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Assault Weapons Ban Before U.S. Supreme Court


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http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/assault-weapon-ban-u-s-supreme-court-n442056

 

The U.S. Supreme Court could announce as early as Tuesday whether it will hear a challenge to a suburban Chicago law banning firearms commonly known as assault weapons.

If the court agrees to hear the case, it would cast a shadow over similar bans in seven states. But declining to take it up would boost efforts to impose such bans elsewhere, at a time of renewed interest in gun regulation after recent mass shootings.

Gun rights advocates are challenging a 2013 law passed in Highland Park, Illinois, that bans the sale, purchase, or possession of semi-automatic weapons that can hold more than 10 rounds in a single ammunition clip or magazine. In passing the law, city officials cited the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

The ban also lists certain specific rifles, including those resembling the AR-15 and AK-47 assault-style firearms.

Semi-automatic weapons are capable of shooting a single round with each pull of the trigger and, consequently, can fire rapidly. Large capacity magazines reduce the need to reload as often.

A federal district judge upheld the law, and so did a federal appeals court panel by a 2-1 vote.

Central to the dispute is the Supreme Court's 2008 ruling that, for the first time, said the Constitution's Second Amendment provides an individual right to own a handgun for self-defense.

While it was a watershed ruling for gun rights, it also said "dangerous and unusual weapons" can be restricted.

The firearms banned by the Highland Park ordinance may be common, the appeals court said. But it added that "assault weapons with large-capacity magazines can fire more shots, faster, and thus can be more dangerous in the aggregate. Why else are they the weapons of choice in mass shootings?"

The opinion, written by Judge Frank Easterbrook, a Ronald Reagan appointee, said that "a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines might not prevent shootings in Highland Park (where they are already rare), but it may reduce the carnage if a mass shooting occurs."

The Illinois State Rifle Association, which is challenging the law's constitutionality, says the weapons are in no way unusual. The AR-15, the group says, is the best-selling rifle type in the nation.

Between 1990 and 2012, the group says, more than 5 million AR-type rifles were manufactured for sale in the U.S., and 3.4 million more were imported. As for the magazines, the gun rights group says they are "ubiquitous," with nearly 75 million of them in possession of gun owners.

In a friend of court brief urging the Supreme Court to take the case, lawyers for 24 states say the weapons banned by the Highland Park ordinance are not only commonly used, but are also protected by state laws that forbid local communities to restrict them.

A ruling striking down the city ordinance would undercut similar bans in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, and in Chicago and surrounding cities.

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Gun matters going to the Supreme Court does concern me.....all the eggs in one basket.

 

I agree...maybe better to let what happens in Chicago stay in Chicago instead of pushing the SCOTUS to make a decision.

 

On one hand, they could say the gov't doesn't have the right to ban anything, opening the door to repealing NFA and the like.

On the other hand, they could say local/state/fed can do what they're doing, emboldening more cities, states, or feds to enact even more tyranny.

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This is the most gun friendly SCOTUS we're likely to see for a generation.  If good things can't come from this court, imagine how much luck we might have with a few Hillary appointed Justices added to the mix.

 

I say taking well placed legal shots (no pun intended) now is an acceptable risk.

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I agree...maybe better to let what happens in Chicago stay in Chicago instead of pushing the SCOTUS to make a decision.

 

On one hand, they could say the gov't doesn't have the right to ban anything, opening the door to repealing NFA and the like.

On the other hand, they could say local/state/fed can do what they're doing, emboldening more cities, states, or feds to enact even more tyranny.

 

 

I hear ya K, but consider this:

 

 

If we loose, we're right back where we are.

 

 

But what if we win?

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I hear ya K, but consider this:

 

 

If we loose, we're right back where we are.

 

 

But what if we win?

 

It's my understanding that states interpret the constitutionality of bans differently, because it hasn't been ruled on by SCOTUS yet.

 

I agree that this ruling could go in our favor, which would make existing bans in the commie citices/states unconstitutional and thus null/void. Does that sound right?

 

If it doesn't go our way, it would serve as validation that existing bans were legal and may embolden any state/municipality that is on the the fence to institute bans of their own. Just a pessimistic expectation maybe?

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....

If it doesn't go our way, it would serve as validation that existing bans were legal and may embolden any state/municipality that is on the the fence to institute bans of their own. Just a pessimistic expectation maybe?

 

Same situation if they don't hear it. Means lower court decision stands as case law for any local jurisdiction to be essentially as restrictive as they want as long as they don't ban every type firearm completely.

 

The "degree of infringement" on something that is not to be infringed at all will be ongoing -- neither Heller nor McDonald was definitive about that at all.

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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As of now, the Supreme Court says that you have the right to own a handgun on your own property for protection.  The court never invalidated the magazine laws in several states that ban certain mags.  The court also never invalidated may issue or no issue carry laws.  That is why most people in NYC can only get a license to possess a handgun with a limited capacity magazine at home and the range.  People in DC are limited the same way in having to get a license just to own a handgun and if they want to carry they have to get a separate shall issue license that is almost not even worth getting.

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As of now, the Supreme Court says that you have the right to own a handgun on your own property for protection.  The court never invalidated the magazine laws in several states that ban certain mags.  The court also never invalidated may issue or no issue carry laws.  That is why most people in NYC can only get a license to possess a handgun with a limited capacity magazine at home and the range.  People in DC are limited the same way in having to get a license just to own a handgun and if they want to carry they have to get a separate shall issue license that is almost not even worth getting.

