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The latest disappointment by the Bushes

The Bush DOJ, which reversed decades of policy by adopting the individual rights view of the second amendment, has decided to screw over gun owners in Heller. They say it’s an individual right but, you know, not really.

Update: Yeah, betrayed does cover it.

Speaking of Heller and since the .gov is using your dollars to advocate revocation of your rights, go donate to the good guys at Academics for the Second Amendment who are filing a brief.

Update 2: If I were Thompson, I’d hammer this one home next time I discussed how the Republicans were really just pro-life liberals.

Update 3: Odd that the mostly historically anti-gun American Hunters And Shooters Association is filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to protect the rights of individuals consistent with original intent of the Constitution.

Update 4: I received a statement from NRA:

Statement of the National Rifle Association by Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox on the pending U.S. Supreme Court case:

In the coming months, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s ban on handgun ownership and self-defense in law-abiding residents’ homes. The Court will first address the question of whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as embodied in the Bill of Rights, protects the rights of individuals or a right of the government. If the Court agrees that this is an individual right, they will then determine if D.C.’s self-defense and handgun bans are constitutional.

The position of the National Rifle Association is clear. The Second Amendment protects the fundamental, individual right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms for any lawful purpose. Further, any law infringing this freedom, including a ban on self-defense and handgun ownership, is unconstitutional and provides no benefit to curbing crime. Rather, these types of restrictions only leave the law-abiding more susceptible to criminal attack.

The U.S. Government, through its Solicitor General, has filed an amicus brief in this case. We applaud the government’s recognition that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right that is “central to the preservation of liberty.” The brief also correctly recognizes that the D.C. statutes ban “a commonly-used and commonly-possessed firearm in a way that has no grounding in Framing-era practice,” the Second Amendment applies to the District of Columbia, is not restricted to service in a militia and secures the natural right of self-defense.

However, the government’s position is also that a “heightened” level of judicial scrutiny should be applied to these questions. The National Rifle Association believes that the Court should use the highest level of scrutiny in reviewing the D.C. gun ban. We further believe a complete ban on handgun ownership and self-defense in one’s own home does not pass ANY level of judicial scrutiny. Even the government agrees that “the greater the scope of the prohibition and its impact on private firearm possession, the more difficult it will be to defend under the Second Amendment.” A complete ban is the kind of infringement that is the greatest in scope. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit correctly ruled that D.C.’s statutes are unconstitutional. We strongly believe the ruling should be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The National Rifle Association will be filing an amicus brief in this case and will provide additional information to our members as this case moves through the legal process

And more at Joe’s, who notes:

If I read it correctly they are concerned that the ATF could be put out of a job because they might no longer be able to regulated the manufacture and sale of firearms and maintain their registry of machineguns. Hence, they want to be left with some power to regulate firearms.

19 Responses to “The latest disappointment by the Bushes”

  1. Bitter Says:

    Oddly enough, this could be Rudy’s chance to shine with gun owners. The legal system and what he can do for it are his strengths. His positions on policy have been very New York, but I think he could really redeem himself on at least a few of those if he issued some kind of statement on this that made clear in no uncertain terms that this is absurd and not the the kind of political/legal games he’d play. (Still won’t clear his record by any stretch, but it would be interesting nonetheless.)

  2. Bitter Says:

    Oh, Richardson, too. Even though he’s out of the race, he could really cement his pro-gun cred by issuing a statement on this. I suspect that could give him more appeal as VP to someone who doesn’t want to make guns an issue.

  3. thirdpower Says:

    I won’t trust the AHSA unless I can read the entire brief beforehand. I have a feeling none of the politicos will say a word about it though.

  4. David Codrea Says:

    It’s the same consistent policy they applied in Emerson:
    “Solicitor General Ted Olson submitted briefs arguing that ‘the Second Amendment [is] subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession…of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse.'”

    Here’s what they say now:
    “Congress has enacted numerous laws regulating firearms. Those statutes include restrictions on private possession of types of firearms that are particularly susceptible to criminal misuse. “

    What surprises me is that anyone is surprised.

  5. Turk Turon Says:

    Richardson. Yeah. Looks like he pulled out of the race one day early! I’ll bet he’s kicking himself.

  6. Joe Huffman Says:

    You should read the brief before saying anything more. I have a few excerpts here.

  7. Ride Fast Says:

    […] Bush sides with treason? […]

  8. Mike M. Says:

    Joe, what bugs me is that under the DC Circuit’s decision, “reasonable” regulation IS allowed. And a good case can be made that NFA-34, if properly administered (i.e., prompt processing), would be still be constutitional. Only section 922(o), the ban on making new MGs, is at risk. Given the effectiveness of the basic NFA-34 background checks, I see no rational reason to try to protect 922(o)…and there are good policy reasons to strike it down, legal issues aside.

