Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

No More Handgun Bans

Friday, April 1, 2016

No More Handgun Bans

On Monday, Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona of the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands struck down the last handgun ban in the United States in the case of Radich v. Guerrero.  Judge Manglona’s opinion held that the Islands’ bans on handgun possession, possession of any firearms for self-defense purposes, importation of handguns, and firearm possession by resident aliens violated the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

It’s fitting that the facts leading to this case illustrate why Americans continue to overwhelmingly support the right of law-abiding people to possess handguns for self-defense.  In 2013, married couple David and Li-Rong Radich sought firearm licenses for self-defense after Li-Rong was attacked in their home.  After no action was taken on their applications, the Radiches filed their suit challenging the bans.

Judge Manglona began her opinion by examining the application of the U.S. Constitution to the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands.   She found that while some provisions of the Constitution do not directly apply to the Commonwealth, certain provisions, including the Second Amendment and section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, do apply via the founding Covenant that formed the Islands’ political union with the United States.

After finding that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments controlled, it was a simple matter of applying the Supreme Court’s precedents from District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago to the prohibitions in question.  Following those precedents, Judge Manglona found no justification that could preserve the Commonwealth’s bans on handgun possession, possession of any firearms for self-defense purposes, importation of handguns, and firearm possession by resident aliens.

This decision shows how far gun rights supporters have come from only forty years ago when the leading opponents of the right to keep and bear arms laid out their plan to end handgun possession in the United States.  As Nelson T. “Pete” Shields put it in a 1976 interview with The New Yorker, “[t]he first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition—except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors—totally illegal.” At the time, Shields was the chairman of the National Council to Control Handguns, which was renamed Handgun Control, Inc. in 1979 and is now called the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 

These days, gun control supporters don’t like to talk about their goal of banning firearms commonly kept for self-defense unless its with an oblique reference, but steps one and two of the plan laid out by Shields are still very much alive in the modern gun-controller’s toolbox.  Gun control groups continue to do whatever they can to marginalize gun ownership, and firearm registration – whether directly or indirectly – through “universal” background checks, and other “common sense” reforms. 

The Commonwealth could appeal this decision, but their likelihood of success is slim, at least for now, given Heller and McDonald.  But, that record is now more in jeopardy than ever given the potential shift on Second Amendment cases with Antonin Scalia’s passing.

TRENDING NOW
Justice Department Terminates and Repudiates Operation Chokepoint

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Justice Department Terminates and Repudiates Operation Chokepoint

Current Justice Department leadership and Boyd should be commended for their forceful statement on this matter. This unequivocal repudiation of Operation Chokepoint should make a return to such political persecution unpalatable for all but the ...

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 719A.  Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A will create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement ...

Washington: Department of Labor & Industries Targeting Shooting Ranges

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Washington: Department of Labor & Industries Targeting Shooting Ranges

At the request of Public Health, Seattle & King County, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries has released a “first draft” of a new statewide regulatory scheme targeting lead and lead exposure in the workplace. ...

American Bar Association Continues to Attack Gun Owners, Due Process

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, August 18, 2017

American Bar Association Continues to Attack Gun Owners, Due Process

The 2016 compilation of legislative policies of the ABA includes a raft of gun control proposals. In it, the ABA advocates for outmoded gun control measures, such as limits on the sale and possession of ...

California: Ruling in NRA/CRPA Lawsuit Reigns in DOJ’s Misuse of DROS Fees

Friday, August 18, 2017

California: Ruling in NRA/CRPA Lawsuit Reigns in DOJ’s Misuse of DROS Fees

A California state court issued an important ruling in the NRA and CRPA supported case of Gentry v. Becerra, holding DOJ accountable for its historical mismanagement and misuse of DROS (dealer record of sale) account funds.

First, Carry No Gun: Police Chief Gets Inhospitable Reception at Texas Medical Clinic

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

First, Carry No Gun: Police Chief Gets Inhospitable Reception at Texas Medical Clinic

We recently reported on claims that “gun safety advocates” in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have given a U.S. Marine Corps. veteran an untenable choice: custody of his grandson or his constitutional ...

Elizabeth Warren Urges Democrats to Champion Gun Control, Shut Down Debate

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Urges Democrats to Champion Gun Control, Shut Down Debate

Just as many in the Democratic Party are seeking to moderate their message in order to once again compete as a national political party, some high-profile Democrats are urging the party to lurch further left ...

Arizona Supreme Court Rebuffs Tucson’s Illegal Destruction of Firearms

News  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Arizona Supreme Court Rebuffs Tucson’s Illegal Destruction of Firearms

On Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously held that the state was within its authority to prohibit cities and counties from routinely destroying firearms obtained through forfeiture or as unclaimed property. State law holds that ...

California: 2017 Legislative Session Reconvenes on Monday

Thursday, August 17, 2017

California: 2017 Legislative Session Reconvenes on Monday

On Monday, August 21, the California Legislature will reconvene from Summer recess.  Below is the status on the firearm-related bills still moving through the legislative process.  Please send an email to your state legislators respectfully urging ...

Trump Administration Ends Another Obama-era Anti-Gun Policy

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trump Administration Ends Another Obama-era Anti-Gun Policy

Justice Department to End ‘Operation Choke Point’

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.