The slow march toward gun rights in the courts

posted at 5:01 pm on August 3, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

There’s an excellent column at Real Clear Politics this weekend from Steve Chapman which I wanted to draw your attention to. It deals with the gradual evolution of gun laws in the United States – particularly in some of the least gun friendly, liberal bastions – and the role of the courts in this gradual migration.

Gun-control advocates are learning the downside of getting their way. Recently, a federal judge struck down the District of Columbia’s ban on the carrying of concealed handguns. Anti-gun forces have been losing in legislatures for a long time. Now they are finding that even where they win, they lose.

Washington used to have the strictest gun laws in America. Besides the prohibition of concealed guns, all firearms had to be registered and handgun ownership was forbidden.

The restrictions had no evident effect on crime: In the 1990s, the nation’s capital was known as the murder capital. But they invited a legal challenge — a historic one, as it happened. In 2008, the Supreme Court invalidated the city’s handgun ban as a violation of the Second Amendment.

The collective history in Chapman’s article is more than a collection of dates and case numbers, though they are available as reference. Several cases in Chicago and San Francisco are included, each taking the same long, slow arc that is being observed in DC. One of the chief points of confusion – and an unfortunate straw for anti-gun liberals to grasp at – is that the courts do agree on some restrictions. Violent felons and the demonstrably mentally unstable and violent – proven through adjudication – have been legally barred from gun ownership without constitutional hindrance. Somewhat more controversially, bans on carrying in specific public locations – schools and government buildings – have also withstood challenges. And where such exceptions are found, liberals have tried to use them as cracks in the armor to be wedged further open.

But in the end, the courts seem to be coming slowly into alignment, and the consensus is that private ownership for the purpose of self defense, both in the home and in the public square, is in keeping with the founders’ intentions. A few regional courts, packed by liberal executives, are still bringing back rulings which slow the tide, but at the highest levels they are falling by the wayside. It’s too early to declare victory and go home, but in keeping with Chapman’s thinking, this battle may finally be on the way to a just conclusion.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Hard to be satisfied with one victory among so many defeats, but it’s nice to continue to win on an issue as big as the 2nd Amendment.

I hope the left continues to waste time, money and political capital fighting this.

Good Solid B-Plus on August 3, 2014 at 5:04 PM

That’s good news and bad news.

Since the left can’t take away firearms thorugh regulation and laws, they’ll inevitably have to resort to the other method.

Good luck with that.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM

But in the end, the courts seem to be coming slowly into alignment, and the consensus is that private ownership for the purpose of self defense, both in the home and in the public square, is in keeping with the founders’ intentions.

While this is true. The founders also envisioned a citizenry with weapons that could threaten the federal government. Those kinds of weapons are not needed for self defense.
So winning on self defense grounds has value, but limiting ourselves to that single argument in the end could leave us with a very limited assortment of ineffective weapons to restrain the beast that is becoming our government.

astonerii on August 3, 2014 at 5:16 PM

this battle may finally be on the way to a just conclusion.

There’s no ‘conclusion’ to a battle as fundamental as the right to armed self-defense. Constant vigilance is required against encroachments on that fundamental right. Progressives will never give up their war on women’s (and men’s) right to self-defense. Thankfully, those of us who believe in the right to armed self-defense know that the progressive suggestion to ‘pee’ and ‘vomit’ to thwart an attack is unacceptable and outrageous.

xNavigator on August 3, 2014 at 5:17 PM

I thought we already had ‘gun rights’.

Did I miss something?

faraway on August 3, 2014 at 5:20 PM

The fact that this is even an issue is a crime itself, and it wouldn’t even be an issue if the courts were just. Which they are not.

HiJack on August 3, 2014 at 5:24 PM

For the security of a free state…it doesn’t mean Ohio Tennessee or Utah. It means state of being. Freedom is a state of being. You cannot be free without the ability to defend yourself. Plain and simple.

jaywemm on August 3, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Despite several recent mass shootings that might have spurred an overhaul of federal gun laws, Congress remains at an impasse. Some activists, though, are reframing the problem of gun violence in a surprising way: as an epidemic that uniquely affects women.

A recent analysis of media reports and FBI data by Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety found that 51% of the mass shooting victims attacked between January 2009 and July 2014 were women. By contrast, women comprise only 13% of total gun homicide victims in the U.S. In more than half of the instances analyzed by Everytown, the shooter killed a former or current spouse, or intimate partner. In several cases the shooter had been previously charged with domestic violence.

