The Ninth Circuit shows us how to protect gun rights

Recent decisions provide a solid template for a future Supreme Court.
These are words I never, ever thought I’d type: Two different panels of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have written opinions that — taken together — provide not only the proper roadmap for understanding the right to “keep and bear arms” but also the proper roadmap for effective, constitutional gun control.

I wrote about the first case last week. A divided panel affirmed a trial court’s injunction blocking the state of California’s confiscation of so-called “large-capacity” magazines. While the court’s opinion was short — and confined to determining whether the lower court had abused its discretion — it contained two key statements. The court noted that the Second Amendment protected ownership of weapons that have a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia” and that “the ammunition for a weapon is similar to the magazine for a weapon.”

Combined with Heller’s clear statement that the Second Amendment protects weapons in “common use” for “lawful purposes,” then one can see that proclaiming a weapon “military-style” (as gun controllers often do with AR-15s or Glocks) doesn’t diminish their constitutional protection. Instead, their common ownership, combined with their “reasonable relationship” with militia use, should enhance their constitutional status.