, said Harris, who continued saying, sanctuary laws of any kind put law enforcement in a bad situation where they are asked to selectively enforce laws.

Another questioner asked about the possibility of the Maryland General Assembly extending background check requirements currently on handguns to long guns. Harris pointed to the percentage of crimes in Baltimore committed with long guns versus concealable weapons that current federal and state background checks and other firearms restrictions currently prohibit.


One attendee asked Harris what his solution to the extreme partisanship in Congress, asking What is it going to take for you [Congress] to get rid of this partisan pettiness? Harris said the first part of the solution was independent redistricting committees. He said his district, the 1st Congressional District of Maryland, extends from Pocomoke on the lower Eastern Shore to the Frederick County line, a layout he said is intended to include isolate as large a portion as possible of Republican voters at the expense of the districts compactness and geographical continuity.

Harris said that a more equitable districting would make districts more competitive, and more moderate. He said that because the First District is drawn so heavily Republican, the primary is likely to advance a more staunchly conservative candidate rather than a moderate, who then in turn doesnt face a real challenge in the general election. Harris said the flaw in the partisan districting process shows that despite re-electing a Republican governor, Maryland voters only elected one Republican Congressman out of eight seats statewide. As a result, Congress doesnt look like American, it looks like primaries, said Harris, who added that even though the system favors him in his district, I dont think its fair.

The second part of reducing partisanship is for voters to stop responding to what he called political attack ads. Harris said that aggressive political advertisements frequently mischaracterize candidates good faith efforts to discuss difficult and controversial topics, but their ideas are attacked and the dialogue often then becomes personal.

He cited the issue of H2B visas as an example of a locally important policy question derailed by the larger controversy over immigration. Harris said the temporary worker visas are an excellent solution in the current low unemployment labor market for seasonal labor needs for seafood and agriculture. He said the contribution in payroll taxes and the fulfilling of the need for workers makes the H2B visas a good thing, but partisanship prevents an easy solution.

School Discipline

Harris answered questions about the conditions in schools that teachers and others say is dangerous and harmful for students, referring to a recent study that a majority of students and teachers in Maryland public schools felt unsafe. Harris reflected on his time on the education committee in the Maryland State Senate, recalling a discussion with school officials that favored instituting a uniform policy as part of an overall plan to improve the environment in the school but who were reluctant to institute the policy due to a fear of being sued. You have to implement discipline, said Harris, who advocates for disruptive and dangerous students being removed from classrooms as part of a policy to promote the common good for students. He said the removal of disruptive students and the difficult question of where they should then be placed requires bold boards of education who are determined to solve the problem.

Federal Programs, Spending, and the Budget Deficit

Harris discussed the recent appropriations bill that passed with the specific inclusion of snakeheads as an invasive specific. He said that while the resources included in the bill were far from sufficient to remediate the invasive species from local waterways in Dorchester and elsewhere, that it was significant that the species was one of two specifically named.

Another attendee asked Harris about concerns about transportation being provided for veterans to their appointments and treatment at the Veterans Administration. Harris reflected back to his residency at a VA facility, and said that staff members put the ease of their own scheduling over veterans needs. He said that both contractors and VA personnel must put the needs of veterans first and promote the mindset of the customer is always right.

Harris also addressed questions on entitlements such as social security and food stamps, stating that Congress must make sure that obligations to Americans are being met while maintain solvency in the future.

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2nd Amendment rights among top concerns at Harris town hall in Cambridge - MyEasternShoreMD

Group petitions for 2nd Amendment Sanctuary in Webster Co. – Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW)

WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) Groups in several Kentucky counties, including some in the Tri-State, are petitioning local leaders for supporting rights to possess guns.

Theyre asking Webster and other counties to vote for a proposed Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution, which they claim prevents more restrictions on owning a gun.

Its kind of a peaceful route to take, says John Whitfield, a member of Webster County Kentucky United, a group campaigning in Webster County on sanctuary status.

I dont think its just needed in Webster County, I think its needed here in the Tri-State area because its every American citizens rights to bear arms, he says.

An online petition, which has more than 400 signatures, calls for the county not to recognize any further gun restriction laws or possible seizing of weapons. Hancock County Fiscal Court approved a similar resolution late last month, and similar efforts started in Hopkins and other counties.

CIties around us are having to constantly live in fear because of this possibility of getting their guns taken away and not being able to protect themselves from shootings that have happened before, Whitfield says.

I had and still harbor concerns about it, counters Daviess County Sheriff Keith Cain. He says one issue is state lawmakers passed a bill in 2012, which prohibits counties and cities from passing local laws regarding sales and storage of guns. He also worries about local governments being empowered to determine the legality of federal laws.

For local government or in my case the local sheriff to be empowered with the ability to determine constitutionality of any laws, I think sets a very dangerous precedence. I think that clearly sites in the purview of the judiciary, he says.

Whitfield says their group plans to meet with Webster County Fiscal Court at their meetings later this month.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across theTri-State, follow Eyewitness News onFacebookandTwitter.

(This story was originally published on January 2, 2020)

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Group petitions for 2nd Amendment Sanctuary in Webster Co. - Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW)

Second Amendment | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information …

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "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." Such language has created considerable debate regarding the Amendment's intended scope. On the one hand, some believe that the Amendment's phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" creates an individual constitutional right for citizens of the United States. Under this "individual right theory," the United States Constitution restricts legislative bodies from prohibiting firearm possession, or at the very least, the Amendment renders prohibitory and restrictive regulation presumptively unconstitutional. On the other hand, some scholars point to the prefatory language "a well regulated Militia" to argue that the Framers intended only to restrict Congress from legislating away a state's right to self-defense. Scholars have come to call this theory "the collective rights theory." A collective rights theory of the Second Amendment asserts that citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies therefore possess the authority to regulate firearms without implicating a constitutional right.

