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Pipe bombs unprotected by second amendment

Eugene Volokh has a look. The justices cannot conceive of any non-violent or lawful uses for a pipe bomb. It’s not like we have a whole holiday that is celebrated by blowing stuff up, now is it.

Pipe bombs from an ATF standpoint are bombs because the pipe becomes shrapnel when it explodes. Fireworks aren’t bombs because they’re made of paper. Joe could probably chime in if my understanding is incorrect.

Update: Looks like Sebastian has similar thoughts.

18 Responses to “Pipe bombs unprotected by second amendment”

  1. FatWhiteMan Says:

    Ok, so pipe bombs aren’t protected by the 2nd Amendment. So what part of the constitution allows the feds to regulate them in the first place regardless of if they are or are not protected by the 2nd?

  2. dustydog Says:

    What part of the constitution? Section 8 is usually cited, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

    General welfare being the key. Everything they do is for your own good, even if they have to throw you in prison.

  3. SayUncle Says:

    I’m gonna go with commerce clause, like everything else.

  4. Mikee Says:

    In Texas, one can legally own and use a spud gun for “pyrotechnic displays” but not for firing a projectile, because then it would be an “Any Other Weapon” per ATF and would need to be stamp taxed.

    On New Year’s Eve and on the 4th of July I used to use my son’s spud gun for pyrotechnic displays.

    Once many years ago I noticed that there was potato residue inside the barrel after my son and his friends took it into the woods. It was a complete mystery to me how it got potato peel in there. I suspect the spud gnomes.

  5. Mikee Says:

    And how about dry ice in a 2 liter Coke bottle? Makes a great big noise, as my kids and I found out one Halloween!

    Is that a bomb (as one Georgia Tech undergrad learned a few years ago, to his dismay) or is it a noisy fun device able to be safely used by normal folk?

    Boomerite is cool indeed, but those of us not licensed to BOOM need to have some fun, too.

  6. anon Says:

    “cannot conceive of any non-violent or lawful uses for a pipe bomb”

    Clearly, they’ve never tried to remove a stump.

  7. nk Says:

    The last time I looked, 1985, hand grenades were $3.00 each on the international market. Let’s say they’re $25.00 now. Pipe bombs are more dangerous to their user than to their intended victims. Just find the right peoples, guys. Just find the right peoples.

  8. Sebastian Says:

    Clearly, theyve never tried to remove a stump.

    Wouldn’t one just use raw explosive for that?

  9. Phenicks Says:

    Raw explosives would be better, but since Oklahoma, good luck getting Ammonia Nitrate and blasting caps. You could at one time buy dynamite quarters and caps but they are so regulated and expensive that renting a dozer or back hoe is cheaper. Makes fencing even more expensive then it needs to be.

  10. Joe Huffman Says:

    Idaho law defines “bomb” as:

    “Bomb” means any chemical or mixture of chemicals contained in such a manner that it can be made to explode with fire or force, and combined with the method or mechanism intended to cause its explosion. The term includes components of a bomb only when the individual charged has taken steps to place the components in proximity to each other, or has partially assembled components from which a completed bomb can be readily assembled. “Bomb” does not include: rifle, pistol or shotgun ammunition and their components; fireworks; boating, railroad and other safety flares or propellants used in model rockets or similar hobby activities.

    A “bomb”, by Idaho law, is not necessarily illegal. If you are a convicted felon or by design the bomb propels shrapnel then possession of a bomb is illegal.

    So, I’m saying Idaho law is essentially in agreement with Say Uncle. I have not investigated Federal law.

    My recreational activities with explosives are based on making “reactive targets” and I’m a little touchy about calling them “bombs” although, by Idaho law, they are just that. They are legal however because no convicted felons have possession of them and they do not, by design, propel shrapnel.

    From the same reference as the definition of “bomb”:

    “Shrapnel” means any metal, ceramic, glass, hard plastic or other material of sufficient hardness to puncture human skin when propelled by force of the bomb or destructive device to which it is attached or in which it is contained.

