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Supreme Court Declines to Review Gun Bans

Friday, June 24, 2016

Supreme Court Declines to Review Gun Bans

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review lower court decisions upholding sweeping bans on popular semiautomatic firearms enacted in Connecticut and New York in the wake of the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. The high court last December took a pass in a similar case originating out of Highland Park, a Chicago suburb. Justices Thomas and Scalia filed a written dissent from that earlier decision, stating, “noncompliance with our Second Amendment precedents warrants this Court’s attention as much as any of our precedents ….”

Noncompliance with the Second Amendment, unfortunately, has been exactly what the legislatures of various states have engaged in by enacting these bans, and it has also been the posture of most courts that have reviewed them. In the Highland Park case, for example, the majority opinion suggested that even if the ban's infringement of Second Amendment rights had no beneficial effect on safety whatsoever, it could still be justified by the false sense of security it might impart to local residents. A dissenting judge wrote, “Both the ordinance and this court’s opinion upholding it are directly at odds with the central holdings of [the Supreme Court’s decisions in] Heller and McDonald.”

Advocates for the Second Amendment and the rule of law briefly received a boost in February when a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit remanded a case on Maryland’s semiauto ban to the trial court for reconsideration under strict scrutiny, the highest constitutional standard. Unfortunately, that panel ruling was vacated when the Fourth Circuit decided the case would be reheard before the full 15-member court. That rehearing occurred in May, and a decision remains pending.

Ironically, one of the most telling statements on the uselessness of the various state bans – and the draconian steps needed for them to have any effect – came from an advisor to the Obama White House.  Greg Ridgeway, then Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice – an agency whose mission, according to its website, is to “strengthen science” and “advance justice” – issued a report in January of 2013 that discussed the efficacy of various forms of gun control.

The leaked memo, apparently never intended for public release, contained a number of inconvenient truths for the administration. Among them: “Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to US gun homicide and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapon ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence.” Such a measure could only be effective, the memo opined, were it “coupled with a gun buyback [i.e., enforced surrender] and no exemptions.”

And, indeed, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are now advocating for just that.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday is something of a mixed blessing for Second Amendment advocates. On the one hand, it allows legislative and lower court defiance to go unchecked and emboldens those who are eager to act on the gun controller’s final solution of broad bans enforced by confiscation.

Yet with the passing of Justice Scalia earlier this year, it is far from clear that the Supreme Court would be willing to take the next steps implied by the landmark Heller and McDonald decisions. Some fear the current court, at best an even 4-4 split in support for the Second Amendment, is not even committed to upholding the individual rights view recognized in those decisions.

And whatever support does remain could be tilted by Scalia’s replacement (and would be, if Obama’s nominee were confirmed). That makes this year’s presidential election a referendum on your right to keep and bear arms, especially with Hillary Clinton making her confiscatory designs clear.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Monday, May 22, 2017

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Last week, attorneys on behalf of the NRA filed an amicus brief in Kitsap County v. Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club (Kitsap II), the case which challenges Kitsap County’s firearm discharge ban and range licensing scheme.  Kitsap Rifle and ...

Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Apprentice Hunting Legislation into Law

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Apprentice Hunting Legislation into Law

Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed House Bill 1427 into law.

From My Cold Wet Hands: Humorless Scold Targets Squirt Guns

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Friday, May 19, 2017

From My Cold Wet Hands: Humorless Scold Targets Squirt Guns

We have yet to reach Memorial Day, but the fun police have already set their sights on at least one cherished summer childhood activity. In an article for Pupsugar.com, titled, “Why Kids Should Never Play ...

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

Kansas: Senate Committee Passes Gun Free Zone Legislation, Again

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kansas: Senate Committee Passes Gun Free Zone Legislation, Again

Last week, the Senate Committee of the Whole referred an amended version of House Bill 2278 back to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Federal Lawsuit Challenging California’s Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines Filed

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Federal Lawsuit Challenging California’s Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines Filed

Today, May 18, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s ban on the possession ...

California: Draft "Assault Weapon" Regulation Language Now Available

Thursday, May 18, 2017

California: Draft "Assault Weapon" Regulation Language Now Available

Today, May 18, a draft copy of the "Assault Weapon" regulations has been made available

California: AB 424 Passes Assembly - Appropriations Committees to Consider Suspense Items

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

California: AB 424 Passes Assembly - Appropriations Committees to Consider Suspense Items

Friday, May 26th is the deadline for the fiscal committees to pass bills to the floor from the chamber of origin.  On Thursday, May 25, the Senate AppropriationsCommittee is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 464 and Senate Bill 497. ...

Bloomberg's Everytown Creates "Authors Council" to Push Anti-Gun Propaganda

News  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bloomberg's Everytown Creates "Authors Council" to Push Anti-Gun Propaganda

As if the country’s media weren’t already sufficiently co-opted by anti-gun advocates, this week, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety announced an effort to pervert an additional facet of American entertainment. The billionaire bank-rolled interest group has ...

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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.