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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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Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

The Illinois state Senate could vote on legislation to allow localities to infringe upon Second Amendment rights as early as today.  Senate Bill 2314 was moved to third reading after it had passed the Senate ...

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, murders, there has been an unusual amount of anti-gun and anti-NRA commentary by private corporations with plenty of problems of their own.   In February, Delta announced it was ending a ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Auto Ban Legislation to be Introduced

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Pennsylvania: Semi-Auto Ban Legislation to be Introduced

This week, Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) started circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum soliciting members of the Pennsylvania state Senate to support a proposal to ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines in Pennsylvania.  Please ...

UK Officials Continue to Push Knife/Gun/Cleaning Products Control

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Friday, April 13, 2018

UK Officials Continue to Push Knife/Gun/Cleaning Products Control

The UK’s descent into absurdity continued this week as officials announced new efforts to crack down on knives and other potentially dangerous objects. The renewed interest in banning sharp objects stems from a recent spate of killings in London. ...

Illinois: Committees to Hear Gun Control

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Illinois: Committees to Hear Gun Control

Today, the Illinois state House Judiciary-Criminal Committee will be considering a floor amendment that was added to House Bill 1470 to ration the exercise of Second Amendment rights. In addition, the state Senate Judiciary Committee will consider bills that would ...

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

On Monday, the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee approved several gun control bills during a hearing that stretched over five hours. 

Washington: Seattle to Consider Legislation to Make Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Washington: Seattle to Consider Legislation to Make Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember M. Lorena González have announced their intention to introduce legislation to impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as well as punishing victims of theft by requiring reporting of lost or ...

NRA backs Challenge to Vermont Magazine Ban

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NRA backs Challenge to Vermont Magazine Ban

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced support for a lawsuit brought by Vermont citizens, sporting-goods stores, and shooting clubs to challenge the state¹s recent ban on many of the most ...

Trial Judge Mocks the Late Justice Scalia While Upholding Expansive Gun Ban

Second Amendment  

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Trial Judge Mocks the Late Justice Scalia While Upholding Expansive Gun Ban

Gun owners have seen many outrageous instances of courts dismissing the importance, if not the very existence, of the individual right to keep and bear arms. But Judge William G. Young of the U.S. District ...

NRA Applauds Law Protecting Privacy of Firearms Records

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NRA Applauds Law Protecting Privacy of Firearms Records

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action applauds Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts for signing into law legislation that protects the confidentiality of personal information associated with many firearm records.

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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.