Last year, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced a bill to amend the federal Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. It prohibits sales of firearms to not just married spouses convicted of abuse, but also dating partners and former spouses. In addition, the bill prevents those convicted in any court of a misdemeanor stalking crime from purchasing firearms.

http://mashable.com/2014/07/30/women-gun-violence/

davidk on August 3, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Funny, I thought the country was changing and the Conservatives were losing on all fronts.

formwiz on August 3, 2014 at 5:33 PM

All it would take is one flipped seat in the Supreme Court for us to lose all of our rights.

merlich on August 3, 2014 at 5:43 PM

All it would take is one flipped seat in the Supreme Court for us to lose all of our rights.

merlich on August 3, 2014 at 5:43 PM

They wouldn’t have the balls. The only thing that’s stopped the left from actually confiscating our firearms is the facts we have so damn many.

Add the fact that many in law enforcement and the military support the 2nd Amendment and you have an armed populace with support from LE and the military saying … “ok, come get them”.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 6:02 PM

It’s too early to declare victory and go home, but in keeping with Chapman’s thinking, this battle may finally be on the way to a just conclusion.

You forget that for lieberals, it’s NEVER over until they win.

Off-topic, with the banner red headline at Drudge – Woman collapses, dies at London’s Gatwick airport after suffering Ebola-like symptoms on a flight from Sierra Leone via Gambia

Steve Eggleston on August 3, 2014 at 6:02 PM

They wouldn’t have the balls. The only thing that’s stopped the left from actually confiscating our firearms is the facts we have so damn many.

Add the fact that many in law enforcement and the military support the 2nd Amendment and you have an armed populace with support from LE and the military saying … “ok, come get them”.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 6:02 PM

They don’t have the balls…until they suddenly do.

Steve Eggleston on August 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

But the leftists / statists never rest. Just look at what they have done to try to turn our firearms into clubs – no ammo. Major government ammo purchases, closing lead smelters – no lead for bullets, hazmat fees for some reloading components to make it financially unaffordable.

Lew in Colorado on August 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”

Vladimir Lenin

It is easy to understand the current progressive leftist. It is the same brutal totalitarian leftists of the past.

jukin3 on August 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

But in the end, the courts seem to be coming slowly into alignment, and the consensus is that private ownership for the purpose of self defense, both in the home and in the public square, is in keeping with the founders’ intentions.

Too bad that applying the Bill of Rights to state and local governments is not.

Sorry, I support gun rights as much as anyone else. But in terms of local and state gun laws, gun rights should be protected by state constitutions. The federal 2nd Amendment was never meant to apply. Yes, I know the Supreme Court has fabricated the “incorporation doctrine,” just like they’ve fabricated so much else over the last century. And just like the imaginary right to kill your child in the womb, they’re still wrong.

Shump on August 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

They don’t have the balls…until they suddenly do.

Steve Eggleston on August 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Yeah, they can do whatever they want. But this is one issue where civil disobedience will have the support of a lot of LE folks.

So let them try. It’ll be interesting since no country has ever been as well armed. No past experience to go on. It could get real squirrelly really quick.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Shump on August 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

bless your heart

dmacleo on August 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM

A recent analysis of media reports and FBI data by Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety found that 51% of the mass shooting victims attacked between January 2009 and July 2014 were women. By contrast, women comprise only 13% of total gun homicide victims in the U.S. In more than half of the instances analyzed by Everytown, the shooter killed a former or current spouse, or intimate partner.

The Mashable article quotes statistics from Everytown, which we know are false and misleading:

Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety developed an analysis of mass shootings that took place between January 2009 and July 2014. The analysis found that there have been at least 110 mass shootings in this five and a half-year period.

The FBI defines a “mass shooting” as any incident where at least four people were murdered with a gun.

Alien on August 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM

They wouldn’t have the balls. The only thing that’s stopped the left from actually confiscating our firearms is the facts we have so damn many.

Add the fact that many in law enforcement and the military support the 2nd Amendment and you have an armed populace with support from LE and the military saying … “ok, come get them”.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 6:02 PM

They don’t have the balls…until they suddenly do.

Steve Eggleston on August 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

If they suddenly find the balls all of this will come to a head very quickly. This issue unites people all across the political spectrum– the only ones that don’t care about it are criminals or people too stupid to worry about.

Ms. Anthrope on August 3, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Molon Labe……….

crosshugger on August 3, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Violent felons and the demonstrably mentally unstable and violent – proven through adjudication – have been legally barred from gun ownership without constitutional hindrance.

