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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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Washington: Substitute Version of Gun Control Bill Passes House Committee

Friday, January 19, 2018

Washington: Substitute Version of Gun Control Bill Passes House Committee

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee passed Substitute House Bill 1122 out of committee on a 7-6 vote.  This bill, which would require gun owners to lock up their firearms or potentially face criminal charges, will ...

Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Earlier today, the Washington state Senate Law & Justice Committee passed Senate Bill 5992 out of committee with a 4-3 vote. As drafted, this legislation has overreaching language that would ban modifications commonly made to ...

Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack

News  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack

Gun control groups are fond of describing preemption as a doctrine whereby a state has stripped local governments of their power to regulate guns.

Australia: Queensland’s Labor Party Government Targets MP for Gun Control Heresy

News  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Australia: Queensland’s Labor Party Government Targets MP for Gun Control Heresy

The sorry state of gun politics in Australia was put into stark relief recently, after Liberal National Party (LNP) Queensland Legislative Assembly MP Anthony Perrett took a principled stand in favor of his constituents’ gun rights.

Arizona: Signature Gathering Underway For Hunting Ban Initiative

Hunting  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Arizona: Signature Gathering Underway For Hunting Ban Initiative

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their front-group “Arizonans for Wildlife” are currently gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would ban the hunting and trapping of mountain lions and bobcats in ...

Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills

On Thursday, January 25th at 1:30PM, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear several sweeping gun control bills.  NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly encouraged to attend the committee hearing to voice your opposition ...

New Jersey:  2018 Brings Bigger Challenges for New Jersey Gun Owners

Friday, January 19, 2018

New Jersey: 2018 Brings Bigger Challenges for New Jersey Gun Owners

A new Governor took the reins from Gov. Chris Christie this week, and a new Legislature has been sworn into office. 

Indiana: Rifle Hunting Bill Passes Senate

Hunting  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Indiana: Rifle Hunting Bill Passes Senate

On Thursday, January 18th, Senate Bill 20 passed the Indiana state Senate by a vote of 47-2 and will now move to the House.  

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

Today, Senator Karl Rhoads (D-13) introduced legislation that would ban modifications commonly made to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  SB 2046 is currently pending a committee referral.  Please contact your Senator today and urge them to OPPOSE this ...

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

On Friday, January 12, several amicus briefs were filed in the NRA and CRPA supported lawsuit challenging California’s restrictions against magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The lawsuit, titled Duncan v. Becerra, challenges California’s ...

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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.