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Guns in the News: Separation of Powers?


I’m guessing that you are one of the millions of hard-working, family-oriented Americans and that you, too, are wondering about the future of this marvelous country. Perhaps you are also wondering why the U.S. Supreme Court has avoided upholding the Second Amendment.

On the face of it, day-to-day, your rights to hunt and shoot and carry concealed have not changed lately. The NRA’s Institute of Legislative Action has highlighted the cases that the Court — despite clear constitutional direction — is avoiding.

Case in Point

New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York: The Association is challenging New York’s verminous firearms regulations as an affront to a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. Can the city prohibit licensed handgun owners from transporting their firearms, locked in a case and unloaded, outside the city for lawful purposes? Instances may be to a home outside the city or for practice or competition. The association wants unrestricted access to firearms, which are, after all, legal commodities.

On a technicality, the court simply sent the case back — remanded it — to lower courts. Although the city fought the association for years, as soon as the justices said they would hear the case, New York City admitted that the regulations had no bearing on public safety and changed its regulations to allow licensees to take their guns to ranges, competitions and second homes outside municipal limits.

But wait! Then NYC added this pettifogging detail: Licensees had to travel “directly” between their residences and the permitted destinations, and any portion of a trip within the city itself had to be “continuous and uninterrupted.”

The case illustrates several points — the first being that, based on its corporate tax base, an inner-city government will have virtually inexhaustible funds to obstruct your right to life, liberty and property.

As an aside, by changing the offending regulation at the last minute and thus receiving a pass from the justices, Justice Samuel Alito noted that the court’s refusal to make a ruling — presumably one in favor of America’s founding documents — prohibited the association of sportsmen from recouping attorney’s fees and damages, which have amounted to millions of dollars. Two wrongs and still no rights!

The second point is how important it is to belong to the NRA and the USCCA. Individually, even as small clubs, it can be difficult to fight the myopic injustices surrounding gun ownership. It is only by banding together that we can protect our rights.

Yet More Are Coming…

The NRA was a supporting plaintiff for New York’s sportsmen in the above case and notes that nearly a dozen other Second Amendment cases are available and may be considered by the court in extended session before the end of the year. Two cases concern may-issue carry permitting and the right to bear arms in public for self-defense: New Jersey (Thomas Rogers v. Gurbir Grewal, Attorney General) and Maryland (Brian Malpasso v. William Pallozzi, Secretary of State Police).

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