Really?


Here is a constantly maintained list
of refutations to that ridiculous statement.

Reuben Hick on August 3, 2014 at 6:34 PM

. . . . . in the end, the courts seem to be coming slowly into alignment, and the consensus is that private ownership for the purpose of self defense, both in the home and in the public square, is in keeping with the founders’ intentions.

Jazz Shaw on August 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM

.
The number ONE entity, that the Second Amendment is intended by the Founders to EQUIP the civilian population for self protection against, is GOVERNMENT.

Common criminals are SECOND … as the Founders prioritized.

Protection against dangerous, or nuisance animals comes THIRD.
.
Thank you for saying “in the public square”, Jazz’.

That point can NOT be hammered home “too much.”

listens2glenn on August 3, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Just wait for the EPA to outlaw lead!

SayNo2-O on August 3, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety developed an analysis of mass shootings that took place between January 2009 and July 2014. The analysis found that there have been at least 110 mass shootings in this five and a half-year period.

The FBI defines a “mass shooting” as any incident where at least four people were murdered with a gun.

Alien on August 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM

So… a typical weekend in Chitcago?

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2014 at 6:43 PM

When I was serving in the US Army in the late 70s to early 80s I remember an Army Times article. Democrats were afraid that 85-90% of the Army was conservative/Republican and what a danger that posed to the republic.
I haven’t seen any new statistics since, but to any rational thinking person (I know..we’re talking about statists here) there are a couple of million trained, battle hardened troops now in the civy sector. Asymmetric warfare is in their blood, the internet their library and their communications link. I don’t want this cold civil war to go hot. So far we have been able to resolve our differences at the ballot box. If it does go hot, the statists will have pushed us into it. They won’t like the results.

Gebirgsjager on August 3, 2014 at 6:48 PM

I haven’t seen any new statistics since, but to any rational thinking person (I know..we’re talking about statists here) there are a couple of million trained, battle hardened troops now in the civy sector. Asymmetric warfare is in their blood, the internet their library and their communications link. I don’t want this cold civil war to go hot. So far we have been able to resolve our differences at the ballot box. If it does go hot, the statists will have pushed us into it. They won’t like the results.

Gebirgsjager on August 3, 2014 at 6:48 PM

I’m thinking they want something to start. It’s an ideal way to suspend the Constitution. However, their arrogance always leads them to be blind to consequences.

I think you’re right, they won’t like the results.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Add the fact that many in law enforcement and the military support the 2nd Amendment and you have an armed populace with support from LE and the military saying … “ok, come get them”.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 6:02 P

I think a lot of police feel armed honest citizens are a big plus in holding down crime as the Detroit Chief of police has said; but even those that do not really do not want to have to collect guns from those with the Molon Labe ethos.

KW64 on August 3, 2014 at 7:12 PM

While this is true. The founders also envisioned a citizenry with weapons that could threaten the federal government. Those kinds of weapons are not needed for self defense.

astonerii on August 3, 2014 at 5:16 PM

True, but there’s still Miller, which flatly protects access to weapons of a military nature. And which is roundly ignored by the courts.

PersonFromPorlock on August 3, 2014 at 7:28 PM

And yet, here in Massachusetts, the cradle of Liberty where the first shots of the Revolution were fired in defense of a cache of weapons secreted away by the Minutemen, we are now required to seek the blessing of our local police chief to possess long guns, never mind the clearly unconstitutional requirement that we seek out his blessing to carry concealed.

It may wind up igniting here a second time, too.

May it come in my time so that my children and grandchildren do not have to live under the jackboot of a second American tyranny.

turfmann on August 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM

“… a citizenry with weapons that could threaten the federal government. Those kinds of weapons are not needed for self defense…”
astonerii on August 3, 2014 at 5:16 PM

While Heller and McDonald were decided on ‘self defense’ grounds, Miller is still a valid precedent which supports ‘militia compatible arms’ in the hands of citizens.
So, Yes, you can have that Tommy-Gun, just pay your NFA-34 tax on it.

