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It’s the law and what next?

The NRA reports that:

PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS “PROTECTION OF LAWFUL COMMERCE IN ARMS ACT” LANDMARK NRA VICTORY NOW LAW

I don’t think so much misinformation has been perpetuated by editorial boards regarding this bill since the renewal of the PATRIOT Act and the assault weapons ban. It’s a victory for gun rights only in the sense that it gives the anti-gunnies something to cry about. And that was the only reason I really supported it. After all, special protection is special protection.

That said, what now? What’s next on the agenda? While the antis are down, will the gun lobby press the advantage or lay low? Not sure. Part of me wonders if getting aggressive would lead to opportunities for the press to successfully continue its vilification of the gun lobby. Another part says: kick their bitchy little asses. Quite a conundrum.

So, what next? National CCW? Repeal the NFA tax? Repeal the 1986 Hughes Amendment? My personal favorite would be repealing the Hughes Amendment.

Oh, where to begin?

Update: Thanks to GLN, I forgot all about that sporting purpose hooey. That’s probably first on my list now or at least tied with the Hughes Amendment.

26 Responses to “It’s the law and what next?”

  1. Heartless Libertarian Says:

    Hughes Amendment, followed by the sections of the NFA that require you to obtain specific permission from the ATF and your local Chief LEO. These sections are probably the most blatantly unconstitutional.

    The $200 tax, while quite annoying, is possibly on more solid ground, given Congress’ power to lay and collect excise taxes.

  2. GLN Admin Says:

    I vote for, in no particular order, the Hughes Amendment, all ‘sporting use’ clauses and NFA’34. But that is just me.

  3. markm Says:

    Kill the “sporting purpose” hooey first. After that, I wonder how a national CCW could best be implemented? (If we had a President that was an actual conservative or libertarian, we could have had a sort of national CCW already by executive order justified by the terrorist threat. Think “volunteer US Marshall” – pass a background check and a test, swear an oath, and pick up your badge.)

  4. Captain Holly Says:

    I’m a bit more modest. I’d like to see Congress modify the law to allow CCW permittees to carry in National Parks. It’d be quick and easy to do, yet make a big difference to those permittees (like myself) who have to unload and case the gun before entering Grand Canyon or Yellowstone.

    I’d also like to get rid of the DV misdemeanor/restraining order clauses, but in reality we’ll probably see the repeal of the NFA before that happens.

  5. ben Says:

    National CCW first, Sporting Purposes second, Hughes third. Don’t ask me why.

  6. GLN Admin Says:

    For one idea on national ccw, check out H.R.1243. It is already proposed and collecting dust.

  7. Xrlq Says:

    National CCW first. Everything else is a distant second.

  8. David Codrea Says:

    By “CCW”, does that mean permits/licenses? That you pay for? And that can be denied or revoked?

    If so, I’ll pass.

    Go ahead if you want to, just please don’t make whatever edicts you pass affect me.

  9. aporitic Says:

    I got a call from NRA a couple of weeks or so ago asking if I knew about Florida’s castle doctrine law and if I’d give so that they could support efforts to pass similar laws in other states. Since I know of no ther active campaigns in other states, I told them “No, but the minute you start a credible effort to support the current bill in congress that will repeal the “sporting purposes” test, I’ll send you a big ol’ check.” They didn’t know what I was talking about.

    Legislatively speaking, “sporting purposes” should be the first to go in my opinion. Then a law requiring ATF to follow the same rulemaking procedures as every other agency, including mandatory public comment periods (to shortcircuit the sneak attack approach ATF currently uses) and voiding all existing rules not created that way. An ammendment to the Civil Rights Act specifically making it a federal crime for a state or local government to violate 2A rights – I’d like to see a good lawyer take Chicago or DC to fed court in a section 1983 lawsuit. Then a law reversing all of those annoying Executive Orders that impede us citizens in exercizing the 2A. Then the Hughes ammendment. Then a law requiring all surplus small arms and ammunition in the government’s inventory to be sold through DCM (they can keep it as long as they want, but they can’t sell it to anyone but legal residents of the USA, no more torches and bulldozers). Then the parts of NFA that require arbitrary apporval of local LEO. Then the entire GCA of ’68 (or at least the parts about interstate shipping between non-FFAs). Then the NFA itself.

    Other things I’d think about that might fit in that list somewhere:

    National concealed carry – I like the idea, but I’d probably be satisfied if state CCLs were required to be recognized by other states under the full faith and credit clause.

    A law prohibiting the transfer of any federal money to state and local law enforcement agencies in jurisdictions with stricter firearms laws than the feds have. Also any agency whose LEO refuses to sign a Form 4 or FFL application unless that LEO has cause and can establish it beyond a reasonable doubt (the bill would specify what constituted cause).

  10. Jay G Says:

    1. Gut the 1934 NFA.
    2. Ditto 1968 HCA.
    3. Hughes Amendment.
    4. Shall-issue National CCW.

    In that order. I want a machine gun now, dammit… 😉

  11. countertop Says:

    Please people, get your heads out of yet A**!

    We do not want National CCW – whether shall issue or not. That is simply giving the gun banners a huge door to wlak through in their efforts to impose a registry and eventually a total ban on gun ownership.

    Rather, what we want is Vermont/ALaska style carry with a complete pre-emption of state laws and regulations.

  12. Publicola Says:

    we already have national CCW, it’s just not applid. If you’ll look a your copy of the contitution you’ll find that it says “…keep & bear…” not “..keep & bear unless it’s concealed, then you need to pay a bribe & beg permission…”. The trick is getting it enforced.

    But knocking out the NFA would do the most good, as it’s what really got th eball rolling as far as heinous federal gun control is concerned. Follow that with removing the GCA form the books, then Brady, then Lautenburg, then the various “cop killer” & armor piercing ammo BS.

    The prohibition on carry in parks is an executive order, meaning that all Bush would have ot do is break out a fresh pen & sign it. Hell, it’s not like he’s lacking pens because of all the vetoes he’s signed or anything.

    & HL – the $200 tax is not on solid ground. The purpose of any revenue measure must be revenue, not regulation. When enactd the most expensive NFA items were not usually over $200 & the least expensive were in the neighborhood of $2. A $200 tax on a $2 to $10 item cannot be considered a revenue raising measure. Hell, during some hearings on the NFA they discussed it specifically as a regulatory measure. even now the tax is prohibitive. Sure, it’s less than 10% of some items (due to a federally imposed distortion in the arket for automatic weapons) but sound suppresors & short barreled rifles & shotguns can still be produced for less than $200 or not much over it. So I’d argue that in addition to be a gross infringement on the Right to arms it’s also an illegitimate measure because of it’s lack of a revenue raising purpose despite it being enacted through the taxing power.

    Oh, & despite what I listed above as being what I’d like to see I don’t expect anything to hapen – at least not anything NRA backed. They’re comfy with all the gun control laws we have now. & congress – well write your rep & senators & ask which gun control law they’d like to repeal first. When reading their reply (if they reply) I’d suggest popping in the soundtrack from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas & putting it on “I Love to Dance a Little Sidestep”. That oughta put things in the right vibe.

  13. Standard Mischief Says:

    I’ve got no problem with “special protection”, as long as the liability is limited for stupid things. (e.g. The gun maker isn’t liable for a muggers actions; the baseball bat maker isn’t responsible for any baby seals killed… etc).

    The argument that this is only for the gun lobby is muted somewhat by the “Cheeseburger Bill” (H. R. 339) also called the `Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act’.

    Now all we need is the “no trespassing signs mean no liability Act”

    “Beware of Dog – zero liability Act”

    “Don’t try this at home zero liability Act”

    or

    “innocent purchaser of a superfund property zero liability Act”

    But that would limit the liability of ordinary people, and we just don’t have the same class of lobbyist, there up on the hill, that corporations do.

  14. _Jon Says:

    Politics are a series of ebbs and flows – especially at the national level.

