Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Have Gun, Can't Travel

New York City’s arbitrary restrictions on transporting firearms give SCOTUS a chance to curtail rampant disrespect for the Second Amendment.

The first time the Supreme Court defended the Second Amendment, it overturned a Washington, D.C., law that made it a crime to keep any sort of accessible and operable firearm in the home for self-defense. Two years later, the Court struck down a Chicago law that went almost as far, banning possession of handguns within the city limits.

Last week the Court accepted a case involving another extreme example of gun control: a law that prohibits New Yorkers from taking their legally owned handguns with them when they travel outside the city. This is only the third time in more than a decade that the justices have grappled with the question of which firearm restrictions are consistent with the Second Amendment, and the history of the case shows why that reckoning is overdue.

Most New York City residents can legally own handguns only by obtaining a license that requires them to keep the weapons at home. The sole exception is for trips to one of the seven target shooting ranges within the city, when the firearms have to be unloaded and locked in a container separate from the ammunition.

Three New Yorkers, joined by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, are challenging that rule, which they say unconstitutionally interferes with their right to keep guns for self-defense and to hone the skills required for that purpose. One of the plaintiffs would like to take his handgun to a second home in Delaware County, and all three want the freedom to bring their firearms to ranges and shooting competitions outside the city.

The only public safety rationale the city has offered for stopping them is that they might be tempted to use the guns in "stressful situations." As the gun owners note in their brief seeking Supreme Court review, "the City put forth no empirical evidence that transporting an unloaded handgun, locked in a container separate from its ammunition, poses a meaningful risk to public safety."

Even if it did, New York's restrictions tend to magnify the supposed danger by forcing gun owners to use ranges within the city when alternatives in other jurisdictions are closer and more accessible. They therefore spend more time traveling with their guns on New York's streets than they otherwise would.

The government's half-baked excuse nevertheless was enough to persuade a federal judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that the ban on taking handguns out of the city is consistent with the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Both concluded that New York's transparently irrational restrictions survived "intermediate scrutiny," meaning they are "substantially related to the achievement of an important governmental interest."

That sort of reasoning epitomizes the inappropriately deferential approach that many federal courts continue to take in Second Amendment cases. If the government can articulate a reason for restricting gun rights, no matter how implausible, that is usually enough to sustain the law.

"The City's transport ban lacks even a rational basis, much less the heightened showing necessary to justify burdens on constitutional rights," the plaintiffs note. The need to curtail this rampant disrespect for the Second Amendment is the reason this case is important, even though it involves a law that the plaintiffs describe as "an extreme outlier" and a "one-of-a-kind prohibition."

For too long the Supreme Court has tolerated a form of casual judicial review in gun cases that would never fly in the context of other constitutional rights. The justices have passed up one opportunity after another to clarify the level of scrutiny that should be applied to gun control laws, the constitutionality of bans on arbitrary categories of firearms or magazines, and the extent to which the Second Amendment applies outside the home.

This case will not resolve all of those issues. But it is a first step toward enforcing the Court's belated recognition that the Second Amendment imposes meaningful limits on legislators.

© Copyright 2019 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That sort of reasoning epitomizes the inappropriately deferential approach that many federal courts continue to take in Second Amendment cases. If the government can articulate a reason for restricting gun rights, no matter how implausible, that is usually enough to sustain the law.

    This is an enumerated right. There should be a high bar for violating it.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    It is truly astonishing to any impartial observer that this enumerated right is treated so shabbily when numerous unenumerated rights are treated as if written by the gods (Marx? Keynes? FDR? Not sure who the Progressive gods are, and it's politicians of all persuasions).

    They scream bloody murder about voter ID, about abortion, about driver licenses for illegal immigrants, but think nothing of flat denying the right to self-defense.

    What I hope for from this is clear notice that strict scrutiny is all that counts for this enumerated right.

    What I fear is that Roberts will decide to defer to legislatures as he did with Obamacare, and to restore balance to the Supreme Court. I simply do not trust him. He waffles so much he'd have to recuse himself if Waffle House or even IHOP ever had a case in front of him.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Awful House welcomes the alphabet troll.

  • Zeb||

    Troll?

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    lc1789 hates being reminded of his failings; anyone doing so gets a troll comment.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Alphabet troll knows that its a troll.

    Hence the revenge script.

  • Zeb||

    What do you think "troll" means? Someone who disagrees with you?

  • TGoodchild||

    I see him recusing himself in open court, standing up, and as we walks off the bench a bunch of buttery Belgian waffles fall out of his robe, to an awed hush. In disgrace, he drowns himself in a bathtub of Mrs. Buttersworth.

  • mtrueman||

    "but think nothing of flat denying the right to self-defense."

    I don't think there is anything mysterious about this. The New York legislature has concluded that New Yorkers and Americans in general aren't to be trusted without restricted access to firearms. The constitution was written for Americans of a different character, courageous and open, unlike the frightened and resentful Americans of today.

  • Jason Cavanaugh||

    A conclusion they are welcome to reach, but not permitted to act upon in this manner.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Who will stop them? Unconstitutionality is less and less of a hurdle each year.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Isn't this type of reasoning by the government the reason that there is a second amendment in the first place?