Another Drew on August 3, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Shall

Not

Infringe

Lesson over.

trs on August 3, 2014 at 8:31 PM

People, please: Keep calm and carry on.

dentalque on August 3, 2014 at 8:46 PM

And if Obama or a future like administration were to get another leftie judge on the SCOTUS and then turn the 2nd amendment upside down and at the same time if many states were to keep or strengthen their firearm laws allowing for the ownership/possession of firearms including automatic rifles. Would the lefties back off and announce that they would not enforce federal gun laws in those states much like they have done with states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. No they would not back off not one iota.Kinda of like them to back off on marijuana where there is no constitutional right to posses but enthusiastically go after that which is constitutionally guaranteed. And they don’t try to change the constitution through the amendment process they will misinterpret the constitution to win the day.

Buckshots on August 3, 2014 at 9:08 PM

The left will continue to follow their traditional strategy. They started in the colleges and universities, with the training of primary and secondary school educators. Those teachers continue the plan.

If you want to keep your rights, attend school board meetings.

applebutter on August 3, 2014 at 9:16 PM

The founders also envisioned a citizenry with weapons that could threaten the federal government. Those kinds of weapons are not needed for self defense.

astonerii on August 3, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I disagree. When the British attempted to raid Concord, the heavy weaponry was in an armory. It was not distributed amongst the various citizens as was personal weaponry.

The last thing I want is for my neighbor to own a nuke and keep it in his house.

unclesmrgol on August 3, 2014 at 11:11 PM

private ownership for the purpose of self defense, both in the home and in the public square, is in keeping with the founders’ intentions.

Nonsense. The ONLY reason for the second amendment is too allow armed overthrow of the government.

the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

ANY laws passed against ANY kind of arms ownership or restrictions is unconstitutional.

earlgrey on August 3, 2014 at 11:16 PM

I wouldn’t underestimate the value of handguns and rifles in keeping the federal government under control. Yeah, sure, your handgun is no match for a nuclear bomb. But nuclear bombs will not be used against US citizens. You can make as many hypotheticals as you wish, of course, but far more likely is a scenario where agents of the federal government will have to go door-to-door. Remember Fallujah and other similar places and keep in mind that over there most of residents did not resist the US military. Still it wasn’t a pice of cake. Imaging what a united citizenry with arms can do. This is enough to deter the federal government in most cases.

PBH on August 3, 2014 at 11:46 PM

As mentioned earlier:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/07/30/gun-bill-would-give-chiefs-fid-card-discretion/RKUP5DTr0czvuohCybOi1K/story.html

You can own a gun if a cop says you can. MA living up to its modern nicknames.

oryguncon on August 4, 2014 at 1:01 AM

Now if we can just get May Issue ruled unconstitutional, we may be getting somewhere.

As long as your rights are at the whim of another, they’re not really rights, are they?

John Deaux on August 4, 2014 at 5:59 AM

It’s too early to declare victory and go home

You can never declare victory and go home. The forces of tyranny are always at work, trying to impose their despotism on the rest of humanity. Whether it’s with a smile or a jackboot, tyranny is always ready to enslave freedmen. The fight must go on every day to stay free.

xNavigator on August 3, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Yes.

GWB on August 4, 2014 at 9:28 AM

I disagree. When the British attempted to raid Concord, the heavy weaponry was in an armory. It was not distributed amongst the various citizens as was personal weaponry.

The last thing I want is for my neighbor to own a nuke and keep it in his house.

unclesmrgol on August 3, 2014 at 11:11 PM

the privateers/man-o-war ships were not in armories in 1812.

dmacleo on August 4, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Let freedom ring !

kjatexas on August 4, 2014 at 10:32 AM

That’s good news and bad news.

Since the left can’t take away firearms thorugh regulation and laws, they’ll inevitably have to resort to the other method.

Good luck with that.

darwin on August 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM

That’s what you don’t get.

They don’t have to take our guns; we’ve already surrendered everything else via taxes, obamacare, etc. We vote for the GOPe and they are in league with the dems.

We lost the war without firing a shot.

fossten on August 4, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I disagree. When the British attempted to raid Concord, the heavy weaponry was in an armory. It was not distributed amongst the various citizens as was personal weaponry.

The last thing I want is for my neighbor to own a nuke and keep it in his house.

unclesmrgol on August 3, 2014 at 11:11 PM

See The Battle of Athens.

fossten on August 4, 2014 at 11:27 AM

The OTHER more important conclusion is that states HAVE NO RIGHT to keep REGISTRIES of gun owners!

TX-96 on August 4, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Somewhat OT

DOD James Brady, 4 August, 2014.

While Sarah Brady and her followers continue to bathe in the blood of innocents at every slaughter that happens in the LEGISLATED GUN FREE ZONES across America.
And they gets richer after every tragedy.

Missilengr on August 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM