Pratt: Virginia Beach Demonstrates the Failure of Gun Control

The calls for more gun control are in full swing.

Following the Virginia Beach mass shooting last Friday, Democrat presidential hopefuls are lining up to restrict the rights of honest Americans and to shred the Second Amendment.

The comments from socialist Bernie Sanders are typical. In the aftermath of the shooting, he blasted the gun lobby for “controlling Congress” and called for more “gun safety legislation” as the panacea for every societal ill. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam followed with his own calls for specific gun restrictions.

But in the midst of all the hyperbole, there was one inadvertent admission. The chief of police in Virginia Beach — a gun control advocate himself — admitted that additional gun control would not have made a difference.

Here’s why Chief James Cervera is right on this point.

1) Gun-free zones are a failure. A key premise to the gun control view is that Americans would be safer if guns were banned at various locations. Hence, we see gun-free zones have been imposed at every school in the country, in government buildings, at sporting events, etc.

But this won’t make Americans safe. Case in point: the Virginia Beach shooting effectively occurred in a gun-free zone. City employees are prohibited from carrying firearms, so they were sitting ducks when the killer chose them as the targets. This shooting is not an isolated incident, as almost 98 percent of the mass shootings that occur in this country occur in gun-free zones.

2) Universal Background Checks proven totally ineffective. The anti-gun left incessantly argues for running every gun purchase through a background check. But they ignore the fact that 95 percent of initial denials are false positives, stopping people who are not really criminals.

Plus, they ignore the fact that virtually every mass shooter in recent memory has passed a background check. This killer was no different — he passed background checks in purchasing his firearms. So how would imposing even MORE background checks make us any safer?

3) Banning AR-15 style firearms misses the mark. Those who hold an irrational fear of firearms are relentless in their calls for banning commonly-owned firearms like the AR-15. But here again, a ban on these guns would have done no good. The Virginia Beach killer used two handguns, which by the way, is the weapon-of-choice for mass shooters — not the AR-15.

4) Suppressors don’t allow “stealth” killing. Anti-gun zealots have seized on the fact that the killer used a suppressor, as justification for banning these items. Yet suppressors are simply a safety device to protect people’s hearing. They are more like a car muffler, rather than the Hollywood notion of a “silencer.”

Suppressors don’t reduce the sound to a whisper as so deceptively portrayed in so many movies. Not surprisingly, witnesses in Virginia Beach reported that they “heard” the gunshots, which is a clear indication that the myth of the silencer is just that — a myth.

5) Limiting magazine capacity becomes harmful to the innocent. Finally, the left would have us believe that if standard-to-large capacity magazines were banned, this killer would have been unable to find magazines larger than five or 10 rounds.

But to believe that, one would have to believe that Prohibition effectively kept people from drinking booze and that the War on Drugs was equally successful.

The truth is that limiting magazine capacity will endanger law-abiding Americans. Consider recent examples of self-defense where Americans needed weapons with so-called “hi-capacity” magazines to protect themselves.

  • A Houston man fired several rounds while fighting off five home invaders this year, utilizing his AK-47 as his primary means of defense;
  • A Florida man used his AR-15 to fire 30 rounds while fighting off seven intruders in the early hours of an April Sunday morning in 2018; and,
  • Then there’s the Texas woman who wished she could have had an AR-15 or AK-47. She used a revolver in defense of two attackers in her home, firing all her rounds and severely wounding one intruder in the stomach. But she completely missed the second assailant.

When he heard the clicking sound, he turned and savagely beat her. The homeowner survived, but she has promised to buy a new gun — one with a good-sized magazine. Good thing, because she needs it.

To hear anti-gunners like Sanders and Northam speak, one would think that the United States is the world leader when it comes to mass shootings. The truth is that our country is near the bottom of the list — placing 64th (in per capita frequency) in a list of 97 countries that have had mass shootings.

And what about the worst 63 nations? They all have stricter gun control than the United States, which just goes to show that gun control is a huge failure — not just here, but around the globe, as well.

COLUMN BY

Erich Pratt

Erich Pratt is the executive director of Gun Owners of America, a gun rights organization representing more than two million gun owners.

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

If the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is any indication, that party’s base and donor class will accept nothing less from their nominee than commitments to sweeping gun control. And the contenders appear happy to accommodate them.

No one doubts that the political hard left is unified around the idea of gun control in principle. But some in that camp are expressing concern that the pathway to the presidency may not lie in promising to criminalize otherwise law-abiding gun owners and to seize firearms that were obtained lawfully and never misused by their owners.

Honesty, in other words, is not the best policy when it comes to infringements of the right to keep and bear arms.

Leftist political pundit and talk show host Bill Maher claims to be a reluctant firearm owner, but no one would mistake him for a Second Amendment advocate. “[T]he Second Amendment,” he has repeatedly said, “is bull-[expletive deleted].”

Nevertheless, he is among the seemingly dwindling number of those on the far left who still maintain some awareness that America is a big country and that its politics are not necessarily defined by its most “progressive” coastal enclaves.

Last Friday, Maher used a panel discussion on his cable show “Real Time” to caution fellow opponents of Donald Trump that many Americans like guns. “Lots of people do,” he said, “and their view is, ‘Yes, there is a violence problem with guns, but not me. And you’re going after me.’”

Referring to the Democrats’ gun control proposals, Maher continued: “And I’m just saying, some of their solutions, all of the solutions, I don’t know if it would solve the gun problem.”

Maher went on to remind his guests that “we’ve lost elections before on this issue, which is not a winning issue for Democrats.” He also said that “liberals should learn more about guns” and noted that primary contender Cory Booker – who recently invoked the Virginia Beach murders to argue for gun control – did not answer the questions of CNN’s Jake Tapper about how his own proposals would have prevented those crimes.

Maher’s advice, unsurprisingly, was not well received by his guests. Charles Blow, a writer for the New York Times, insisted that “journalists have to stop asking that horrible question.” Blow indicated that picking out one incident to focus on is unfair, given the broader scope of firearm-related deaths in America. “The framing of the question is wrong,” Blow lectured.

Blow might have had a valid point, but for the fact that Booker and his fellow candidates essentially demand these inquiries by constantly bringing up rare but infamous and highly-publicized mass murders that account for a tiny fraction of firearm-related deaths, most of which are suicides.

Commonplace firearm-related homicides, meanwhile, very often occur in cities with strict gun control and involve repeat offenders who ignore the laws already on the books and undoubtedly would do the same to any additional laws that were imposed.

To his credit, Maher himself seems to recognize this. “You really don’t think it’s that simple?” he asked Blow. “It’s complicated. If you did everything that the Democrats wanted – and I support all of that – I still think you would have this problem, because it’s much more complicated than just the guns … or the type of guns.”

Later, Jake Tapper would find himself fending off a social media mob incensed that he would ask an embarrassing, if obvious, question of a left-leaning politician who favors gun control. “Booker changed his speech in CA to talk about the Virginia Beach shootings and need for more gun laws,” Tapper tweeted the Sunday after the Maher piece aired. “Asking what laws would have prevented/mitigated the specific tragedy he wanted to discuss was a natural question and a sincere one too.”

Maher and Tapper are hardly the first on the left to recognize the conundrum of gun control advocates who exploit the victims of mass murders to promote their agenda without actually offering any responsive proposals.

Mark Glaze was a founding figure and executive director of Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun empire, Everytown for Gun Safety. Glaze stepped down from that position in 2014, telling the Wall Street Journal at the time: “Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting? Sure it’s a challenge in this issue.”

Later, Glaze would become an advisor to another gun control group, Guns Down America, which aims to “take down the NRA, ” “reduc[e] the number of guns in circulation,” and “[m]ake guns significantly harder to get … .”

Glaze, in other words, can at least take satisfaction in now being more honest about his intentions. It’s not a question of preventing unpreventable crimes. It’s simply a question of doing everything possible to get rid of guns and to silence those who advocate for the right to keep and bear arms.

The real problem for anti-gun Democrats and gun control advocates, however, isn’t how they package their message.

It’s that they want to take away the hard-won freedoms of a freedom-loving people.

And while their occasional moments of self-reflection may not be making much of a dent in the fanaticism the hard left has for gun control, voters who support the Second Amendment should pay close attention.

Because when the oversharing of the primary ends and the real presidential campaign begins, the eventual nominee may well heed Maher’s advice and take a much more moderate (and misleading) tone on guns.

Yet the Democrat hopefuls have by now expressed all that needs to be said to betray their true designs on your Second Amendment rights.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Based on Crime Rates, Pro-2A Advocates Should Control the Narrative

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PODCAST: Carbon Tax Scam, Politics of Virginia Beach Shooting and Benghazi Stand Down Exposed!

