Skip to comments.“GOD GUNS & GUTS MADE AMERICA FREE”
Posted on 12/29/2006 12:24:50 PM PST by neverdem
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"A duly interposed demurrer alleged: The National Firearms Act is not a revenue measure but an attempt to usurp police power reserved to the States, and is therefore unconstitutional. Also, it offends the inhibition of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, U.S.C.A.-'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.' [307 U.S. 174, 177] The District Court held that section 11 of the Act violates the Second Amendment. It accordingly sustained the demurrer and quashed the indictment."
As no facts were presented during the appeal, there were no facts to provide the evidence the Supreme Court desired when they said, "In the absence of any evidence tending to show . . ."
To the best of my knowledge, the Supreme Court can't just announce that it wants a case to be heard another time becuase they want more information. Hence they reversed it and remanded it.
That is correct, though they did not provide any details as to why they thought it was. The U.S. Supreme Court, on the other hand, seemed to focus their attention on weapons with "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia".
The High Court was unaware of the fact that some 30,000 shotguns, including a great number of sawed-off shotguns, were purchased by the U.S. Government for use in World War I as trench guns.
But even if they were aware, they'd hardly compare Miller's "less than 18 inch sawed-off" double-barreled shotgun to the Winchester Model 1897 shotgun with a 20" barrel, bayonet lug, barrel handguard and sling swivels as used in WWI.
Did they disagree? Or were they silent? Big difference.
Prohibiting? The National Firearms Act of 1934 was passed as a revenue measure. Congress chose to raise this revenue only from private citizens, not public employees.
To the lower court which received the remand, there would be no difference whatever. The District Court was not instructed to modify its interpretation of the Second Amendment in any way other than with respect to the usefulness of the shotgun to a militia.
The Supreme Court's decision was intended, as with all Supreme Court decisions, to permit final disposition of the specific case brought to it. The prosecution's argument that militia membership was required for Second Amendment protection was included in their brief and was not granted by the Court.
Remember the "Katrina refugee" chant of "when's someone going to do something for us?"
Another case before the Supreme Court specifically upheld this ruling, although it was decided much later. I'll be damned if I can find it on the internet, I need a library with the Supreme Court Reporter to get the case and citation.
We don't know what they agreed to. The demurrer stated that the NFA usurped state police power and it stated that it violated the second amendment. The District court sustained the demurrer.
When it got to the U.S. Supreme Court however, they cited a number of cases supporting their position that "the objection that the Act usurps police power reserved to the States is plainly untenable."
I don't think a later court upheld the claim that it usurped state police power -- don't we still have this tax today?
Yes, we do. The remanded hearing was never held. Miller died and the other guy was unable to be located. In fact, Miller's lawyer did not appear at the Supreme Court pleading of this case. Since he couldn't find his client, he didn't bother to travel to Washington to plead a case that would only result in a large, unpaid bill.
Were you saying a later Supreme Court upheld the ruling that the National Firearms Act "is not a revenue measure but an attempt to usurp police power reserved to the States, and is therefore unconstitutional"?
Oh. There is a Supreme Court case that specifically addressed fees and taxes that were created to use the power to tax and turn it into a prohibition by making the fee excessive. The test was whether the tax or fee was designed to generate revenue, or whether it was designed to prevent action. The decision is no more than 20 years old, I think it was in the late 1980s or early 1990s. If I knew where there was a law library around here, I could find it. Perhaps I should go and look, since law libraries are handy things.
Even if you find the case you're looking for, what's the relevance? You've agreed that Congress has maintained the tax on guns, so obviously the ruling you're looking for didn't apply to that.
The Supreme Court, in Sonzinsky v. United States, 1937, held that the National Firearms Act was sustainable only as a revenue raising measure. Congress (and the states) have blatantly imposed taxes to discourage use -- "sin" taxes come to mind. I'm sure the taxes on cigarettes have prohibited many from smoking. Yet all are constitutional.
(Perhaps you're thinking of the 1991 case, US v. Rock Island Armory, Inc., where the court ruled the tax on machine guns unconstitutional. This resulted because the government completely ceased accepting registrations for machine-guns upon passage of section 922(o), thus removing the "constitutional legitimacy of registration as an aid to tax collection.")
"Free" trade is beating those three by a mile.
It would be nice if the congress did what the laws mandate it to do, but that only happens in the Bizarro World.
This is an absolutely teriffic tag line!!!
No question about it! Thanks for a great article!!
...Rugers and Lugers and Colts...oh my!
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