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    I can't seem to get any of my relatives to remember that.

  • Rob Misek||

    The biggest proponents for irrational arguments, for coming to conclusions based on emotion regardless of the facts, are women.

    You can't reason with this group, yet they demand credibility and the right to vote.

    So how do we make pussies feel good about guns?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Trolling": Making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional knee jerk reaction from unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com.....m=Trolling

  • Rob Misek||

    "I know you are, but what am I?" D.T.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    They have an absolute right to vote. They also have an absolute right to live with the results. Credibility they will have to earn, like everybody else. Thus far, they aren't doing that well.

  • Rossami||

    I know Rob is just trolling but it's worth pointing out that women are the fastest growing demographic in the NRA.

    In other words, a great many women already feel good about guns.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    Yeah, I was going to say,
    The two biggest gun enthusiasts I know are both women, one in her 30s and one in her 40s. One helped found a gun range and is an instructor there.

  • Rob Misek||

    Hey that's great that more women are feeling good about guns.

    I responded to the article referring to irrational support for the proposed law.

    Emotion exists only in the absence of fact based reason and women are widely recognized as coming to conclusions based on emotion. Much more so than men.

    https://www.decision-making-
    confidence.com/gender-differences-in-decision-
    making.html

    How is the relevant use of logic and science trolling? Fuck you.

  • Zeb||

    Emotion exists only in the absence of fact based reason

    Umm. No. That's just not the case.

  • Rob Misek||

    Which emotion requires rational scrutiny? What rational scrutiny requires emotion? None

    Reason and emotion are mutually exclusive.

    I'm sure emotions have some function in a human organism. It just has nothing to do with rational behaviour.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>>women are widely recognized as coming to conclusions based on emotion

    good. logically, we'd never get laid.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    " women are the fastest growing demographic in the NRA.

    In other words, a great many women already feel good about guns"

    No. A fast growing demographic usually means a great many women don't already feel good about guns, but more of the few are coming around.

    Saying the two most enthusiastic gun supporters you know are women doesn't change the fact that an overwhelming majority of women are against guns.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    In other words, a great many women already feel good about guns.

    Well, as we've been often been reminded, a gun is just a substitute for a penis

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The justices have passed up one opportunity after another to clarify the level of scrutiny that should be applied to gun control laws, the constitutionality of bans on arbitrary categories of firearms or magazines, and the extent to which the Second Amendment applies outside the home."

    Maybe I've been traumatized by the "penaltax" ruling and Gonzales v. Raich, but nowadays I almost dread seeing the Court take up issues I care about. Their rulings so often seem to be about finding novel ways to justify the status quo. I wish the Court saw its job and my rights the way I do, but it doesn't.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    2nd Amendment:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    All gun control is unconstitutional and should be repealed immediately or struck down by the courts.

    Any judge who refuses to strike down gun control laws should be impeached immediately.

    No background checks, ammo bans, gun bans, gun limits, machines gun bans, explosive limitations, knife bans, or any other law that infringes on the People's right to keep and bear Arms. All Armaments.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I would argue that "Keep and bear" strongly implies that the second amendment applies only to those arms that can be used and maintained by an individual (given appropriate supplies). Thus; no Tanks, no crew serviced machine-guns, no nuclear warheads.

    Otherwise, I agree with you.

    Expectations of it being viewed that way legally in my lifetime? Nil.

  • awildseaking||

    Tanks can be owned legally, albeit in a purely vehicular state. Individual service and operation is debatable based on your timeframe and measures of effectiveness. Technically, one person could use all 3 of the weapons you provided as examples.

    Nuclear warheads and other weapons of war are trickier because if you own these, you are a de facto independent state.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The problem with judges making law when clearly the 2A has zero exceptions for non-crew serviced weapons etc is that they keep twisting the law.

    If we Americans dont want average Joes having nukes, amend the Constitution.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The gun exception abomination just will get worse and worse as we develop cheap and effective laser weapons, hand held detonators that explode like stars, etc.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "Tanks can be owned legally,"

    The Founders agonized over their words and came up with "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Clearly the right is for "bearable" arms, but even beyond that the word "arms" had a definition at the time as weapons one carrys for self-defense (see HELLER).

    Love is wrong, "arms' is not a short hand use for armaments. If the Founders had wanted to say "armaments" or "the sword and every terrible implement of war" they would have done so.

    MILLER said those weapons had to have some usefulness to the militia. Justice Hugo Black who participated in MILLER said later that "MILLER stands for the proposition that only arms useful to the militia are protected but that protection is ABSOLUTE".

    The is some room to argue about the purpose of the militia clause of the 2A but the individual rights clause is simple English but too many gun owners want to twist it into protected tanks and even warships that are clearly not bearable arms.

  • Zeb||

    I think that's a reasonable interpretation of the intent and meaning. And it's silly to argue about nukes and missiles and war ships. How about starting with the clearly correct argument that things like automatic weapons and short barreled shotguns and suppressors are protected by the 2nd.