GUESTS

Jordan McGillis is a Policy Analyst at the Institute for Energy Research. In his role, McGillis writes on energy policy and contributes to IER’s communications initiatives.
McGillis graduated with a B.A. from the University of South Florida and an M.A. from Seton Hall University, both in International Affairs. Areas of focus: Federal Lands (permitting, drilling rights,ect.), Carbon Tax & Climate Change, Free Market Theory.

TOPIC..Carbon Tax Scam!

Alan Gottlieb is a strong advocate of defense. A nuclear engineering graduate of the University of Tennessee, publisher of Gun Week, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union.

TOPIC…Virginia Governor Pushes Gun Control After Virginia Beach Shooting!

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, West Point Graduate, Founder of “Stand up America” and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations under President Reagan and retired as Deputy Commanding General for the US Army Pacific. Now a guest military analyst for TV and radio and co-author of the book “Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror”.

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Good – Short Video on Red Flag Laws

Watch and listen to this short Gun Owners of America video on Red Flag Laws which we now have in Florida codified in the Marjory Stoneman HS Protection Act (SB 7026) as “Risk Protection Orders”.

These laws ignore our 5th and 14th Amendment rights of Due Process and I predict will result in consequences for legal, law abiding gun owners over time. I’m personally not convinced that these are “unintended” consequences either but rather another intentional chipping away of our 2nd Amendment and Due Process Rights.

Gun Owners of America have been outspoken on this subject and I recommend you consider joining GOA as I did several years ago.

I am hopeful an iron-clad lawsuit will be filed before much longer to challenge FL’s Risk Protection Order and; if not eliminating it, as a minimum require holding a hearing before seizure and not exparte except in exceptional cases where there is overwhelming evidence/probable cause of potential harm by the gun owner. As the language is currently written, it is too open to interpretation resulting in differing procedures by different court jurisdictions and potential to be used as a political weapon by liberal gun control enthusiasts.

I am a Life Member of the NRA and want to know where is the NRA-ILA on this issue? So far – Crickets – chirp – chirp.

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VIDEO: High-Capacity Mags Have Better Chance of Saving Lives? Research Suggests So.

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NRA Statement on Virginia Governor’s Gun Control Proposals

FAIRFAX, Va.–   The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action’s director of public affairs, Jennifer Baker, released the following statement on Tuesday in reaction to Gov. Ralph Northam’s gun control proposals:

“Gov. Northam is following the gun control playbook by exploiting a tragedy to push his failed political agenda.  The fact is none of the governor’s gun control proposals would have prevented the horrible tragedy at Virginia Beach.  If Gov. Northam is genuinely interested in pursuing policies that will save lives, he should focus on prosecuting violent criminals and fixing our broken mental health system, instead of blaming Virginia’s law-abiding gun owners for the act of a deranged murderer.”

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6 Facts Obama Got Wrong about Guns While Speaking in Brazil

I have a confession. I miss Obama. On the issue of guns, at least.

He was so wrong, yet so ineffective, that it was almost funny.

Heck, it was funny.

Fortunately, he’s decided to make an encore performance. So there’s a new opportunity to puncture his pious pronouncements.

Writing for the Federalist, Ryan Cleckner debunks Obama’s fatuous statements about gun control at a recent speech in Brazil.

On May 30, former president Barack Obama was a keynote speaker at an event in Brazil. …During a conversation with a host on stage during the digital innovation event, Obama took the opportunity to speak negatively about U.S. gun laws.

He said, ‘Our gun laws in the United States don’t make much sense. Anybody can buy any weapon, any time, without much, if any, regulation. They can buy [guns] over the internet, they can buy machine guns.’ His statement to a foreign audience includes six lies about our gun laws.

Here are Obama’s six lies, with the concomitant corrections.

There are three major federal restrictions on who may purchase firearms in the United States… The first category of persons who may not purchase firearms under federal law is based on age.  Persons under 21 years of age may not purchase handguns from a gun dealer, and persons under 18 years of age may not purchase rifles nor shotguns. The second category of persons who may not purchase firearms under federal law are referred to as “prohibited persons.”

This category includes, among others…Felons, Those convicted of domestic violence, Unlawful users of controlled substances, Illegal aliens, Those subject to certain restraining orders, Those adjudicated as mental defectives or committed to mental institutions, Fugitives, and Veterans with dishonorable discharges… The third major category includes non-U.S. citizens.

Under federal law, machine guns made after 1986 may not be purchased by civilians (more on this under lie No. 5 below). Also, the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) regulates other firearms which may be purchased, but clearly not in the way insinuated by Obama’s comments (more on this under lie No. 3 below).

