Armed with the Supreme Court’s recent gun rights ruling regarding the right to bear firearms in self-defense, Second Amendment advocates are running to lower courts to contest laws that range from restrictions on age for handgun purchase to firearm types bans.
Targets are laws which existed prior to the ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen and any new laws that Democrat led states have rushed enacting in response to the 6-3 decision. This decision lifted New York’s restriction on conceal-carry permits being issued.
” This is only the start of what’s likely to be an explosion of lawsuits commenced by gun-rights-oriented plaintiffs,” stated Mark W. Smith who is a Second Amendment expert at Ave Maria School of Law.
“Just like Brown v. Board of Education marked a historic moment in dismantling Jim Crow’s’separate, but equal’ system and in ensuring equal rights, so is Bruen a landmark decision that will pave way for a more thorough vindication of civil rights under Section 2 Amendment,” Smith stated.
It’s clear to see why gun rights advocates are so excited.
The court struck down New York’s concealed weapon permit law, as well as similar laws from five other states. This has sparked what activists believe will be an avalanche of gun owners applying for permits.
However, Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion served as a legal lecture to judges and encouraged them to take the Second Amendment jurisprudence of the High Court seriously.
He stated that the only test the courts should apply to is whether or not a restriction on firearms would have been reasonable for the founder generation who drafted and ratified Second Amendment. He wrote that if the answer is no, then the law should be replaced by the Constitution.
Justice Thomas stated that lower courts had created a two-part test. It looked at history, then balanced it against the states’ reasons for buying bans.
” Despite its popularity, this two-step method is too complicated,” he stated.
The Second Amendment Foundation already requested a federal judge use the one-step historical test to challenge a federal ban against handgun sales by persons under 21.. The foundation said historically it was lawful for 18-year-olds to own firearms.
“Text, history and tradition all point uniformly in this case toward 18-to-20-year-olds having equal rights to other adults with respect to firearms, including the right to purchase them, and the Government has not pointed to any sufficiently rooted analogous historical restrictions that would take this case outside the scope of the Second Amendment’s protections,” the group argued in its case, Reese et. al. v. BATFE.
The Firearms Policy Coalition is also pointing out Bruen during its lawsuit against New York’s assault weapon ban. Although the law was upheld by a lower court, the coalition is arguing that Bruen should alter the court’s legal analysis.
“There are no constitutionally significant differences between semi-automatic handguns, shotguns, or rifles. Although some physical characteristics may be different (e.g. wood stocks vs. furniture or metal stocks, number and location of grips and muzzle devices vs. bare muzzles), barrel lengths and other factors, there are no differences in their exteriors. They are identical in every respect,” the group claimed in its complaint.
” Any regulation banning firearm ownership for common lawful purposes such as self-defense would be against the nation’s tradition .”
Democratic-led states resist the Supreme Court’s decision.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed this week a law that allows victims of gun violence and state and local governments to file civil liability suits against firearms producers.
New York lawmakers responded to Supreme Court’s decision on concealed carry permits by passing new legislation declaring that sensitive areas of the state are off limits to weapons. The permit holders will also need to request permission before they can carry on private property.
Permit applicants would need to provide information from their social media accounts.
Carl Paladino is a New York State candidate for Congress and has filed suit to stop the new law.
” New York Democrats apparently didn’t see the section of Justice Thomas’s opinion that said: “The Constitution right to bear arms publically for self-defense [is not] a second-class rights, subject to an entirely other body of rules than what is required by the Bill of Rights,” Mr. Paladino stated.
He stated that he is willing to fight until the Supreme Court.
Legal professionals said that it may be a while before the courts take up a second, high-profile Second Amendment case again.
It had been over a decade since justices made their rulings in the Heller-McDonald cases, which established the right of every person to keep and bear arms.
” “Generally speaking, court views are that it leaves even crucial legal questions to lower courts to resolve in the first instance,” Eugene Volokh of UCLA School of Law said. It takes time for a new case to be brought up .
Stephen Dinan was a contributor to this report.