No, I’m not talking about ISIS—unless you’re a hermit (or get your news exclusively from MSNBC), you’re well aware of the reality of terrorism. From Fort Hood to San Bernardino to Orlando, it’s already here in America.
But there is a different kind of threat, one that has long-term implications for our freedoms. I’m talking about the courts. And two recent legal decisions do not bode well for those of us who carry firearms to protect ourselves.
In Pennsylvania, the legislature, led by two Republicans, had passed a bill that permitted gun owners to challenge local regulations that were more restrictive than state law. This has been a recurring problem, and many states have passed similar “preemption” laws to prevent such inconsistencies.
But last year, the Commonwealth Court overturned the law on a technicality, which opened the door once again for local abuse of gun owners’ rights. House Speaker Mike Turzai, and Senate President Joe Scarnati, both Republicans, appealed the Commonwealth ruling. The Senate GOP general counsel, Drew Compton, noted that too many towns were going overboard in regulating gun owners.
Naturally, the pro-gun-rights legislators appealed the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. But unfortunately, last month the state’s highest court upheld the Commonwealth’s decision and declined to renew the law. So Pennsylvania gun owners can find themselves perfectly legal in one county or town, but in violation of some local statute in another, often without even knowing it.
In California, another decision occurred that is even more ominous. As reported in USA Today:
“A federal appeals court upheld California’s law restricting who can carry a concealed gun in public Thursday, adding fuel to a nationwide debate over Second Amendment rights that could wind up at the Supreme Court.
The 7-4 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reverses a 2014 ruling from its three-judge panel, which had struck down restrictions imposed by two California counties based on state law.”
Now, for those of you who don’t follow law as closely as we do, the 9th Circuit is the most often overturned appeals court in the nation. They simply get it wrong. A lot. But in this case, the opinions expressed by the court concerning your right to carry a gun to protect yourself are truly frightening:
“We hold that the Second Amendment does not protect, in any degree, the carrying of concealed firearms by members of the general public,” Judge William Fletcher wrote for the majority. He said the judges “need not, and do not, answer the question of whether or to what degree the Second Amendment might or might not protect a right of a member of the general public to carry firearms openly in public.” [Emphasis ours]
It was noted that the appeals court ruling “does not affect states within its jurisdiction that have more liberal [carry] laws; it merely allows more liberal states, such as California, to impose tougher restrictions.”
California’s Democrat Governor Jerry Brown also just signed 6 new gun bills into law, including a refurbished “assault weapons” ban, and magazine restrictions that make you a criminal if you don’t turn in currently possessed magazines!
Okay, it IS California. But remember that, unlike Las Vegas, “what happens in California does NOT stay in California.” Just about every bad law that starts there ends up spreading nationwide.
The 2016 election is coming…