When purchasing a firearm from a federally licensed gun dealer (FFL), background-check requirements must be satisfied. In most cases, this includes a background check being run through the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). …Federal background checks may only be run between 8 a.m. and 1 a.m. Eastern… Within the statement that a firearm can be purchased at any time is also the inference that a firearm may be purchased anywhere.

This is also false. For example, handguns many only be purchased in a person’s state of residence. Therefore, if a person wants to purchase a handgun while he out of his home state, that is a time at which he is not permitted to purchase a firearm. For the class of firearms covered by the NFA, such as short-barreled rifles, a purchaser must wait until certain paperwork is approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). This wait time is often up to 10 months.

…the United States has many regulations on the purchase and possession of firearms.

It seems clear that Obama wants people to think that a gun can be purchased online and shipped straight to a purchaser’s home like any other online purchase. This is not true. It is technically true that firearms may be purchased online. However, when a person purchases a firearm online from an out-of-state retailer, the firearm must first be shipped to a local FFL, where the purchaser must appear in person to fill out the federally required paperwork and satisfy the background check requirements.

…machine guns made after 1986 may not be purchased nor possessed by an ordinary civilian. These machine guns may only be purchased or possessed by FFLs or government entities. Machine guns made before 1986 are still NFA firearms and may only be purchased after the extensive paperwork and wait times that accompany all NFA firearm purchases. Additionally, some local laws outright ban the possession of any machine guns.

It’s unclear whether Obama actually knew he was lying.

I suspect he actually thinks he was being truthful. After all, he lives in a bubble and probably never hears any voices other than those from the leftist echo chamber.

Regardless, what makes this episode especially amusing is that Brazil is moving in the right direction on civil rights for gun owners.

Here are some excerpts from a CNN report in May.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has signed an executive order relaxing gun rules in the country, making it easier to import guns and increasing the amount of ammunition a person can buy in a year. Bolsonaro announced the signing of the decree at a Tuesday news conference, arguing ‘it is an individual right of the one who may want to have a firearm or seek the possession of a firearm… obviously respecting and fulfilling some requirements.’

The conservative provocateur…appears to delivering on his campaign promise to loosen gun laws. …Among the other changes, it simplifies the procedure to transfer the ownership of a firearm, and eases import restrictions on firearms, ‘allowing free initiative, stimulating competition, rewarding quality and safety, as well as economic freedom, so privileged by the Lord,’ the Brazilian government wrote in a statement. …Bolsonaro had previously signed a decree in January making it easier to own a gun in the South American country.

I’m glad that law-abiding people in Brazil now have a better chance of protecting themselves from criminals.

Combined with the spending cap adopted a few years ago, there’s some small reason to hope that Brazil could become the next Chile.

Though we’ll have to wait and see if the country enacts some desperately needed pension reform.

In the meantime, kudos to Bolsonaro for doing the right thing on guns.

And too bad nobody in Brazil asked Obama why Brazil wasn’t following his empty advice.

This article is republished with permission from International Liberty. 

COLUMN BY

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a Washington-based economist who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission.

VIDEO: The Coward From Broward Is in Police Custody — Watch Andrew Pollack’s Reaction

It’s only been a day since the news broke regarding Scot Peterson’s arrest, but Parkland Dad Andrew Pollack is already praising the authorities’ call for accountability.

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BREAKING: 1.4 Million Acres of Public Land Opened for Hunters, Anglers [Video]

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Remember when then Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand loved the NRA?

During a Fox News townhall Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) was ask about stopping gun violence. In her reply she called the National Rifle Association (NRA), “the worst organization in the country.” Watch:

A friend sent me a link to a letter dated September 19, 2008 sent by then Congresswoman Gillibrand to the NRA. Here are some excerpts:

To begin with, I want to be very clear that I always have and always will believe that the correct interpretation of the 2nd amendment is that it applies to an individual’s right to carry guns, and does not apply generally to the National Guard or a group of individuals in a State. Moreover, I do not believe that public housing authorities should have the right to ban firearms by people living in their homes. Not only is this discriminatory, but it violates the right of citizens living in their homes.

On the question of outright banning certain firearms for cosmetic features, bullets of an random size, or banning magazine holding an arbitrary number of cartridges, I am adamantly opposed and do not believe that laws should be based on random limits just for the sake of limiting gun ownership or usage. Furthermore, the attempt to limit the purchase of firearms to arbitrary time periods – such as “one-gun-a-month” – will not solve any crimes and will only curtain the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens. I share your concerns about these and other attempts to that could contribute to the slippery slope of government confiscation of people’s firearms based on the arbitrary whims of politics and public opinion.