    My thoughts on pipe bombs are that I think, strictly speaking, they probably should be legal under the 2A. But the only legitimate use is probably as a means of overthrowing a tyrannical government in which case I would call it a hand grenade. And hence the powers that be, should you be using it for a lawful purpose, won’t be giving you a pass when/if you get your day in court anyway. So it doesn’t really make much difference if it is illegal or not.

    I do start getting a little concerned when explosive and their components are difficult to obtain–as they almost are now. You can still buy Tannerite and other explosives without much fuss or record keeping. But getting C-4, blasting agents, or detonators requires a Federal permit or license.

    If you want to turn money into smoke and noise then use cardboard for the confinement and call it a firecracker (or reactive target) rather than plastic or steel pipes (and calling it a pipe bomb). It’s safer for everyone and it doesn’t scare the sheeple as much.

  11. Joe Huffman Says:

    Whoops! I forgot to terminate my hyperlink. Sorry about that.

  12. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    My understanding of Section 8 is that it gives congress the ability to spend money on the general welfare, but not the ability to pass laws.

    This is why the feds can bribe states to lower their speed limits, or BAC limits, but not directly legislate those things themselves.

  13. Matt Groom Says:

    I would argue that only direct fire weapons were protected by the 2nd. Indirect fire weapons cannot be directed at a specific target and are often used to engage targets that are beyond one’s visual range. In the event of a civil war, I would expect that all military style munitions would be acquired throughout the course of the fighting, with several military units joining the militia and patriots as well. But as far as things like crew served weapons, indirect fire weapons, and “Bombs”(I would only classify something as a “Bomb” if it was an explosive device that was intended to inflict serious physical injury and or death upon humans. A flash bang is not a bomb, nor is dynamite.) are probably not reasonably protected items. I think the 2A is probably intended to protect reasonably practical weaponry. Things that are full-auto are sorta pushing the practicality aspect, but .50 BMGs is not.

  14. RAH Says:

    Nowhere in the 2A does it say handguns or rifles. The Arms are destructive devices used to hurt or main in defense or offense. Bombs are certainly are armament and so is cannon. Naval ships of war and artillery all of which are protected to be possesed by the people under the 2A. The only restriction is use and cost.

    If local zoning allows me to have a tank and I can afford it then I can buy a tank. I can be prosecuted if I use the tank to crush cars or shoot at someone elses property.

    Pipe bombs are the poor mans grenade. Inefficient but protected under 2A. The 2A is not for just shooters and gunnies. Those numchucks are also arms as well as knives and swords.

    This seems to be more that gunnies want their toys protected but fail to appreciate the larger issue. Like hunters are OK if other guns are banned as long as their guns are OK.

  15. Standard Mischief Says:

    …The justices cannot conceive of any non-violent or lawful uses for a pipe bomb…

    Hey, we need those pipe bombs to blow up flesh-covered robots from Skynet! 😉

  16. Sebastian Says:

    I think Joe essentially boils down my argument with this here. Whether it’s illegal or not doesn’t really matter. If it ever comes to the cattle cars, there will be pipe bombs, and their legality will be of little consequence. I share his concern over the regulation of precursors, and explosive components.

  17. Kim du Toit Says:

    Uncle, I’m a little disappointed with your stand on this issue. It’s talk like this which just confirms all the fears that the non-gun-owning public has for gun owners. The above comment has it nailed:

    “I would argue that only direct fire weapons were protected by the 2nd. Indirect fire weapons cannot be directed at a specific target and are often used to engage targets that are beyond ones visual range.”

    Guns have specific targets; bombs are indiscriminate. Bombs should be regulated, even as guns shouldn’t be. As the man said, the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, and if we want to kill the 2A, insisting on the right to own C4 would be a quick way to do it.

    Lumping bombs in with guns as a Constitutional protection is just plain insanity. This on a par with saying that the 2A allows individuals to possess nuclear weapons.

    Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy.

  18. SayUncle Says:

    Kim, I did not really take a stand on the issue other than noting what current laws are. So, not sure what you’re disappointed about unless you mistook my smart ass remark about fireworks (not bombs) for a position.

    At some point, we will have to have the conversation about what is protected. And this case could be the start.