 

Further, "may issue", has not been struck down for the states. Which of course in  five states or more generally means "fat chance".

 

It looked like the San Diego case was gonna work it's way up, but it's just been sitting, dunno exactly what the story is there.

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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I'm with the others who said this going before the SCOTUS worries me...one decision could have a HUGE ripple effect that is either absolutely great for gun owners OR absolutely horrible for gun owners.

I dont plan on moving to Chicago anytime soon SO let them sort it out themselves...

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I'm with the others who said this going before the SCOTUS worries me...one decision could have a HUGE ripple effect that is either absolutely great for gun owners OR absolutely horrible for gun owners.

 

How would this be "absolutely horrible for gun owners" if SCOTUS upholds the lower courts decision?  If they don't take the case, the lower courts decisions would still stand, and nothing would change. 

 

If it gets put on the docket at SCOTUS, this case is either going to be a huge victory, or an oh-well-we-tried moment for gun rights.  If we lose, the bans already in place from the usual suspects stay and everything is the same as it was before.  But if we win, dependent on the ruling, it could strike down any AWB in the country and prevent others from being enacted. 

 

Now, it's not a given that the court will take this case.  I would put the odds at 50/50.  One thing that makes me think we have a decent chance if the court wants this case is that they would be looking to review something that has already been upheld at the district and appeals level.  Take this point:

A federal district judge upheld the law, and so did a federal appeals court panel by a 2-1 vote.

 

That's how they did it with Heller, and again in McDonald.  Both times, the circuit courts and the appeals courts had ruled against gun owners, but SCOTUS took the case anyway, and we got two huge wins.

 

Contrast that with the gay marriage case where they specifically waited for a conflict form appeals courts before taking the case, almost because they had to, and I like our chances in this can't really lose more than we have even if we lose scenario.

Edited by btq96r
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How would this be "absolutely horrible for gun owners" if SCOTUS upholds the lower courts decision? If they don't take the case, the lower courts decisions would still stand, and nothing would change.

If it gets put on the docket at SCOTUS, this case is either going to be a huge victory, or an oh-well-we-tried moment for gun rights. If we lose, the bans already in place from the usual suspects stay and everything is the same as it was before. But if we win, dependent on the ruling, it could strike down any AWB in the country and prevent others from being enacted.

Now, it's not a given that the court will take this case. I would put the odds at 50/50. One thing that makes me think we have a decent chance if the court wants this case is that they would be looking to review something that has already been upheld at the district and appeals level. Take this point:

A federal district judge upheld the law, and so did a federal appeals court panel by a 2-1 vote.

That's how they did it with Heller, and again in McDonald. Both times, the circuit courts and the appeals courts had ruled against gun owners, but SCOTUS took the case anyway, and we got two huge wins.

Contrast that with the gay marriage case where they specifically waited for a conflict form appeals courts before taking the case, almost because they had to, and I like our chances in this can't really lose more than we have even if we lose scenario.

I'll respond when I'm not in the car.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk Edited by tennesseetiger
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I wonder if it would be advantageous to call/email/contact our representatives or perhaps anyone else regarding this if they do decide to hear it?

It would seem that this would be the one thing ALL gun owners can get behind. But we will here the fudds crying the ARs and AKs should be outlawed because all a gun owner needs is a shotgun and bolt action. Edited by Dolomite_supafly
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I wonder if it would be advantageous to call/email/contact our representatives or perhaps anyone else regarding this if they do decide to hear it?

 

If you believe any of the 535 actually have any personal sway with any member of the court.

 

My sense is that each of the nine now breathes rarefied air, quite aloof from the influence of politics itself.

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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I hope they hear it.  Do it now.   The odds of this ever being a gun owners victory will get slim if the Dem's win the white house again.  We have a Judge who won't be there in a few more years.

The next new one will not be on our side.

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If you believe any of the 535 actually have any personal sway with any member of the court.

 

My sense is that each of the nine now breathes rarefied air, quite aloof from the influence of politics itself.

 

- OS

 

That was the design from the start...that the court could never be influenced by the backroom nature of politics by virtue of their lifetime appointments.  Justice Scalia made some comment about it a while back in an interview when the press asked him about the public pressure the President was trying to rally for one of the big cases (ACA or gay marriage, can't remember which).  He just shrugged it off and said that's why Justices are appointed for life.

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Sorry, but no one should be appointed for "Life" for anything. Just like no one should be elected for "Life" for anything. Just my :2cents:

 

I see the pros and cons to both sides, but ultimately, I come down in favor of lifetime appointments.  Imagine how combative things would be if justices at all levels of the judiciary needed to be nominated, or re-nominated, and confirmed on a cyclic basis?  Plus with one party holding the oval office for 8-12 years, the entire judiciary could become stacked one way or the other, and I want neither.

 

For what it's worth, here's what Alexander Hamilton (and presumably James Madison & John Jay) thought about this issue...

http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_78.html

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  Plus with one party holding the oval office for 8-12 years, the entire judiciary could become stacked one way or the other, and I want neither.

 

 

Like no one worries about that now?

I'm not saying there should be a term limit on the Supreme Court but maybe a age limit? Just so they can stay awake. :snore:

Edited by crossfire
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