[ … ]

Lastly, I agree with the NRA that sportsmen should be allowed to hunt on federally-owned lands and that we need to do all we can to create more hunting lands. I even authored an amendment to the Farm Bill to provide matching grants to local communities that want to buy land to provide sportsmen and women.

I appreciate the work that the NRA does to protect gun owners rights and I look forward to working with you for many years in Congress.

Sincerely,

[signed]

Kirsten E. Gillibrand
Member of Congress

[Emphasis added]

Read the full letter to the NRA by clicking here.

Oh, how the worm turns.

VIDEO: Hickenlooper’s Gun Control Laws in Colorado Were an Absolute Failure

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Democrats Now Opposed to Safe Neighborhoods?

Ever since taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have been waging an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment. Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), the caucus has been an entity in virtual lock-step promoting a laundry list of today’s most popular anti-gun proposals. Whether it is banning semi-automatic firearms and placing limitations on magazine capacities, pushing “universal” background checks, imposing potentially endless waiting periods, or trying to use financial institutions to drive their political agenda, anti-gun Democrats are looking to exploit every opportunity they can to promote their attacks on our freedoms.

At every step, Pelosi and her minions push anti-gun legislation with the lie that each proposal will be the death knell to violent crime committed with firearms. Of course, we’ve all heard this mantra for decades. And for decades we’ve seen every anti-gun law that has passed fail to put a dent in crime, only to be followed by a new proposal that the gun-ban extremists insist will get the job done…this time.

Supporters of the Second Amendment have always known that gun control laws have a fatal flaw; criminals don’t obey the law. They ignore or circumvent the new laws just as readily as they ignore or circumvent the old ones. If they are willing to commit robbery, why would they not also be willing to commit armed robbery? If they are willing to commit assault, why would they not be willing to commit assault with a deadly weapon? And if they are willing to commit homicide, again, why would they not be willing to commit homicide using a firearm? One more law will not stop a violent criminal from being a violent criminal.

The people actually impacted by gun control laws are, of course, law-abiding gun owners, who were never part of the problem to begin with. They may not agree with anti-gun laws, but they tend to obey them while working to change them.

This doesn’t mean that there are no options for addressing violent crime. The secret, which isn’t really a secret, is to go after the actual offenders. One good example is Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).

Started in 2001 under President George W. Bush, PSN is a collaborative effort, utilizing the resources of federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and community leaders to target violent crime at the local level. Specific priorities are identified based on the local environment, and solutions are developed, with the primary objective of going after the most violent offenders and putting them in prison.

It should come as no surprise that the simple concept of getting violent criminals off the streets to keep them from committing violent crimes has proven to be a very effective tool for law enforcement. While violent crime in the US has been in a state of general decline since its peak in 1991, PSN programs have shown to accelerate declines. According to the United States Department of Justice, from 2000 to 2006, PSN program areas saw overall reductions in violent crime from 4%-20%, and specifically-targeted violent crimes were reduced by up to 42%. By comparison, locations where PSN was not implemented saw reductions, but of only 0.9%.

There is, of course, little evidence to indicate that gun control reduces violent crime, and plenty of evidence that indicates fewer restrictions on law-abiding gun owners leads to such reductions. But even if Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats cannot be convinced of this, one would at least think they would support a proven law-enforcement program like PSN, which has clearly been shown to reduce the violent crime they claim to want to see reduced.

Then again, maybe not.

Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies recommending de-funding PSN. Chaired by U.S. Representative José Serrano (D-N.Y.), the subcommittee’s recommendation seems to indicate a continuing trend by House Democrats to oppose President Donald Trump whenever possible.

The program, as previously stated, started under President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama, even when Democrats controlled the House and Senate during Obama’s first term. So why is there an issue now?

It may simply be that Democrats are reflexively opposed to anything Trump supports, and the current administration has promoted the program. It would be a shocking abuse of power if Democrats actually chose to end a program that has been so successful at reducing violent crime simply out of spite for a president the party clearly loathes.

Fortunately, there are still many steps left in the process for approving the U.S. Department of Justice budget, through which PSN is funded, so we can only hope that cooler heads within the Democrat leadership will intercede and ensure PSN remains fully funded.

That is, if there are any cooler heads left.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission.

