John Lott says of the recent Parker decision This is actually a very high risk gamble.
It is, indeed. We could lose at the Supreme Court. Game over.
We could win. Everyone rejoices.
Further, even a win might not be a win. I simply cannot see the Supreme Court overturning 73 years of federal gun laws. The lifting of some regulations just doesn’t seem to be politically feasible with the gun hysteria we see.
The ban on machine guns: In 1934, the $200 tax essentially prohibited all but the wealthy from obtaining them. In the 1980s, the tax was just a nuisance. In 1986, new transfer was banned. These weapons do relate to the preservation and efficacy of a well-regulated militia. There is enough meat to eliminate the ban. But the court simply will not do it, I don’t think.
Regulation of destructive devices: These are not banned but regulated. Are they arms that relate to the preservation and efficacy of a well-regulated militia? Most certainly, as soldiers carry grenades. Again, I can’t see the court overturning that.
Suppressors: though gaining in popularity due to convenience and the recent market for inexpensive models, it would be easy to paint these as weapons for murderers a la your favorite hitman movie.
NFA in general: The DC opinion does say registration is conducive to a well-regulated militia. And only NFA weapons are registered.
Background checks, felons, etc.: A non-issue, generally, as these are seen as acceptable in today’s opinion.
That said, I think they could rule that there is an individual right to arms but that the state has a vested interest in regulating that right with a view to prevent crime and general mayhem.
At the federal level, I don’t see much happening if the Supremes pick it up. But, at the state level, there could be some major issues. Particularly in places like Cali, NY, Mass and Chicago.
Don’t go opening your gun shop in DC yet. You can rest assured that there will be a stay on this ruling while appeals are filed.