In 1939 the U.S. Supreme Court considered the matter in United States v. Miller. 307 U.S. 174. The Court adopted a collective rights approach in this case, determining that Congress could regulate a sawed-off shotgun that had moved in interstate commerce under the National Firearms Act of 1934 because the evidence did not suggest that the shotgun "has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated milita . . . ." The Court then explained that the Framers included the Second Amendment to ensure the effectiveness of the military.

This precedent stood for nearly 70 years when in 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court revisited the issue in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290). The plaintiff in Heller challenged the constitutionality of the Washington D.C. handgun ban, a statute that had stood for 32 years. Many considered the statute the most stringent in the nation. In a 5-4 decision, the Court, meticulously detailing the history and tradition of the Second Amendment at the time of the Constitutional Convention, proclaimed that the Second Amendment established an individual right for U.S. citizens to possess firearms and struck down the D.C. handgun ban as violative of that right. The majority carved out Miller as an exception to the general rule that Americans may possess firearms, claiming that law-abiding citizens cannot use sawed-off shotguns for any law-abiding purpose. Similarly, the Court in its dicta found regulations of similar weaponry that cannot be used for law-abiding purposes as laws that would not implicate the Second Amendment. Further, the Court suggested that the United States Constitution would not disallow regulations prohibiting criminals and the mentally ill from firearm possession.

Thus, the Supreme Court has revitalized the Second Amendment. The Court continued to strengthen the Second Amendment through the 2010 decision inMcDonald v. City of Chicago(08-1521). The plaintiff inMcDonaldchallenged the constitutionally of the Chicago handgun ban, which prohibited handgun possession by almost all private citizens. In a 5-4 decisions, the Court, citing the intentions of the framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment, held that the Second Amendment applies to the states through theincorporation doctrine.However, the Court did not have a majority on which clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense. While Justice Alito and his supporters looked to the Due Process Clause, Justice Thomas in his concurrence stated that the Privileges and Immunities Clause should justify incorporation.

However, several questions still remain unanswered, such as whether regulations less stringent than the D.C. statute implicate the Second Amendment, whether lower courts will apply their dicta regarding permissible restrictions, andwhat level of scrutiny the courts should apply when analyzing a statute that infringes on the Second Amendment. As a general note, when analyzing statutes and ordinances, courts use three levels of scrutiny, depending on the issue at hand:

Recent lower-court case law since Heller suggests that courts are willing to uphold

More recently, the Supreme Court reinforced its Hellerruling in itsCaetano v. Massachusetts(2016) decision. The Court found that the lower "Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was wrong in the three reasons it offered for why the state could ban personal possession or use of a stun gun without violating the Second Amendment." The Supreme Court, however, remanded the case without further instructions, so this per curiam ruling did not do much to further clarify the Supreme Court's stance on the Second Amendment.

See constitutional amendment.

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Second Amendment | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information ...

Second Amendment | Contents, Supreme Court Interpretations …

Second Amendment, amendment to the Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, that provided a constitutional check on congressional power under Article I Section 8 to organize, arm, and discipline the federal militia. The Second Amendment reads, 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. Referred to in modern times as an individuals right to carry and use arms for self-defense, the Second Amendment was envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, according to College of William and Mary law professor and future U.S. District Court judge St. George Tucker in 1803 in his great work Blackstones Commentaries: With Notes of Reference to the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Government of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as the true palladium of liberty. In addition to checking federal power, the Second Amendment also provided state governments with what Luther Martin (1744/481826) described as the last coup de grace that would enable the states to thwart and oppose the general government. Last, it enshrined the ancient Florentine and Roman constitutional principle of civil and military virtue by making every citizen a soldier and every soldier a citizen. (See also gun control.)

Until 2008 the Supreme Court of the United States had never seriously considered the constitutional scope of the Second Amendment. In its first hearing on the subject, in Presser v. Illinois (1886), the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment prevented the states from prohibit[ing] the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security. More than four decades later, in United States v. Schwimmer (1929), the Supreme Court cited the Second Amendment as enshrining that the duty of individuals to defend our government against all enemies whenever necessity arises is a fundamental principle of the Constitution and holding that the common defense was one of the purposes for which the people ordained and established the Constitution. Meanwhile, in United States v. Miller (1939), in a prosecution under the National Firearms Act (1934), the Supreme Court avoided addressing the constitutional scope of the Second Amendment by merely holding that the possession or use of a shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length was not any part of the ordinary military equipment protected by the Second Amendment.

For more than seven decades after the United States v. Miller decision, what right to bear arms that the Second Amendment protected remained uncertain. This uncertainty was ended, however, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), in which the Supreme Court examined the Second Amendment in exacting detail. In a narrow 54 majority, delivered by Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court held that self-defense was the central component of the amendment and that the District of Columbias prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court also affirmed previous rulings that the Second Amendment ensured the right of individuals to take part in the defending of their liberties by taking up arms in an organized militia. However, the court was clear to emphasize that an individuals right to an organized militia is not the sole institutional beneficiary of the Second Amendments guarantee.

Because the Heller ruling constrained only federal regulations against the right of armed self-defense in the home, it was unclear whether the court would hold that the Second Amendment guarantees established in Heller were equally applicable to the states. The Supreme Court answered that question in 2010, with its ruling on McDonald v. Chicago. In a plurality opinion, a 54 majority held that the right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense is applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendments due process clause.

However, despite the use of person in that clause, the McDonald decision did not apply to noncitizens, because one member of the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas, refused in his concurring opinion to explicitly extend the right that far. Thomas wrote, Because this case does not involve a claim brought by a noncitizen, I express no view on the difference, if any, between my conclusion and the plurality with respect to the extent to which States may regulate firearm possession by noncitizens. Thomass conclusion was also supported by his view that the Second Amendment should be incorporated through the Fourteenth Amendments privileges or immunities clause, which recognizes only the rights of citizens.

The relatively narrow holdings in the Heller and McDonald decisions left many Second Amendment legal issues unsettled, including the constitutionality of many federal gun-control regulations, whether the right to carry or conceal a weapon in public was protected, and whether noncitizens are protected through the Fourteenth Amendments equal protection clause.