    Our current strength will not last long and we must make use of our advantage while we have it.
    Those changes listed were limitations put in place when we were weaker. We must work NOW to remove those limitations and shore up defenses against them being put back in place when the tide of our support ebbs. Firearms rights will eventually be used as a trading item for some other more popular political “hot potato”. We must work NOW to ensure that the elements we need are tended to before our time has passed.

    We are – esssentially – at war with people who have a different ideology about firearms.
    I am not sure what Sun Tzu has written about this situtation, but I’m sure he would advise pressing our advantage.

    The details of what needs to be changed will be discussed. But at this time we must ring the phones and write the letters – even visit the reps if you can afford a few days off work. Trade one hour at the range for a letter written, a phone call made, or a conversation held. Motivate your constituancy. Motivate your representatives. Motivate yourselves.

  15. Stormy Dragon Says:

    I find the idea of a national CCW bill disturbing. My state, PA, already has CCW with very few restrictions. We also have deals with an ever increasing number of other states to accept each other’s carry permits. So from my point of view, there’s no upside to national CCW and significant downside in that it will allow the Feinsteins of the world to start tacking all sorts of conditions and requirements onto the permitting process.

    Ultimately, if California wants to ban carry, well then I guess it sucks to be them. I don’t want to risk my carry rights trying to save them from themselves.

  16. Standard Mischief Says:

    oh yea,

    We are about 6 years into an 8 year term and the Bush II has done nothing to recover individual rights for firearm owners.

    Zero bones to his RKBA supporters.

    Don’t hold your breath.

  17. Captain Holly Says:

    The authority to exclude firearms is conferred upon the Park Service superintendent by the Park Service Act. Firearms are prohibited by regulation, so yes, President Bush could sign an executive order — which would very likely be rescinded by President Clinton on January 21, 2009.

    Far better that Congress insert language in the Act itself, making it clear to both upcoming presidents and NPS superintendents that carrying weapons for self-defense is beyond their authority.

  18. Captain Holly Says:

    Note: Last line should read “beyond their regulatory authority”.

  19. Xrlq Says:

    Publicola:

    we already have national CCW, it’s just not applid. If you’ll look a your copy of the contitution you’ll find that it says “…keep & bear…” not “..keep & bear unless it’s concealed, then you need to pay a bribe & beg permission…”. The trick is getting it enforced.

    That’s tricky enough in itself, but it’s probably not right as a matter of constitutional law. In the historical sense of the word, “infringed” means essentially “destroyed,” not “burdened somewhat.” A ban on both open and concealed carry would clearly “infringe” the right to bear arms, but a ban on one that allows the other (either with no permit requirement, or with one that is not overly burdensome to get) probably does not. It’s still a bad idea, though, since there are good non-constitutional reasons to prefer concealed carry in some situations (esp. cities), and open carry in others.

    SD:

    I find the idea of a national CCW bill disturbing. My state, PA, already has CCW with very few restrictions. We also have deals with an ever increasing number of other states to accept each other’s carry permits. So from my point of view, there’s no upside to national CCW and significant downside in that it will allow the Feinsteins of the world to start tacking all sorts of conditions and requirements onto the permitting process.

    That’s an argument against a bad implementation of national CCW, not against the concept in principle. I see no downside to a federal CCW that is valid in all 50 states, but does not preempt the states from enacting alternative CCW systems of their own. If state and federal banks can exist side by side, why not state and federal gun permits?

  20. TriggerFinger Says:

    Bush signs the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

    SaysUncle reports that the President signed the bill (via the NRA). I’ll keep my eyes peeled for updates to the cases that would be affected by this.

    He also asks “What next?” Good question. In the past I’ve
    argued that repealing the Hughe…

  21. Publicola Says:

    X,
    One day you should come to America & we’ll discuss getting rid of Hamilton’s wet dream – the national bank thing.

    The thing about “infringing” is that it doesn’t have to be a complete prohibition to be considered such. From what I recall it (the word “infringe”) can take a meaning similar to what you describe, but also one with a lower hurdle to clear. M-W lists an arachaic definition as defeating or frustrating. Now defeating would be along th elines that you’re talking, but frustrate is the meaning I’d think is more applicable. For example, a $100 permit to carry would frustrate, if not outright defeat a lot of folks (least in my world) due to financial rwasons, whereas a $5 permit would only frustrate a few (such as myself). You could argue that since only a minority is effected & only in a certain way that it is not an infringement, but if we give “people” the same meaning as applied elsewhere in the BOR then the 2nd can be viewed as a limitation on the authority of congress to prevent or hinder any person from carrying. In the aggregate there might not be infringement, but it’s the individual cases that matter.