    I’m an unhappy and very worried camper.

  9. Stormy Dragon Says:

    But remember, it’s important to vote Republican now matter how shitty the Republican in question is because a Democrat would try to undermine our gun rights.

  10. nk Says:

    I doubt there’s a pro-gun Justice on the Court right now. There is an intellectually honest one — Thomas. I imagine we will all have the Second Amendment right to keep a Kentucky rifle on our own land. Beyond that … we’ll see.

  11. Mike M. Says:

    I wouldn’t go that far. I think we’ve got four votes for certain…but the fifth is the problem.

  12. Jim W Says:

    This case could turn out to be another (Dredd) Scott v Sanford- giving individual rights short shrift because the right decision would gore too many oxen.

    Then again, I think the interests of 100-150 million gun owners somewhat outweigh (politically, democratically and otherwise) the interests of a few thousand ATF agents who will have to be reallocated to some useful pursuit. They could be put in border patrol, narcotics interdiction or even shifted over to state law enforcement in their districts where they might someday be used to catch real criminals.

  13. Stormy Dragon Says:

    >I imagine we will all have the Second Amendment right to keep a
    >Kentucky rifle on our own land.

    Nah, your posession of that rifle would have an impact on the interstate illegal gun market and thus falls withing Congress’s power to ban.

  14. ColtCCO Says:

    And I’m supposed to vote for this party again, or the wrong lizard might get in?

    I’m a one – issue voter, and the correct supreme court decision here could mean a disbanded ATF. I could deal with that, I’ve spent enough endless days reviewing 4473 forms to really appreciate the deregulation of non-criminal paperwork/typographic errors, if nothing else. Every time someone slips up, customer or employee, it’s a point towards taking away your license and livelihood. Give us new legal untaxed Title II firearms, and the ability to garage-invent the next service weapon without going straight to jail, and we’ve see growth and innovation in the indutry on a massive scale.

    However, politics as usual in Washington. God forbid we take a bunch of government employees off the trough just because the Supreme Court of the land might say that their entire operation is unconsitutional. Scale back government power, scale down the bureaucracy? Never. Nothing will change, too many favors owed in DC.

    Thanks, Republican DOJ. I apprecite you looking out for me after I voted for your guy in the last election, I’ll be sure to make that mistake again, otherwise, they might elect a Democrat to do exactly what you’re doing now. Couldn’t have that.


  15. straightarrow Says:

    Jim W., I don’t putting the thugs at ATF into other law enforcement environments is the right idea. They can’t be trusted to uphold their oaths now, why could they be trusted anywhere else?

    If there is any justice in this nation, each and every one of them will have to learn to say “You want fries with that?”.

  16. Xrlq Says:

    I’m not wild about the brief, but I’m not terribly surprised by it, either. Bear in mind that if the Supremes accept the government’s position on the Second Amendment, it will still put that amendment in good company, applying essentially the same level of scrutiny as it does to laws alleged to discriminate by sex, as opposed to race.

  17. BC Says:

    I’m unenthused by that, Xrlq. The intermediate scrutiny standard is ultimately just the application of a judge’s subjective policy preferences. Gender discrimination laws are ostensibly reviewed under intermediate scrutiny, but are struck down as if they’re reviewed under strict scrutiny. Illegitimacy discrimination laws — presumptive paternity laws, for instance — are also ostensibly reviewed under intermediate scrutiny, but are upheld as if they’re reviewed under the rational basis standard.

    If the Court embraces the government’s approach, we’re likely to end up with a theoretical Second Amendment right to arms, but one which, as a practical matter, could only be infringed by the kind of wide-ranging gun bans which can’t pass Congress anyway. De facto legitimization of the entirety of the federal gun control regime is worse than the status quo, if you ask me.

  18. Joe Huffman Says:

    Think of this another way. Suppose we challenging some Federal restriction on firearms rather than D.C. laws. What sort of brief would the Feds write? They would essentially have to write one that supported the existing law. So why should they take a different position now?

    I’m not saying I like it. I’m just saying you can’t expect much better from them. And it could have been a lot worse. Look at the brief Janet Reno submitted.

  19. straightarrow Says:

    I would like to be able to withdraw more money from my bank than I ever put in. Doesn’t mean it’s right, or that I should.

    The constitution enjoins them from every gun law they have passed, what they would like is immaterial if the constitution is to be upheld. If it is not, then ………… well, you know, look at your clock.

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