Shoot 'Em While You Got 'Em

|

Via DCist (motto: "the BigHeadRob of D.C. blogs"), more news on D.C. gun rights:

We've just learned that this morning the Court of Appeals denied the District's request for a new hearing before the full court, effectively pushing the case, Parker vs. District of Columbia, to the Supreme Court. The case, originally presented by six District residents, argued that the city's gun laws, which date back to 1976 and forbid the ownership of handguns, unconstitutionally limited the residents' Second Amendment rights.

Jacob Sullum had the first comment on the overturn of D.C.'s gun ban back in March.

Advertisement

NEXT: War as a Reason to Go Democratic in 2008

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So, what if:

    1. DC doesn’t appeal
    2. DC enacts a law allowing ownership, but subject to extremely onerous licensing provisions that acts as a de facto ban (ala NYC).

    Doesn’t that mean more years of litigation, with no SC case?

    The only way you had a guaranteed SC case was if the plaintiffs LOST (and, of course, the SC would have had to accepted cert.)

    This might not be a course DC chooses, but it makes perfect sense for the Brady Bunch to urge it upon them–it would probably put any 2A case well into the term of the next administration, which might give a liberal president the chance to make a couple of appointments. Unfortunately for the gun grabbers, it looks like the next SC vacancy (Stevens) is one of their anti-2A votes, so they would need somebody like Scalia or Thomas to get ill during a liberal administration.

  2. DC enacts a law allowing ownership, but subject to extremely onerous licensing provisions that acts as a de facto ban (ala NYC).

    That is essentially the current situation in DC.

    I fail to see how this can be anything but a win for the pro-gun side: if the SC upholds, that’s obviously a win, and if the SC overturns, that is simply the effective existing status quo.

    Either way, it keeps the issue front-and-center during the election cycle, which is also good for the pro-2A side, as it forces the Dems to either sway pro-2A, or loose the election.

  3. But Kap, the law can be tweaked to be technically different although the same in substantive effect–that is my point.

  4. Also, see some advanced “what-if”s here:

    http://volokh.com/posts/1178646019.shtml

  5. I am not a con-law expert (or any lawyer for that matter), but I believe that the reasoning of the ruling found that the 2a was an individual right, from which it follows that any law de facto banning possession is unconstitutional. This would suggest that any different-but-the-same law would fall under this ruling.

    You are right, though, this could mean years of litigation. However, the DC admin would run the risk of being found in contempt, and being forced to pay damages, and perhaps this would limit that?

    A more likely scenario is capitulation on the part of DC to moot the point and keep it out of the SC (and thus out of the election).

    Very interesting discussions must be occurring in the various halls of power in DC right now.

  6. May you live in interesting times…

    I would be interested to see what the result of the courts declaring that infringements on the 2nd Amendment must meet standards of strict scrutiny on par with the 1st Amendment.

  7. My prediction: DC drops the matter, doesn’t appeal, and gets its back scratched: perhaps lots of noise from the Dems regarding its disenfranchisement? Or some big hunk of pork.

  8. add a “would be” to the end of my previous post.

    Sheesh.

  9. But what about the second-hand smoke from recently-fired guns?

  10. Russ 2000 wins the thread.

  11. On behalf of Big Head DC, we’d like to extend a cheerful shout-out right back at ya, David. But the site’s URL is http://bigheadDC.com, silly.

  12. But what about the second-hand smoke from recently-fired guns?

    Maybe trace amounts of corn syrup too.

  13. May you live in interesting times…

    Sometimes you wish so…

    Ok, guys, here’s something nobody is talking about. DC has some of the absolute most obnoxious laws when it comes to AMMO that you’ll ever see. For instance, if I’m caught driving through DC with a spent 9mm casing, I can get busted as a) I don’t have a registered handgun in DC even though I don’t live there, b) I do have a 9mm carbine, but it’s not registered there, tough, c) If I have a 15 round mag to go with my spent 9mm casing, that makes it a “machine gun” under DC, so I get hosed there too, but that’s not ammo, d) even if it’s a facsimilie, say a dummy round, it’s the same as having actual live rounds.

    My prediction, some asshole will tighten up the pistol caliber ammo laws worse than the hard pucker they already are. This will probably be something along the lines of “regardless of registered firearms, etc, all pistol caliber ammo is illegal, period, and we’ll set up random roadbloacks manned by red light camera loving proctologists to enforce it” and you’ll have a firearm with all the usefulness of a hockey puck.

    Yes, there are pistols that shoot rifle calibers, that would only serve to outlaw those calibers also.

    That would tie it up to the next case, in another 30 years, where someone would argue that a firearm without ammo is a boat without water, so a defacto prohibition exists, but it’s not about right and wrong, it’s about Brady Bunch power and how long they can dick with people and not be discovered.

    (trying again…can’t seem to post)

  14. But what about the second-hand smoke from recently-fired guns?

    Sorry Russ (& thoreau), although amusing, any gun pedant [ahem] would tell you that nearly all modern firearms use smokeless powder.

    On the other hand, if you are a Civil War re-enactor, you could be at risk (unless at least 2 meters upwind).

  15. Other Matt,

    Same thing I was thinking. Lots more crappy laws in the cue to get rid of.

    Kap,

    I fail to see how this can be anything but a win for the pro-gun side

    I fail to see how this can be anything but a win for the pro-gun pro-freedom side

    Fixed that for you

    ji,

    Apparently you have not been around bad ventilation and “smokeless powder” much.

  16. I love the smell of cordite in the morning. Smells like…freedom.

  17. Apparently you have not been around bad ventilation and “smokeless powder” much.

    I do prefer outdoor ranges. I was with a friend at an indoor range when we noted the [lack of] air quality. Apparently someone had shut off the ventilation system. Flip of a switch and much improvement.

  18. Side note: it is still illegal to carry concealed in DC unless you work for a Democrat. Just ask Jim Webb.

    Also, up in Jersey, a bunch of illegal immigrants were arrested for plotting a terrorist attack on Ft. Dix. Instead of using bombs like the Weatherman Underground, they were going to use rifles and pistols.

  19. Sorry Russ (& thoreau), although amusing, any gun pedant [ahem] would tell you that nearly all modern firearms use smokeless powder.

    I’m not very knowledgable about guns, I pretty much limit my recreational shooting to a CO2 pistol. So I guess if you can’t get pissed at me for second-hand smoke you can get pissed at me for global warming.

    Pretty much every activity of mine will piss somebody off. You’re welcome.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.