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Second Amendment | Contents, Supreme Court Interpretations ...

Second Amendment Text, Origins, and Meaning

Below is the original text of the Second Amendment:

Having been oppressed by a professional army, the founding fathers of the United States had no use for establishing one of their own. Instead, they decided that an armed citizenry makes the best army of all. General George Washington created regulation for the aforementioned "well-regulated militia," which would consist of every able-bodied man in the country.

The Second Amendment holds the distinction of being the only amendment to the Bill of Rights that essentially goes unenforced. The U.S. Supreme Court has never struck down any piece of legislation on Second Amendment grounds, in part because justices have disagreed on whether the amendment is intended to protect the right to bear arms as an individual right, or as a component of the "well-regulated militia."

There are three predominant interpretations of the Second Amendment.

The only Supreme Court ruling in U.S. history that has focused primarily on the issue of what the Second Amendment really means is U.S. v. Miller (1939), which is also the last time the Court examined the amendment in any serious way. In Miller, the Court affirmed a median interpretation holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, but only if the arms in question are those that would be useful as part of a citizen militia. Or maybe not; interpretations vary, partly because Miller is not an exceptionally well-written ruling.

In Parker v. District of Columbia (March 2007), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban on grounds that it violates the Second Amendment's guarantee of an individual right to bear arms. The case is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, which may soon address the meaning of the Second Amendment. Almost any standard would be an improvement over Miller.

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Second Amendment Text, Origins, and Meaning

Second Amendment saves lives in Texas church – Washington Times


Two people were killed and another wounded in Texas after a man wearing a fake beard, wig, hat and long coat entered a church in the community of White Settlement, pulled out a shotgun and began firing.

Tragic and horrible as that is it couldve been much, much worse. It couldve been much, much bloodier.

The gunman was stopped in his tracks after Jack Wilson, a gun-carrying church security volunteer, and other armed parishioners pulled their own weapons and prepared to fire.

By the time the [attacker, identified as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43] approached a communion server and pulled out a shotgun, The Associated Press reported, Wilson and another security volunteer were already reaching for their own guns.

Several other armed church-goers reportedly reached for their weapons as well.

Kinnunen shot and killed armed church volunteer Richard White and a server, Anton Tony Wallace, AP reported. And as the 240-plus congregants in the church rushed for cover, Wilson was able to get a line of fire.

[Church members] were jumping, going chaotic, Wilson said, AP reported. They were standing up. I had to wait about half a second, or a second, to get my shot. I fired one round. The subject went down.


In a matter of seconds the attacker was killed.

And because the attacker was so quickly killed, untold numbers of other lives were mercifully saved.

The Second Amendment saves, yes?

[Authorities] cant prevent mental illness from occurring, and we cant prevent every crazy person from pulling a gun. But we can be prepared like this church was, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a press conference outside the church on Monday.

Texas, notably, had just changed its laws to allow for church-goers with the legal rights to carry to bring their weapons inside of places of worship. That allowance took effect in September, and it came about because of a 2017 shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that left 26 dead.

Twenty-six versus two.

Either way you slice it, the deaths are tragic and senseless and horrible.

But 26 versus two.

Had this law not been passed and allowed these people to be armed, Paxton said in a Fox News interview, I fear we couldve lost hundreds.

Theres nothing to say to that except hes right.

Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [emailprotected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast Bold and Blunt by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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Second Amendment saves lives in Texas church - Washington Times

Texas Church Shooting and the War on the 2nd Amendment – VCY America

Date:December 31, 2019Host:Jim SchneiderGuest: Mark Walters MP3|Order

Mark Walters is a national board member of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the broadcast media spokesman for the Second Amendment Foundation. Hes the recipient of the 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award, a columnist and author of three books, Lessons from Armed America Lessons from Unarmed America and Grilling While Armed.

Mark began by presenting details of what took place at a church in Texas this past Sunday.

An individual who had been fed by the church and who had criminal violations on his record, attended the service in disguise and eventually opened fire. 2 people were shot, the first of which was in the process of reaching for a firearm. When both individuals were fired upon, in less than 6 seconds, a member of the church security team, 71 year old Jack Wilson, shot and killed the perpetrator.

Mark believes that because the church streams its services over the Internet, the mainstream media couldnt ignore this story. They had to cover it and couldnt bury it.

This broadcast includes audio from the pastor, comments from former Vice President Joe Biden, whats taking place in the gun rights battle in Virginia, as well as input from Crosstalk listeners.

More Information


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Texas Church Shooting and the War on the 2nd Amendment - VCY America

Camille remembered, Second Amendment sanctuary movement hits and a yak escapes: Nelson County’s top stories of 2019 – Lynchburg News and Advance

Most Nelson County families went to sleep the night of Aug. 19, 1969 not knowing rain from the remnants of Hurricane Camille would intensify and blitz parts of the county with more than 27 inches of rain.

Creeks turned into raging rivers that swept away homes and families, resulting in 125 deaths. The bodies of 33 of those victims were never found and eight of the dead were never identified.

Fifty years later in August, a few hundred people gathered at Nelson County High School to remember the lives lost and the massive recovery effort. A series of remembrances and events throughout 2019 were held to commemorate the storm and its devastation that forever changed the county.

Those headlines and more are among the top stories of 2019, as compiled by the Nelson County Times.

Music, slide shows and personal stories were plentiful in 2019 as many recalled the fateful storm that claimed so many lives. Phil Payne, a longtime Nelson attorney who served on the Camille Steering Committee, which planned remembrances for those killed and the many who stepped up in the time of crisis, said at an anniversary gathering: For the families of those for whom we gather here today to remember, words cannot express their loss. Retired Nelson judge J. Michael Gamble, a county native who recalled his own memories of witnessing horrific destruction in the storms aftermath, recalled so many residents, not waiting for help, who came out with power tools, equipment and their bare hands to clear debris and open roads, a testament that would have made those who perished proud. The Nelson County Board of Supervisors in August unanimously passed a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary and placed a wreath next to the Hurricane Camille memorial at the Nelson courthouse in Lovingston. The board declared Aug. 20 as a day of remembrance for the county. The storm dumped as much as 31 inches of rain in five hours and caused $100 million in property damages across the county, according to the resolution.