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Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully licensed handgun owners from leaving the city with their own firearms. The plaintiffs in the case have raised a number of objections to the regime, the foremost of which is that it violates the Second Amendment. The case is New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. New York City.

Given the uniquely oppressive and bizarre nature of the challenged restrictions, many observers believe the real question in the case isn’t whether New York City will lose but on what grounds and how badly. The City itself, in fact, recently made a desperate attempt to avoid a ruling on its laws by claiming to the court that it was in the process of revising the regulations to address the issues raised in the case. The court rejected that gambit, and proceedings in the case have continued, with a number of stakeholders filing friend of the court (amicus curiae) briefs this week to help inform the justices’ deliberations.

Chief among them was none other than the Trump administration, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) filing a brief in support of the plaintiffs. The DOJ offered two possible bases for finding New York City’s regulations unconstitutional, including that the “transport ban infringes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.”

The government’s brief offers the most detailed account to date of how the Trump administration views the Second Amendment. Critically, it makes clear that the Second Amendment does not end at the property line of one’s own home.

“The Second Amendment guarantees both the right to ‘keep’ and the right to ‘bear’ firearms,” the brief states. “Read naturally, the right to ‘bear’ firearms includes the right to transport firearms outside the home; otherwise, the right to ‘bear’ would add nothing to the right to ‘keep.’”

The administration also seeks to establish a method for resolving future cases that is faithful to the Supreme Court’s opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, which has been largely ignored by lower courts. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision being challenged in the New York City case, like many other lower court Second Amendment decisions before it, used a judicial balancing test that Heller specifically rejected to uphold the disputed gun control measures.

The government’s brief, on the other hand, urges the court to “look first to the text of the Second Amendment, the history of the right to keep and bear arms before ratification, and the tradition of gun regulation after ratification” to judge the validity of a gun control law.

Applying this test to New York City’s travel ban, it states:

Few laws in the history of our Nation, or even in contemporary times, have come close to such a sweeping prohibition on the transportation of arms. And on some of the rare occasions in the 19th and 20th centuries when state and local governments have adopted such prohibitions, state courts have struck them down. That is enough to establish that the transport ban is unconstitutional.

Also filing in support of the plaintiffs was a coalition of pro-gun states led by Louisiana and including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgie, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. Like the DOJ’s brief, the states’ brief urges the Supreme Court to use text, history, and tradition to find that New York City’s travel ban violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendment.

Alternatively, the states’ brief argues, if the court should adopt the Second Circuit’s approach to applying a tiered level of scrutiny, it should subject the law to a rigorously applied heighted scrutiny. “New York City could not possibly meet such scrutiny here,” the brief concludes.

One hundred and twenty pro-gun members of Congress, led by Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), urged the court to rule in favor of the plaintiffs as well. Emphasizing that “[t]he Second Amendment enshrines the fundamental right of citizens to protect themselves from violence and tyranny,” the congressional brief joined the chorus criticizing the dismissive treatment the Second Amendment has received in the lower courts.

“This case,” according to that brief, “is a quintessential example of how courts of appeals have treated the right to keep and bear arms as a second-class right by not reviewing regulations infringing on the right with any meaningful scrutiny.” It then argues that whether the court applies text, history, or tradition or a suitably stringent level of scrutiny, the challenged New York City regime must fail.

The NRA weighed in on the case with an amicus brief of our own. That brief amplifies the arguments of the government, the states, and the pro-gun members of Congress. It points out that “[i[n the decade since [Heller] was handed down, most lower federal courts have openly flouted [the Supreme Court’s] instructions” on how to resolve Second Amendment cases.

It goes on to state that “because Respondents’ transport ban restricts both the right to keep and to bear arms, and because it is unsupported by any even remotely analogous restriction historically accepted by the People as consistent with the Second Amendment, this Court should strike it down categorically, like in Heller, without resorting to the interest-balancing ‘tiers of scrutiny.’”

Tellingly, even certain well-known gun control groups – including the Giffords Law Center and the Brady Campaign – filed briefs that made no attempt to argue that New York City’s travel ban survives Second Amendment scrutiny. Rather, their briefs merely urge the court to rule narrowly in the case and in a way that preserves ample leeway for states and localities to continue to regulate firearms.

This case illustrates what the legacy media and other anti-gun interests are hoping gun owners ignore: that the election of President Trump, his appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the work of the National Rifle Association all continue to play a vital role in preserving the right to keep and bear arms.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission.