Skip to comments.Firearms Industry Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Hear Second Amendment Case
Posted on 11/21/2007 6:16:30 AM PST by epow
Firearms Industry Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Hear Second Amendment Case
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association of the firearms industry -- applauded the decision by the United States Supreme Court to determine authoritatively whether the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides an individual right to keep and bear arms.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted a review of a decision from March by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia (Circuit docket 04-7041) -- a case that upheld the striking down of the District's ban on private ownership of handguns while asserting that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to keep and bear arms. The case is now known as District of Columbia v. Heller. The mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty, filed the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting the stage for the high court to rule. According to FBI statistics, Washington D.C., with its gun ban, ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and maintains one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the country.
"The firearms industry looks forward to the Supreme Court putting to rest the specious argument that the Second Amendment is not an individual right," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. "This intellectually bankrupt and feeble argument has been used by gun control advocates to justify laws and regulations that deny Americans their civil right to own and lawfully use firearms for protection, hunting, sports shooting and other lawful purposes.
"The firearms and ammunition industry is unique in that our products are the means through which the Second Amendment right is realized," continued Keane. "If there were no firearms and ammunition manufacturers, then the Second Amendment becomes an illusory right."
While the Heller case will be the first time since 1939 that the Supreme Court has addressed the Second Amendment (U.S. v. Miller), the nation's leading historians, legal scholars and constitutional experts are on record as having concluded that the Second Amendment provides an individual right. Such renowned scholars as Lawrence Tribe of Harvard, Akhil Reed Amar of Yale, William Van Alstyne of Duke and Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas have been vocal in their assertion that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms.
"The government has powers, not rights," added Keane. "The contention that the Second Amendment is a collective right of the government is completely without merit."
BACKGROUND: In March, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in striking down the District's gun ban, held in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia that "The phrase 'the right of the people' . . . leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual." This was the second time in recent history that a federal circuit court upheld the longstanding belief that the Second Amendment was an individual right. In 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in the case of U.S. v. Emerson that "All of the evidence indicates that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans."
It makes me awfully nervous.
I almost think this is a setup.
I just don’t see them saying anything other than that it is an individual right. Not the Roberts/Alito court.
There was a little-noticed decision 12-14 years ago on reversion of railroad rights-of-way that was a classic, also, as far as how the Supremes can diverge from "original intent"---
“For better or for worse, the 2nd Amendment will finally get a hearing before the USSC.”
I think its good. Far better now with the current court then after a Demorat has replaced 2 or 3 of the current justices.
“Because if it doesn’t open season will be declared on our RKBA the next time that a Democrat controlled Congress is accompanied by a Democrat administration, and that could easily be as soon as January of 2009.”
They wont wait that long. The local govts will begin to immediately impose greater restrictions.
Conspiracy theories will abound IMO. The current hype of the North American Union is sure to generate conjecture of a plan to ban firearms before the consolidation of the northern hemisphere.
If they vote to restrict it would seem almost certainly to tie in with a plan to further bypass the Constitutional rights of Americans.
This is for all the marbles.
I think the faith some have in Alito and Roberts is unjustified. They may be fine judges but we really haven’t seen anything to justify it as of yet.
After all, they’re on the court for good no matter what they decide.
If SCOTUS says it is a “collective” right, and states start to pass laws like DC has, how many here are going to comply?
cripplecreek: “It makes me awfully nervous.”
Me, too. I see another 5-4 decision, and I’m not sure which way the 5th vote is going to fall. I think four of the justices will uphold the clear meaning of the 2nd amendment, but the four leftists will ignore it. They’ll parse the wording and/or misinterpret past precedent to create a right to ban guns (is there any doubt about Ruth Bader?). On the other hand, I don’t get a feel for that 5th vote.
Your head in the sand? This Robert’s court is conservative except for the RINO and Dem judges......Ther is more to the world than Hunter.
“I almost think this is a setup.”
So do I.
Questioning this Amendment is just so outrageous, so spun, so twisted etc.
I mean, no other Amendment applies to “groups, like a militia” instead of to individuals so why would our brilliant, LOGICAL Founding Fathers have intended the 2nd Amendment to apply to “groups like a militia” instead of to individuals????
I hate the left - praying for their destruction.
On the one hand, I am glad the issue is seen to be ripe for hearing; on the other hand, I would rest easier if John Paul Stevens - age 87 - would depart this life for a better one. That said, even the liberals on the Court should understand that citizens have rights and government has certain enumerated powers, none of which provide for the deprivation of an individual’s rights, except for very specific cause.
"A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed."
What the hell does Hunter have to do with anything? I’m just being realistic about the way the supreme court behaves.
More and more gun legislation does seem to be the trend in cities and states. Some states still have “may issue” gun carry laws which need to be swept aside. We’ll put a stop to this, hopefully, sometime next June when the High Court’s ruling is released.
Agreed. The decision, possibly next June, will affect law around the country. It could go wither way, but I am hoping the SCOTUS upholds the right as an individual one.
There is a secondary subject here that is not being considered, the court will hear the case, but it does not necessarily say it will make a ruling, it may defer to the lower courts decision.
I have a bad feeling about Kennedy, who is the swing vote on the court and will probably remain so in this case. His recent willingness to place international law above the US Constitution leaves me feeling very uneasy about his decision on issues like this.
While I hope SCOTUS rules in favor of 2A, I hate the word “applaud” in a press release. That and any use of the word “celebrate.” It sounds like the way radical feminists talk.
I believe the intent of the amendment was to allow citizens to bear arms so that a militia could be assembled if necessary.
Declaring the 2nd a 'collective' right, would open a can of worms against the 1st.
The SCOTUS can rule that the 2nd does apply to citizens of DC, who are not part of the 'several states', but still citizens of the USA. They could also rule that this is no way a negation of restrictions already in place.
This may be more 'palatable' to the justices that do not approve of the 2nd.
Joe Bfstplk wrote: “I believe the intent of the amendment was to allow citizens to bear arms so that a militia could be assembled if necessary.”
That is the clear meaning of it, yes. Unfortunately, that means little to the leftists who believe in a “living” constitution. They will simply redefine it to mean whatever they can. That’s why no amount of amendments can ever fix the constitution the way conservatives want. If a liberal judge can redefine interstate commerce to mean you can’t grow crops on your own property for your own consumption, they’ll redefine a HLA or gay marriage ban, too. They only cure is to get rid of judicial activists (liberal OR conservative) and replace them with judges that will follow the clear intent of the laws. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do that if we can’t win in 2008!
It does me too. I appreciate the optimism people seem to have, but I can't shake the morbid fear and distrust I've come to have for judges.
John / Billybob
Then why not let the appellate judgment stand without review?
While SCOTUS may side with the constitution they are likely to put some phrase like “reasonable” that will only make things worse.
Go after them CBB!!
If they do rule that way, they could just as easily rule that none of the Bill of Rights protections apply to said residents, e.g. freedom of speech, assembly, petition, against self-incrimination and cruel and unusual punishment, etc. I don’t think they’ll want to this precedent.
“While SCOTUS may side with the constitution they are likely to put some phrase like reasonable that will only make things worse.”
I’m not a lawyer but it seems the only reason they would take this case is if they felt there was cause not to support the lower court. IMO, you are closer to what will happen. It won’t be BAN all guns or fully support the right. It will be to determine whether the restrictions are ‘reasonable’. That can only serve to help the gun banners as they will twist and turn the ruling in their favor.
Whats supremely sad is there have been numerous cases recently where the lack of arms for defense is seriously hurting people in their fight against an oppressive govt. Burma and Venezuela are two examples.
“If SCOTUS says it is a collective right, and states start to pass laws like DC has, how many here are going to comply?”
All of those not killed by police or in jail.
5-4 against the individual’s right to own firearms.
In the Constitution, State don't have "rights", individuals have "rights" and States have "powers." Even the 10th Amendment that some mistakenly call the "States' Rights Amendment" actually uses the word "powers".
The last SCOTUS gun decision, Miller Case (1939), did not say the 2nd was not an individual right. What it said was that the 2nd protected only those gun rights that have "some reasonable relationship to the preservation...of a well-regulated militia". This meant for guns likely to be used when and if an individual decided to join a militia and not the sawed-off shotgun involved in that case.
I can't see SCOTUS now saying the 2nd now only protects the automatic weapons currently used by State "militias" and I doubt that they believe the can call it a State "right". It seems that SCOTUS has taken the case to go in a different direction than Miller.
I see, the most likely outcome is to treat it as individual "right" not as closely tied to "well-regulated militia" as in Miller - but a "right" subject to "reasonable restrictions".
In 2002, here's how then U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson laid that out in a previous arguement to SCOTUS:
"The current position of the United States...is that the Second Amendment more broadly protects the rights of individuals, including persons who are not members of any militia or engage in active military service or training, to possess their own firearms... subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or to restrict the possession of types of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse."But for this case "reasonable restrictions" may be decided by Justice Anthony Kennedy... which makes it anyones guess.
I am glad the court took this case. I need to know if I am a free man or a subject. This is long overdue as I am sick of the thousand cuts.
You already know what you are. We just need to know how the government is going to try and perceive us in the future.
Stupid editors. The Second is a Natural Right. It existed before the Constitution. The only thing the Founders tried to do was set up as many levels of protection for a core set of Rights that they could. The States were concerned about the Art 6 para Supremacy Clause, so wanted a few Rights off-limits at the highest legal point they could get.
This was supposed to put these Rights off limits from ANY government infringement at ANY level of government. Instead, idiot judges and lawyers have slowly corrupted the whole thing to maximize government power and minimize our Freedoms.
WAY past due time to get this trend reversed.
It makes me awfully nervous.
Why the smart money is on Duncan Hunter
Posted on 11/15/2007 3:43:17 AM PST by Kevmo
Because there is varying interpretation of the last gun case US v. Miller about 60 years ago. If the court just let the lower opinion stand it would remain a foggy issue. One of the main reasons the SC will take a case is to clarify “circuit splits” in order to bring all federal courts in line.
Even if the SC just affirms the DC Circuit it will be a big victory for us...I’m trying to think happy thoughts!
You could also include the Virginia Tech dormitories in that group. The VT students weren't fighting an oppressive government, but if a couple of the first ones attacked had been armed the shooter's rampage might well have been ended right then and there.
How many instances of unarmed sitting ducks being mowed down by an illegally armed maniac or criminal will have to take place before lawmakers realize that maniacs and criminals don't give a d*** what kind of gun laws they pass because they don't obey ANY laws that hinder their criminal activities? If a madman isn't restrained by the law against murder, which is a capital offense, why would anyone think he would obey a relatively minor law against possessing a gun?
The phrase "subject to reasonable restrictions" is a barn door to gun control that anti-gun lawmakers will open as wide as the gates of hell.
Any law that puts restrictions of any kind on the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, including military type firearms, is a clear violation of the original intent of the 2nd Amendment. Any jurist who says otherwise is either a fool or a liar, and that's true even for SCOTUS Justices.
Does any lawyer here know which judges voted to grant cert?
If you had all the conservatives voting to hear the case, you’d think they’ve figured they have a lock or they wouldn’t bring it up to be heard.
Same goes for the liberals.
So who voted for cert?
Fortunately, the courts have already worked out the logic used to protect rights. "Reasonable restrictions" is not among those terms, as far as I know.
Instead, the courts use "strict scrutiny" and "compelling government interest". Most of the laws on the books fail these tests.
We may disagree whether there is a penumbra of a right to privacy which permits killing of the unborn. But at such time as the Supreme Court rules that there is a fundamental right of the people to keep and bear arms, the legal limitations will have to be pared back to a minimum.
The burden of proving the legality of a gun control law will shift to the government. Such laws will have to accomplish, not just promise, a compelling government interest. The law must touch as lightly on the right as is possible.
Requiring the purchase of a $200 tax stamp before being allowed to possess a short-barreled shotgun, for example, would be eliminated. There can be no justification to tax the exercise of a right to keep and bear such a firearm. The ease with which a criminal might create such a weapon makes it obvious that there is no compelling interest that would justify attempting to license them.
I don’t think the SC will rule against an individual right. But if they do the ruling will accomplish nothing.
States that don’t like this ruling and want their citizens to be armed will simply declare all able-bodied citizens over 18 to be members of the militia. That’ll probably be the overwhelming majority of states. Certainly all of the South and most of the West. The anti-gun left wouldn’t be able to do anything about this because the SC just ruled the 2nd Amendment is a collective state right and this is how the states choose to exercise that right. So the actual result of such a ruling will be that the liberal cities in conservative states would have their anti-gun legislation overturned as a result of this action. Bring it on!!
Thanks for the clarification. As soon as I read your response taking the case made sense. As for thinking happy thoughts, Happy Thanksgiving FReeper Friend!
Notice "reasonable restrictions" was the phrase used by Olsen - who argued countless cases before SCOTUS (including Bush v. Gore for the 2000 election) . I also quoted Olson because he has many connections to the very Conservatives on the Court who we hope will give us history's 1st invalidation of a firearm regulation on 2nd Amendment grounds.
I've read of SCOTUS decisions allowing what the Court called "reasonable restrictions" on other individual rights... such as Miranda warnings under the 5th Amendment, and free speech under the 1st Amendment (when it involves incitement, fighting words, government employees etc..).
I'm not a lawyer, so tell me - even if it rules firearms an individual right - what prevents SCOTUS from seeing that 2nd Amendment right similarly? And considering that the swing vote will be Anthony Kennedy, what makes you think the majority decision will not concede "compelling government interest" to deal with "reasonable restrictions"?
For those reason, I did not predict a total rollback of all regulations. I saw a decision resting on "reasonable restrictions" of an individual right... which would be a step in the right direction, that depending on Anthony Kennedy can be small or large.
BUT like they say "Past performance is no guarantee of future results."
What indications do you see for more than that?