A yak named Meteor gained acclaim across the Internet after escaping its owner en route to a butcher in September and died after being struck by a vehicle. According to Nelson County Animal Control Officer Kevin Wright, the yak had been in a trailer from Buckingham headed for the market when it found its way down Front Street in Lovingston and into the mountains to evade capture. Though its time on the lam was short-lived, the animals journey captured headlines and generated much talk in Nelson. If any yak can escape slaughter, it deserves to live in peace, said Nelson resident Vanessa Miller Turner, who offered sanctuary.

Facing a challenge from Republican Daniel Jones, Nelson Sheriff David Hill won a second term in office on Nov. 5 with 3,288 votes, or 55% of the total vote. Hill edged Jones by 608 votes and captured nine of the countys 10 precincts, losing only the Schuyler precinct. Leading up to the election, some former Nelson deputies accused Hill of being unfit to lead and creating what they described as an unhealthy, toxic work environment. Hill, who ran as an independent and topped three other candidates in the 2015 election, said the citizens had spoken with his victory and it warmed his heart. Im sorry many of these people have been caught up in all this drama, Hill said.

On May 2, Roger D. Beverly, of Lovingston, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Winfred W. Watson, 48, of Charlottesville. The Nelson County Sheriffs Office said an argument led to the stabbing and Beverly was found hiding in trees not far from where Watsons body was found. Watson was stabbed multiple times and then set on fire, according to authorities. Beverly, 34, also is charged with concealing a body, a felony. He is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing Jan. 15 in Nelson General District Court, according to court records.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline a natural gas project from West Virginia to North Carolina, including a 27-mile stretch in Nelson County where opposition has been fierce ran into a new obstacle in July when a federal appeals court panel in Richmond threw out a federal permit because it failed to adequately protect endangered or threatened species on the projects path. Meanwhile, in early October the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of a decision by a Richmond-based federal appeals court in 2018 that revoked a permit the U.S. Forest Service issued to allow the pipeline beneath the Appalachian Trail between Augusta and Nelson counties in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Construction of the pipeline, first proposed five years ago, is more than two years behind schedule and over budget by a few billion dollars in large part because of court rulings that have vacated federal permits for the project.

In December, Nelson supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of passing a resolution making Nelson County a Second Amendment sanctuary, a formal stance against any possible infringements on the Constitutional right to bear arms, which some fear is under threat by a new Democratic majority in the state legislature. A large crowd overflowed the boards meeting room to speak both in favor of and against the resolution, most wearing Guns Save Lives stickers handed out by the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Supervisor Ernie Reed voted against the resolution. More than 100 counties, cities and towns in Virginia have become Second Amendment sanctuaries following the Nov. 5 election.

In July Frederick Watson became the new full-time Nelson circuit judge, ending a longtime arrangement of the judge splitting time between Nelson and Amherst counties. The move was advantageous for the court dockets in Amherst and Nelson circuit courts as Judge Michael Garrett, who had for the previous four years served both counties, assumed a full-time role in Amherst.

In December the Nelson County Board of Supervisors bid farewell to Thomas Bruguiere, Jr., who served the West District seat since 2000, and South District Larry Saunders, who served two terms. Bruguiere opted not to run again and David Parr, a veteran Nelson County School Board member, replaced him as of Jan. 1. Saunders lost his seat by a slim margin to Robert G. Skip Barton. The Nelson County School Board also had some turnover with Margaret Clair winning the Central District seat as a write-in candidate, defeating interim member Doris Bibb, who also ran as a write-in. Bibb was appointed to the board after former member Dave Francis retired in August. Shannon Rothgeb Powell was elected to the West District seat vacated by Parr and East District representative George Cheape was elected after he previously was appointed to the seat following the resignation of Debbie Harvey.

In February breweries along the Brew Ridge Trail founded in Nelson County by a handful of breweries and the Nelson County Department of Economic Development was given a weeklong celebration 10 years after forming. Heidi Crandall, co-founder of Devils Backbone Brewing and Distilling Company, said being a part of the trail is about teamwork, with a goal of getting consumers to Nelson County.

The Nelson County Board of Supervisors this year approved a request for construction of a bed and breakfast directly across from the Waltons Mountain Museum in Schuyler. The Waltons-inspired home, called John & Olivias Bed & Breakfast Inn, opened in 2019. The Waltons was a TV show featuring the life of a Depression-era family in Virginias Blue Ridge Mountains. The late Earl Hamner, Jr., a Nelson native, created the show based off his book Spencers Mountain.

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.


Camille remembered, Second Amendment sanctuary movement hits and a yak escapes: Nelson County's top stories of 2019 - Lynchburg News and Advance

Analyzing 2019: Texas shootings and 2nd Amendment politics | News – Kilgore News Herald

Shootings in El Paso and Odessa prompted fresh questions and conversations about gun violence in Texas, even among some of the states elected Second Amendment advocates.

Mass shootings this summer in El Paso and Odessa prompted another round of debate, with some leaders who have firmly backed gun rights in the state talking openly and favorably about red flag laws and about expanding required background checks when guns are sold. Columns listed here all written before the holiday weekend church shooting in White Settlement tracked that political conversation, which has moved beyond what was said after earlier mass shootings in Sutherland Springs and in Santa Fe:

The El Paso shooting horrifies lawmakers. So do the solutions.

Another shooting, this time in a Walmart in El Paso, raises a familiar set of questions for politicians and lawmakers.

Since Texas leaders arent doing much about guns, watch what they say.

After the Odessa shootings, Gov. Greg Abbott said actions are louder than words. That may be right. But dont forget about the words.

