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."
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?
Neither do I, not by a long shot.
What indications do you see for more than that?
Little to none. With Kennedy almost certain to be the deciding vote in this case, I think it's quite likely that the spurious collective right interpretation that has been sustained in all but two federal circuit cases since Miller will also be sustained in this court by at least a 5-4 decision.
Sorry to be so pessimistic, but I have believed for a long time that the ruling class, whose interests are usually given priority by an unelected judiciary primarily composed of that class, is determined to incrementally disarm the "lower" classes who they see as a rowdy rabble unfit to manage their own lives.
I am also suspicious of Kennedy - even if, as I predict they'll call it an individual right - because of the "reasonable suspicion" catch they've applied to other individual rights.
Down the road, I'm at least as suspicious of all the Judges as you are. Because D.C. is not a state, they can rule for individual right and yet not answer the question of whether it applies to state regulations through the 14th Amendment. Then I'll worry that the SCOTUS Conservatives - who favor the 10th Amen. (State Powers) over the 14th Amen - will $crew us.
Oh it is. But not by or against whom you may think.
On this particular issue, yes there is. She's already expressed opinions indicating that the second amendment protects individual rights. The only question will be if she thinks the DC gun laws (or the 3 of them the Court will be considering) violate those individual rights.
Given that she agrees it's an individual right, it's hard to see even her deciding that at least some of those provisions don't violate those rights.
Because there is a disagreement between the circuit courts. In some, 9th for example, it's a collective right, in others, the 5th for example, it's an individual right.
Any ruling by the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment is a "collective right" will have no impact in most of the US, since that is the mistaken ruling that most Circuits have used since 1939.
There would be no need for any state to take any action. If such a state has its own constitutional protection of an individual right, lack of a federal protection in no way reduces that protection.
Like the medical marijuana case, the situation with the right to keep and bear arms, is that the federal government has routinely violated the rights of citizens in the various states with bans, regulations, and taxes. It's far past time for this to stop.
I believe that is exactly what will happen:
I agree. They will probably say that government has a right to place certain limitations on gun ownership, but banning them all together is too much.
For the first time I'm going to take issue with something you've said.
The right won't 'disappear'. It will still be there. Rights, having been granted to us by our Creator, cannot disappear.
What it would mean is that for the first time the SCOTUS will actually abrogate a clearly enumerated Civil Right.
Very quickly after that things will get ugly. Really ugly.
One difference may be that the first amendment says, "Congress may make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. While the second amendment says "shall not be infringed". It doesn't take nearly as much restriction, almost any will do, to infringe, (encroach, impinge) but to abridge is to to "lessen, diminish, or curtail"
Thus merely touching or impinging upon second amendment rights is not allowed, while first amendment rights may have "reasonable regulations" as long as those regulations do not "lesson or diminish" the right.