    & a ban on one mode of carry while allowing the other is as much of an infringement as a ban on both. Again, I see nothing that would allow for such regulation or prohibition. & as you pointed out, as a policy matter it’s not a good idea. But what if that policy matters becomes a case of carry one way or not at all?

    But look at it this way – would you say a permit to attend church or carry a religious book, or speak your mind amongst your friends in public was constitutional? Certainly you’d agree it was a bad idea, but would you argue that it was not necessarily conficting with the 1rst?

    If (big ass word, isn’t it?) the same defernce were given to the 2nd as the 1rst, then the courts would probably not have too much trouble finding even mild gun control like you seem to be okay with as having a chilling effect & invalidate it for that reason alone.

    What I read the 2nd doing is prohibiting the feds from any prior restraint based gun control applied against an individual or touching a weapon that could be useful for defense or offense. Via the 14th the states are similarly prohibited. If you wish to argue degrees & whether a certain gun control measure is a good idea (not saying you are, just saying) then first we’d have to alter the constitution, not just rationalize that “they couldn’t have meant this”.

    “Federal gun permits” though? Seriously, come to America some time. Breath out the bad air… lol

  22. SayUncle » Blog Archive » Take the poll Says:

    […] OK, I posed the question about the direction the gun lobby should take but GLN already had a poll up (a while back and I missed since I use bloglines). Go on over there and take it, it’s on the right hand side. […]

  23. Xrlq Says:

    But look at it this way – would you say a permit to attend church or carry a religious book, or speak your mind amongst your friends in public was constitutional? Certainly you’d agree it was a bad idea, but would you argue that it was not necessarily conficting with the 1rst?

    I agree it would be a horrible idea, of course. As a constitutional matter, I think it would clearly violate the establishment clause, but probably would not violate the free exercise clause – and almost certainly wouldn’t if it were part of a greater regulatory scheme that didn’t target religious institutions in particular. There is no Second Amendment equivalent of the Establishment Clause.

    I agree that even a good national CCW law would raise some Tenth Amendment problems, but I say, try it anyway. Either the law stands, and we end up with a good policy nationwide, or all the anti-gun liberals sue under the Tenth Amendment and end up with a Pyrrhic victory that leaves us exactly where we started on the Second Amendment, and in a much better position on the Tenth. I see no potential downside to this.

  24. Nate Says:

    “I see no potential downside to this”

    -Say it gets upheld, some bonehead justice opines that “A well regulated militia” means that the Federal Gov’t can regulate the posession of arms. Therefore, the federal government can allow national concealed carry as it sees fit. The downside of this possibility is pretty clear. A liberal or two on the court could give conservatives a victory on this instance, but with the precendent that the federal government can explicitly regulate the posession of arms — much worse than what Miller has morphed into.

    No, I don’t think that’s a good risk to take.

  25. Xrlq Says:

    I don’t think it’s a realistic risk, either. For all the silly debate over individual vs. collective rights, nobody argues that the Second Amendment affirmatively authorizes the federal government to do anything. Anyone challenging the constitutionality of a national CCW would have to steer clear of the Second Amendment, which either would not apply at all, or would apply, but only in the sense that the challenged federal law merely requires the states to do what the Second Amendment already required them to do anyway.

    As to a precedent allowing the federal government to regulate firearms, welcome to the post-Miller world. That precedent is there already, so bringing the issue before the courts now wil just give them a chance to overrule it.

  26. Resistance is futile! Says:

    Carnival of Cordite #36

    Well folks, time once again for the Carnival of Cordite! This is a weekly round up of blog posts dedicated to guns, shooting, marksmanship, hunting, personal and civil defense, and the law and politics of the Second Amendment. It’s also