The delicate balance of protecting Texans in a state that worships guns

Shootings in Odessa and El Paso added pressure on Republican state leaders to do more to protect Texans. But in a state that prides itself on lenient firearms laws, the politics are treacherous.

The end for a time-honored Republican recipe in Texas politics

Texas Republicans are talking openly and in opposition to gun rights advocates about firearms restrictions that used to be sacrosanct for conservative politicians.

Texas gun laws might not change, but the conversation is evolving

Repeated mass shootings can change officials minds about their policy stances. After recent massacres, Texas politicians and officeholders are talking about guns in new ways.

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Analyzing 2019: Texas shootings and 2nd Amendment politics | News - Kilgore News Herald

Second Amendment Supporters Need to Address Prevention of Mass Shootings – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Second Amendment Activist Protest Activism Take Action

United States -(AmmoLand.com)-If there is one event that tends to bolster anti-Second Amendment extremists, its a mass shooting. The media coverage goes wall-to-wall and with it comes the mass outrage from not just reporters, but from anti-Second Amendment extremists across the country. There are major pushes for anti-Second Amendment laws, and those who support freedom are on the defensive.

Its never a good situation. Even when anti-Second Amendment legislation is fended off, it seems that there are a lot of new supporters for anti-Second Amendment legislation. For instance, it used to be that an Australia-style gun confiscation proposal was unthinkable in America but then some of those running for president put that front-and-center. Their campaigns fizzled out. In this election, at least. Who can say for sure what will happen in the future?

Here is one simple fact: Mass shootings are a significant strategic vulnerability when it comes to protecting our Second Amendment rights for the reasons mentioned. Therefore, Second Amendment supporters should be working to find ways to prevent them with solutions that are Second Amendment-compliant.

It should not be necessary to say this, but recently, it seems important to do so: Acknowledging this vulnerability and working to address it does not make a Second Amendment supporter a Fudd. Such a course of action does not make them an appeaser, either. Claims that this is about capitulating to anti-Second Amendment extremists are phonier than Michael Bloombergs claims that he has respect for the Second Amendment.

Lets lay it out clearly: If there is a vulnerability that those who seek to wrongfully deprive us of our rights are going to use, it should be addressed. This is no different than the simple precaution of locking your doors at night. Addressing something that gives anti-Second Amendment extremists an opening to attack our rights is no different than making it harder for someone to break into your home.

So how do we deal with mass shooters? In some cases, these mass shooters have multiple interactions with law enforcement. The person who carried out the 1989 Stockton shooting had a criminal record including charges of drug dealing and clearly had at least twice been caught with a firearm while apparently being a prohibited person under 18 USC 922(g).

That statute went unused, and this killer, even after being evaluated as a danger to himself and others, was allowed to roam free until he used a modern multi-purpose semi-automatic rifle to gun down five kids, a mass shooting that led to the first state-level semiauto bans in California and New Jersey. Thirty years later, anti-Second Amendment extremists now openly talk about Australia-style gun confiscation. Mass shootings fuel those calls. And now, we have anti-Second Amendment extremists in political office making horrific incidents more likely.

What can be done? While Second Amendment supporters debate the merits of Emergency Response Prevention Orders (aka red flag laws), there is also discussion of civil commitment laws, which have been on the books for years. Perhaps there needs to be more use of civil commitment before some of these mass shootings. Second Amendment supporters should be looking to come up with ideas that will not affect our rights or they will be constantly on the defense.

Many Second Amendment supporters are wise to point out that these horrific events often take place in gun-free zones which become shooting galleries. The Crime Prevention Research Center has plenty of material on that. Or, perhaps, we should leverage the emotional stories of Nikki Goeser and Susanna Gratia Hupp.

Some of these places are gun-free by law, others by policy set by property owners. The latter can be the easiest to overturn or they can be the hardest to overturn, especially with the right approach and mindfulness of how we come across. They are easy because they just require a property owner to make a decision to end the gun-free zone. That being said, if that property owner has come across poorly thought-out Second Amendment advocacy, then convincing that property owner to change policy will be extremely hard.

The fact is, we take steps to keep ourselves and our homes safe. This includes identifying vulnerabilities and addressing them. If the locks dont work on the door of our house, we get them fixed. We should be doing the same with our rights. Its just common sense.

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

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Second Amendment Supporters Need to Address Prevention of Mass Shootings - AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Standing Guard Over Your Constitutional Rights – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

OpinionBy Larry Keane

USA -(AmmoLand.com)- One doesnt need to look hard to see that our Second Amendment rights, and our industry, is under fire by those who cant fathom an individual who chooses to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

A recentHarris poll,as reported by USA Today, showed that nearly 50 percent of all Americans are concerned that their right to bear arms (is) at risk.

We get it. Were in the halls of Congress and our state capitals working to defend against attacks on our industry and Americans ability to buy the firearms they choose to shoot with recreationally, hunt and defend themselves and their families. The mission of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, as the firearms industry trade association, is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. We represent the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of firearms, ammunition and related products, as well as shooting ranges across the United States. The hardworking, patriotic people that comprise this essential American industry depend on our work to not only protect their businesses and livelihoods, but also to protect the crucial function they play in fulfilling the ability of all Americans to keep and bear arms.


We share the concerns of those who are witnessing the continuous assault on our civil liberties. The NSSF exists because of the Second Amendment. Without it, there are no protections for Americans who buy our firearms. This freedom which is enjoyed by all citizens faces unprecedented threats, and Americans are paying attention. Its being manifested in the surge of jurisdictions adopting Second Amendment sanctuary status in response to pressing legislative threats to our rights.

These figures arent outlandish to those following what is being said in the 2020 Democratic primary for president or those observing college campuses across the country. It is perfectly reasonable for Americans to worry that their right to keep and bear arms is in danger whenfirearm confiscationis a mainstream talking point among Democratic candidates for president. On college campuses, these arent rhetorical debates. They are violent protests against young adults bycommunist Antifa thugswho are afraid to show their faces.

Inherent Rights

Our industry and Americas gunowners understand, however, that the Second Amendment contains crucial language that guarantees the preservation of all of our other rights as citizens. It reads that the security of a free state is dependent on a well-regulated militia made up of the People who have a God-given, pre-existing common law right to keep and bear arms. Without the Second Amendment, our ability to speak freely, worship freely and debate freely would face threats not even yet considered by those who participated in the Harris poll. The Second Amendment is why our industry exists.

The threats to our rights are indeed very real but the fastest way to lose them is to bury our heads in the sand instead of challenging those who wish to take them away. Were not idle in this fray. We are undaunted and unrelenting. Our civil rights are critical to our industry, and our industry is critical to ensure the preservation of all of our rights.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations, and publishers. http://www.nssf.org

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Standing Guard Over Your Constitutional Rights - AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

SCOTUS Is Hearing Its First Big Gun Case in 9 Years. Heres How It Might Play Out. – The Trace

On December 2, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a major gun rights case for the first time in almost a decade. The case was brought in 2013 by the New York Pistol and Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group located outside of Albany, against New York City. The association argues that a New York City restriction that prevented licensed gun owners from taking their firearms outside the city violated the Second Amendment.

After the Supreme Court agreed to take the case in January of this year, New York City repealed the relevant restriction, hoping the high court would drop the case. It hasnt and could still issue a ruling with broad Second Amendment implications.

The high court has been virtually silent on gun rights since it established that the Second Amendment includes the right to bear arms in the home in District of Columbia v. Heller, a watershed decision from 2008. But the Supreme Courts inertia has frustrated pro-gun advocates who want clarification on the many questions left unanswered in Heller: Does the Second Amendment protect the right to carry guns outside the home? What kinds of firearms are covered by the right to bear arms?

Since Heller, the court has shifted further to the right, but this doesnt mean the petitioners will win. Thats partly because the gun restriction that prompted the suit is no longer law, which could render the entire case moot.

To help us understand exactly what New York State Pistol and Rifle Association v. City of New York means for the law, The Trace spoke to Joseph Blocher, a legal scholar who co-directs the Center for Firearms Law at the Duke University School of Law. Professor Blocher also assisted with briefing for the District of Columbia in the Heller case.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Olivia Li: What is this case about?

Joseph Blocher: The Pistol and Rifle Association is suing over a restriction in New York Citys gun license that prevented gun owners from transporting their firearms outside city limits to a second home or gun range. The association says that the restriction referred to as a transport ban violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms, as well as the constitutional right to travel. There are a lot of different ways this case could go, but it could end up being a pretty big deal.

How are the constitutional questions in this case different than Heller? And how has the composition of the court evolved?

Heller was about whether there was a constitutional right to have a gun inside your home. The Supreme Court said there was, and that the core right in the Second Amendment was to keep an arm in the home for self defense.

This case, however, involves rules and conduct outside the home. Here, the court will be considering whether there is a Second Amendment right to transport your weapon from your home to another place where you have a right to have the gun, like a shooting range. The line between the home and public space has been a battle line in Second Amendment cases since Heller.

This case is also different from Heller in the sense that the Court has changed a lot since Justice [Antonin] Scalia penned the majority opinion in 2008. Justice Scalia has been replaced by Justice [Neil] Gorsuch, and Justice [Anthony] Kennedy was replaced by Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh. Many people believe that Kennedy was the swing vote in Heller, and that he only agreed to sign onto Scalias opinion if it included language that was friendly to reasonable gun regulations. And Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are stronger on gun rights than Kennedy was. The associations case will be heard by a much more conservative, pro-gun court.

Why hasnt the court taken a Second Amendment case in so long?

There werent enough votes to take up gun cases! You need four justices to grant cert [when the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case]. Its likely that Kavanaugh and Gorsuch made the difference here. Before they joined, the Court declined many opportunities to hear Second Amendment cases, including ones about public carry.

But gun rights lawyers have been begging the Supreme Court for years to hear a Second Amendment case. They argue that the Supreme Court has stood idly by while lower federal courts disrespect the right to bear arms by upholding too many gun regulations. Justice [Clarence] Thomas shares this opinion. He has chided his fellow justices for not supervising lower courts on the Second Amendment.

What do the petitioners want in this case?

The petitioners want to be able to transport their guns from within New York City limits to an out-of-city gun range or second home.

Its clear that the association thinks this case is also about the right to bear arms outside the home, not just transport them. But New York Citys regulation only addressed the transport of guns between places. Gun rights groups have tried to attack restrictions on public carry in other cases, but the Supreme Court never wanted to get involved.

What has happened in this case up to this point?

The association lost its case in a federal district court in 2015. And it lost again in 2018, when an appellate court ruled that New York Citys regulation was constitutional because it served New York Citys public safety goals. The Association asked the Supreme Court to reconsider that decision in September of 2018.

Theres another interesting piece to this: The New York City Police Department repealed the transport ban in July of 2019. That same month, New York State passed a law that says all cities within the state must allow gun permit holders to transport their weapons to second homes or gun ranges.

If New York City repealed the law, why is this case still going forward?

The association is saying that New York City only repealed the transport ban because it was afraid of how the Supreme Court might rule. But normally, when a person bringing a lawsuit asks for something, and she gets it, the case is over. In legal terms, this is called mootness, because theres no longer an issue to resolve. Courts should not hear cases that are moot.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, you wouldnt want a defendant to stop trespassing as soon as a lawsuit is filed just to get the case dismissed, only to start trespassing again. However, in this case, theres no danger of that happening. Remember, New York State passed a law that prohibits New York City from re-instituting its transport ban.

How might the Court rule? And what are some potential consequences?

There is a range of possible outcomes, but its helpful to think of them in two buckets. First, the court could dismiss the case as moot, because theres nothing the court could do to put the petitioners in a better position than theyre already in. They are free to travel with firearms outside New York City. Second, the justices could say the case should live on, and they will try to figure out whether the transport ban violates the Second Amendment.

Within this second bucket, there are a few options. The Court could agree with the reasoning of the lower court and hold that New York Citys regulation does not unconstitutionally burden gun rights. This preserves the status quo.

However, the Supreme Court could instead conclude that the Second Amendment protects the transport of guns to specific locations, as well as the right to bear arms in the home. But such a decision doesnt necessarily turn the tides. The Court could simply say that this particular regulation in New York City goes outside the bounds of reasonable gun laws. Because no other city has a rule like New Yorks and New York took its own law off the books this is a narrow result that changes literally nothing on the ground.

Another option: The Supreme Court could issue a much broader ruling where the justices say that theres a right to public carry. The Supreme Court has never before announced that the Second Amendment covers the right to bear arms in public, although most lower courts have held or assumed otherwise.

Finally, the Supreme Court could change the way lower courts analyze Second Amendment cases. Right now, when a gun rights advocate challenges a firearm law, the courts try to figure out if the gun law is specifically designed to serve public safety goals. In the associations case, the Supreme Court could announce a much more originalist test, one that requires courts to find a particular historical basis for modern day gun regulations. This change could make cases more difficult for governments who want to defend firearm regulations.

We talked about how the Court composition has changed a lot since Heller. The world outside the Supreme Court has changed a great deal too. Weve seen an increase in mass shootings and gun violence, as well as more social activism on gun reform. Will the justices be affected by this?

Thats a really fair question, and its one that comes up in every case, not just gun rights cases: How should the Supreme Court respond to public opinion, if it should at all? And I dont think I have the answer to that. What I can say is that all of the justices in Heller recognized the problem of gun violence in the United States. Justice Scalia even wrote at the end of his opinion that gun violence was a serious problem. That was 2008. Sandy Hook, Orlando, Vegas, and Parkland all postdate Heller.

Who do you think will win?

I think the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association has already won this case, because New York City repealed its transport ban. The association has gotten everything it has asked for, and thats precisely why I believe the Court should dismiss this case as moot, no matter what the justices think about the Second Amendment.

When will we get a decision?

If the Court dismisses the case simply because New York City already repealed the regulation, then we could get a decision very quickly. If the Court actually tries to figure out whether the New York City regulation violated the Second Amendment, well likely be waiting longer. But its really hard to say.

Do you think the Supreme Court will take more Second Amendment cases in the future?

I think if the Court dismisses this case on procedural grounds, theres a good chance it will take another Second Amendment case soon, maybe even by the end of this term.

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SCOTUS Is Hearing Its First Big Gun Case in 9 Years. Heres How It Might Play Out. - The Trace

The Supreme Court Shouldn’t Disrupt the Judicial Consensus on the Second Amendment – brennancenter.org

This piece was originally published by SCOTUSblog.

In one sense, the stakes inNew York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New Yorkcouldnt be lower: The challenged regulation, a one-of-a-kind New York City restriction on transporting licensed handguns outside city limits, has already been repealed, arguably rendering the case moot. But when it comes to Second Amendment doctrine and methodology, the stakes are higher than theyve been in a decade. If the petitioners have their way, the Supreme Court could reject the mainstream approach for deciding Second Amendment questions in favor of a more radical test focused solely on text, history, and tradition and without consideration of contemporary realities of guns and gun violence. That would be a mistake.

The methodological debate animating this case began 10 years ago inDistrict of Columbia v. Heller, in which the court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for private purposes like self-defense, and that the right like all constitutional rights is subject to regulation. But, aside from listing some presumptively lawful measures, the court did not identify a doctrinal mechanism to evaluate those regulations (tiers of scrutiny, adequate alternatives, substantial burden, etc.), instead leaving the task to the lower courts.

In more than 1,000 cases sinceHeller, thedoctrinal dust has begun to settle, and the outlines of constitutional rules and standards have become clearer. Of course, no constitutional right is governed by a single doctrinal test; even the canard that fundamental rights get strict scrutiny repeated often by the petitioners in this case issimply false. (Free speech claims, to take one obvious example, are governed by a wide range of tests.) But courts have nonetheless converged, with striking unanimity, on a general framework for adjudicating Second Amendment cases. That framework is frequently called the two-step test.

The first step is a threshold inquiry about whether the Second Amendment comes into play at all. AsHellermakes clear, theres no scrutiny necessary for bans on possession by felons (with arguable and limited exceptions for as-applied challenges), or dangerous or unusual weapons such as machine guns, or weapons in sensitive places. For those regulations that do raise Second Amendment questions, courts proceed to the second step and apply something like a sliding scale of means-end scrutiny to evaluate the relationship between the state interest served by the regulation and the methods employed to further that interest. The more seriously a regulation interferes with the core interest of self-defense in the home, the more scrutiny it gets.

This framework is so basic as to be archetypal constitutional rights adjudication frequently involves a threshold inquiry into the rights applicability, followed by some context-specific scrutiny of burden, purpose and tailoring. In the First Amendment context, for example, courts regularly ask whether an activity campaign contributions, for example counts as speech before applying whatever doctrinal test is appropriate.

In short, assome constitutional law scholars have concluded, using the two-part framework means treating the right to keep and bear arms like the fundamental right that it is. The two-part framework, moreover, accommodates both historical analysis and consideration of contemporary costs and benefits; it includes both bright-line rules (prohibitions on laws that go too far) and standards. And the fact that it has been endorsed by every federal court of appeals is a resounding vote of confidence.

And yet the petitioners in this case contend that applying this common methodology converts the Second Amendment into a second-class right. Courts are too lenient with regard to the tailoring analysis, the argument goes, or misconstrue the historical element of the framework. They say the two-part test has been systematically misapplied.

