Archive for category: Federal ammunition legislation
On Monday, the US 9th Circuit Court came out with an important gun ruling in Nordyke v. King. The ruling, unless overturned, “incorporates” the 2nd Amendment to apply to all states within their Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington). Here are a few snippets from the decision:
“We therefore conclude that the right to keep and bear arms is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” Colonial revolutionaries, the Founders, and a host of commentators and lawmakers living during the first one hundred years of the Republic all insisted on the fundamental nature of the right. It has long been regarded as the “true palladium of liberty.” … The crucial role this deeply rooted right has played in our birth and history compels us to recognize that it is indeed fundamental, that it is necessary to the Anglo-American conception of ordered liberty that we have inherited. We are therefore persuaded that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment and applies it against the states and local governments.”
“The salient policies underlying the protection of the right to bear arms are of inestimable importance. The right to bear arms is a bulwark against external invasion.We should not be overconfident that oceans on our east and west coasts alone can preserve security… That we have a lawfully armed populace adds a measure of security for all of us and makes it less likely that a band of terrorists could make headway in an attack on any community before more professional forces arrived. Second, the right to bear arms is a protection against the possibility that even our own government could degenerate into tyranny, and though this may seem unlikely, this possibility should be guarded against with individual diligence.”
I’ve always thought that there were several steps which need to be accomplished in assuring our gun rights. The first was determining that the 2nd Amendment applies to an individual right, unrelated to militia service. This was successfully accomplished by last year’s Supreme Court DC v. Heller decision. The second was incorporation, meaning applying this limitation on government interference to the states. This has now been accomplished, at least for the time being, within the 9th Circuit by Nordyke. The third step will be to determine what level of scrutiny courts need to apply when looking at laws that restrict 2nd amendment rights. The best outcome would be “strict scrutiny”, with which the courts/legislatures would need a very compelling reason to limit the right. The Nordyke decision briefly touched on this:
“Fundamental rights usually receive strict scrutiny as a matter of substantive due process doctrine. See, e.g., Glucksberg, 521 U.S. at 721. But
where the Due Process Clause incorporates one of the rights enumerated
in the Bill of Rights, the standard of review becomes that appropriate to
the specific right. For example, First Amendment rights, whether against
the states or the federal government, trigger the same standards of review.
We find no reason to treat the Second Amendment differently.”
And here’s the Cato Institute’s Robert Levy (who personally bankrolled Heller) discussing the Heller decision, and level of scrutiny:
The fourth, and final, step will be to apply the first three steps to the myriad of gun laws that already exist, or that will be written in the future. In the Nordyke case, the bad news is that the plaintiff lost. In other words, despite all of the above, the court still felt it was a “reasonable restriction” for a county to ban gun shows on their property. These are the type of legal limits that will be debated for the remainder of our country’s existence. But Heller and Nordyke have laid a great legal precedent for the good guys, thus assuring that the country’s existence will be quite a bit longer.
When will the first shot actually be fired? Very soon. Are you ready? Will you fight back? Others are trying the legal and political rout, read obamas plans.
Washington, DC – – Remember CANDIDATE Barack Obama? The guy who “wasn’t going to take away our guns”?
Well, guess what?
Less than 100 days into his administration, he’s never met a gun he didn’t hate.
A week or so ago, Obama went to Mexico, whined about the United States, and bemoaned (before the whole world) the fact that he didn’t have the political power to take away our semi-automatics. Nevertheless, that didn’t keep him from pushing additional restrictions on American gun owners.
It’s called the Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials. To be sure, this imponderable title masks a really nasty piece of work.
First of all, when the treaty purports to ban the “illicit” manufacture of firearms, what does that mean?
1. “Illicit manufacturing” of firearms is defined as “assembly of firearms [or] ammunition… without a license….”
Hence, reloading ammunition — or putting together a lawful firearm from a kit — is clearly “illicit manufacturing.”
Modifying a firearm in any way would surely be “illicit manufacturing.” And, while it would be a stretch, assembling a firearm after cleaning it could, in any plain reading of the words, come within the screwy definition of “illicit manufacturing.”
2. “Firearm” has a similarly questionable definition.
“[A]ny other weapon” is a “firearm,” according to the treaty — and the term “weapon” is nowhere defined.
So, is a BB gun a “firearm”? Probably.
A toy gun? Possibly.
A pistol grip or firing pin? Probably. And who knows what else.
If these provisions (and others) become the law of the land, the Obama administration could have a heyday in enforcing them. Consider some of the other provisions in the treaty:
* Banning Reloading. In Article IV of the treaty, countries commit to adopting “necessary legislative or other measures” to criminalize illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.
Remember that “illicit manufacturing” includes reloading and modifying or assembling a firearm in any way. This would mean that the Obama administration could promulgate regulations banning reloading on the basis of this treaty — just as it is currently circumventing Congress to write legislation taxing greenhouse gases.
* Banning Gun Clubs. Article IV goes on to state that the criminalized acts should include “association or conspiracy” in connection with said offenses — which is arguably a term broad enough to allow, by regulation, the criminalization of entire pro-gun organizations or gun clubs, based on the facilities which they provide their membership.
* Extraditing US Gun Dealers. Article V requires each party to “adopt such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offenses it has established in accordance with this Convention” under a variety of circumstances.
We know that Mexico is blaming U.S. gun dealers for the fact that its streets are flowing with blood. And we know it is possible for Mexico to define offenses “committed in its territory” in a very broad way. And we know that we have an extradition obligation under Article XIX of the proposed treaty. So we know that Mexico could try to use the treaty to demand to extradition of American gun dealers.
Under Article XXIX, if Mexico demands the extradition of a lawful American gun dealer, the U.S. would be required to resolve the dispute through “other means of peaceful settlement.”
Does anyone want to risk twenty years in a sweltering Mexican jail on the proposition that the Obama administration would apply this provision in a pro-gun manner?
* Microstamping. Article VI requires “appropriate markings” on firearms. And, it is not inconceivable that this provision could be used to require microstamping of firearms and/or ammunition — a requirement which is clearly intended to impose specifications which are not technologically possible or which are possible only at a prohibitively expensive cost.
* Gun Registration. Article XI requires the maintenance of any records, for a “reasonable time,” that the government determines to be necessary to trace firearms. This provision would almost certainly repeal portions of McClure-Volkmer and could arguably be used to require a national registry or database.
UNEAU — On the same day they rejected an attorney general designee who is a board member of the National Rifle Association, members of the state House on Thursday approved a bill exempting guns and ammunition manufactured and kept within Alaska from federal firearms regulation.
House members voted to reject Gov. Sarah Palin’s nominee to head the Department of Law, Wayne Anthony Ross, but voted 32-7 in favor of the Alaska Firearms Freedom Act, which would apply to firearms built, sold and kept in Alaska.
Critics denounced the bill as unconstitutional. They say it’s a threat to Alaskans who act on the measure and face federal prosecution.
Prime sponsor Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks, attracted 10 co-sponsors and said the bill is both a measure to allow manufacture of guns and a statement that Alaska intends to reclaim some of its rights. Alaska has seen rights eroded in the oversight of navigable waters, fish and game, and access to natural resources, Kelly said, but can reclaim rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
“We will handle the regulation of it,” he said.
Kelly said the federal government has regulated firearms in part though the oversight of interstate commerce. The bill addresses that by exempting firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories that are manufactured and retained in the state. Guns and ammo that fit that criteria should be exempt from federal regulation, including registration, he said.
The bill says the Alaska attorney general may defend a gun manufacturer charged with violating federal law.