"and ruled that the National Firearms Act was unconstitutional on its face."
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.
They were unaware of it in the sense that that fact was not presented at the trial, nor at the appeal. Since it wasn't in the record, they're not supposed to use it in the decision. Rather than list the short barreled shotguns types issued in war, the appeal should have argued that if a shotgun with a barrel of less than 18" in length has no value for military or public safety use, why are the military and police specifically exempted from this law prohibiting their possession?
posted on 12/30/2006 6:01:59 AM PST
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