Of course, mistakes are inevitable in any high-volume area of constitutional litigation, and some have undeniably occurred in Second Amendment cases. One court, for example, found that the amendment protectedonly those arms in existence at the nations founding not modern-day weapons like stun guns a decision overturned by a unanimous Supreme Court. In truth, such mistakes have been relatively rare. Most Second Amendment cases areweak to begin with. This is partly because ofHelleritself, which blessed as presumptively lawful various regulations that are often challenged, like felon-in-possession laws. Its also due to the fact that gun politics prevent most stringent regulations from being enacted in the first place this is not a target-rich environment for gun-rights litigators. When a court errs in upholding an unconstitutional law, however, the typical way to correct the error is through appellate decisions. In this case, by contrast, the Supreme Court is being asked to forgo the typical approach, toss out the consensus methodology and supercharge the Second Amendment with a new set of rules.

The most prominent alternative to the two-part framework is the one articulated by then-judge Brett Kavanaugh in a dissent in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: That gun regulations should not be evaluated using any level of scrutiny, but rather by looking to text, history and tradition alone.

Some advocates of this new test hope and expect that it would expand the right to keep and bear arms to some imagined historical ideal, immune from regulation. But that historical image is itself ahistorical: Gun rights and regulations have coexisted for centuries. The laws have changed, because guns and gun violence have changed, but from the very beginning weve had versions of safe-storage requirements, bans on dangerous and unusual weapons, restrictions on public carrying and even outright bans on public carry including in supposed gun havens like Dodge City and Tombstone. Guns are a part of American history, but so, too, is gun regulation. For reference, there are more than 1,500 entries inDukes Repository of Historical Gun Laws, a searchable, non-comprehensive database of firearms regulations that predate the federal governments first major intervention into the field in 1934. A properly applied historical test should uphold a lot of gun regulation.

The main problem with relying solely on text, history and tradition, however, is that it doesnt provide useful guidance for modern-day regulations that respond to modern-day gun violence. The text alone cant tell you whether a machine gun is an arm or whether convicted felons are among the People the Second Amendment protects. The 27 words of the amendment are silent on many questions, and history and tradition dont speak with one voice there were and are significantregionaldifferences in approaches to gun regulation, as well as divisionsbetween urban and rural areas.

Perhaps in some extreme cases (a total ban on public carry, for example), text, history and tradition would provide relatively clear rules. But for most standard forms of modern gun regulation restrictive licensing schemes for public carry, for example, or prohibitions on high-capacity magazines or on gun possession by people convicted of domestic violence all of the work would be done by analogical reasoning. Judges would have to decide for themselves whether certain modern guns or gun laws are relevantly similar to laws from 150 or 200 years ago.

How would such a test of judicial analogies work in practice? Is a rocket launcher like a musket, because you can lift it, or is it like a cannon, because its so powerful? How is an AR-15 like a musket? Do you compare barrel lengths? Muzzle velocity? Relative deadliness? Such questions place a lot of weight on judges own, perhaps unexamined intuitions. In this way, the test of text, history and tradition simply cloaks judicial discretion in an air of objectivity.

In practice, the supposedly historical inquiry eventually comes back, in a roundabout and less transparent way, to the same kinds of questions that are front and center for means-end scrutiny. Good analogical reasoning requires finding relevant similarities, and whats most relevant about guns is their function, especially their usefulness for whatHellersays is the core lawful purpose of self-defense. If automatic weapons are prohibited, but semi-automatic handguns are permitted, does that materially interfere with peoples ability to defend themselves in their homes? If so, has the government shown that the prohibition is appropriately tailored to a sufficiently strong interest? The two-part framework makes those questions explicit, rather than laundering them through a subjective form of historical formalism.

Text, history and traditionabsolutely matterin the context of the Second Amendment, just as in other areas of constitutional law. But to make them the sole measure of constitutionality wouldnt give much useful guidance in hard cases, and would invite a lot of unarticulated, potentially hidden judicial discretion and power. Second Amendment scholarNelson Lund puts the point well: Pretending to find the answers in history and tradition will encourage either covert judicial policymaking, which is just what reliance on history and tradition is supposed to prevent, or ill-supported historical stories in defense of results that could honestly and responsibly be justified through normal means-end scrutiny.

The Supreme Court is being asked in this case to reject a doctrinal framework unanimously endorsed by the federal courts of appeals and widely used in constitutional-rights jurisprudence, and to adopt instead a brand-new doctrinal test that would almost certainly invite broad judicial discretion. We hope that the court declines that invitation.

Joseph Blocher is Lanty L. Smith 67 Professor of Law at Duke Law School, where he co-directs the Center for Firearms Law. Eric Ruben is assistant professor of law at SMU Dedman School of Law and a Brennan Center fellow. Along with Darrell A.H. Miller of Duke Law School, they filedan amicus brief in support of neither sideinNew York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York.

The views expressed here are the authors own and not necessarily those of the Brennan Center.

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The Supreme Court Shouldn't Disrupt the Judicial Consensus on the Second Amendment - brennancenter.org

Fannin County joins other Texas counties as Second Amendment sanctuary movement – KXII-TV

FANNIN COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) Fannin County has declared themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary county during a commissioners court meeting Tuesday, making them one of at least 15 counties across the state of Texas to do so.

County officials said it all started when a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination said he planned to take away certain kinds of firearms if he was elected next year. In response, counties all around the state have declared their properties, facilities and resources off limits to any government trying to seize weapons or arrest people for having them.

Fannin County Judge Randy Moore says the proclamation was approved unanimously, 5 - 0, by the court.

"It just lets our county know where we stand," said Moore. "We feel like those are God given rights, we feel like those are rights that were given to us by the Constitution of the United States, and we plan to uphold them."

Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson said he wants people to know that nothing is going to change in terms of the legal purchasing process.

"We're not going to participate with the federal government, or anyone that's going to come in and try and take away people's guns" said Johnson.

This means the county will not allow anyone to use their resources if they try and take away someone's firearm, such as the jail, or any help from law enforcement.

Some Fannin County residents were not enthused. Bill Roberts, who lives in Bailey, said during the court meeting he didn't see how the resolution fell within the rights of the court.

"Are we now putting the putting the sheriff and commissioners court in charge of what's constitutional and what is not?" Roberts said.

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Fannin County joins other Texas counties as Second Amendment sanctuary movement - KXII-TV