  • Nardz||

    And RPGs, and stinger missiles, though not landmines.

    According to the above definition

  • AZ Gunowner||

    No, you would not carry RPG"s or stingers for self-defense (of offense in case of confrontation).

    Just because they are "bearable" doesn't make them "arms".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    AZgunowner, you keep your rifles and pistols for self-defense.

    I will keep whatever weapon I want for self-defense. I choose rifles, grenades, land mines, bombs, swords, knives, pistols, tanks, rockets, flame throwers, and anything else that I can afford.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Do what you want pal.

    Just don't expect me to pretend that clear English sentences don't mean what they clearly mean.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Yes, the real question is why is a shotgun with an 18 1/2 barrel ok but not one shorter.

    And why is the full auto M16 or Tommy Gun not protected. Those could quite easily qualify as "arms".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Machine guns are protected by the 2nd Amendment.

    Its why even the government has not "banned" them. They tried to regulate machine guns out of existence.

    I have machines guns because all you need is a Federal firearms license (FFL)

    In fact, having multiple FFLs for other destructive things are fun too.
    Federal Firearms License (FFL)

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Unfortunately that is a position that is not shared by the SC.

    Actually don't you need a Class III FFL?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Look up the link retard.

    Jesus Christ.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Go own that machine gun without an FFL and see how fast the gov't puts you in jail.

    Gawd you are stupid.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The fake AZ gunowner is scared of the government.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I know that you guys WANT Arms to mean anything but Armaments.

    Its why you bring cannons to bear on the enemy, naval guns to bear on enemy ships, etc.

    "Keep" means to own, possess, and have. "Bear" means to use, have, and handle.

    Articles of Confedration, Article VI: No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress assembled, for the defense of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgement of the United States in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of filed pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.

    Sometimes "Arms" is short for armaments. Armaments include but not limited to: rifles, ammo, pistols, knives, cannons, ships, tanks, grenades, bombs, machetes, swords, and any other weapon created.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If "Arms" does not mean armaments, then ammo is NOT covered under the 2nd Amendment and that is stupid. Small arms without ammo are nearly worthless.

    The 2A says nothing about the right of the People to keep and bear ammo.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    No, that is silly.

    Ammunition for fire"ams" is clearly part of the "arm" and therefor also protected.

    At the time of the Founding, and as used in the 2A, "arms" did not mean any other weapon created.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Luckily, even our corrupt government does not agree with you.

    I love blowing stuff up, shooting my machine guns, and driving my armored vehicles on my property.

    Thank God for the 2nd Amendment.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    It is one thing to be obtuse it is another thing to glory in it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Because you're wrong and you provide zero citations to convince us otherwise.

    In your honor, I will be offline for an hour, while I blow some shit up on my property and shoot my machine guns and drive my armored vehicle around.

    God bless the 2nd Amendment!

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Are you really so silly that "to keep and bear arms" means "ou bring cannons to bear on the enemy, naval guns to bear on enemy ships:?

    Really?

    You just want the 2A to mean what you want it to mean.

  • Nardz||

    But you restrict it to that which "can be used for self defense", despite there being no textual basis for it?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    What did the words mean at the time the Founders wrote the 2A?

    Keep is pretty easy, have or own. "keep arms in their houses" but no one would have referred to keeping a cannon in their house.

    Bear also easy. To carry.

    But what about "arms". Well to quote Heller -

    Timothy Cunningham's important 1771 legal dictionary defined "arms" as "any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The fake AZ gunowner thinks Heller is government permission to own armaments.

  • Lawn Darts||

    Who cares what he wastes his money on? At the point that he murders someone with those things, we can talk.

  • Zeb||

    Why do you think it has anything to do with what we want it to mean?

    The question is what "arms" means. The quotation you provide doesn't give us any more information on what the founders considered arms and is consistent with the reading that AZGunOwner was arguing for.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Zeb and AZ fake gun owner with no citation to back them up.

    Good times.

  • Miles Fortis||

    Sorry AZ.
    As I posted earlier.
    SCOTUS in Heller rules that Keep and Bear are two distinct separate rights that are not codependent on each other.
    In other words, you can Keep arms and you can Bear arms. You can do both at the same time. but that doesn't restrict the people to only arms that can be borne by an individual.

    You may not agree with, or like, how SCOTUS ruled, and you can pretend all you want.

    But like Honey Badger, SCOTUS don't care, and neither does anyone else.

    And neither does anyone else.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Wishful thinking on what the SC in Heller said.

    Heller quoted the 1771 legal definition of arms - weapons that are carried for self-defense.

    Heller didn't change that definition.

  • Rossami||

    And yet, CSP, crew-served weapons including cannons and naval warships were routinely owned by private individuals at the time of the Founding.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    The elephant in the room that no one wants to remember or acknowledge.

  • Zeb||

    And maybe people should be allowed to own those things. That doesn't mean that the 2nd necessarily guarantees that people can do that.

  • Miles Fortis||

    2A restricts the government from infringing on the rights, not that the government gives them to you.

    Read the Preamble to the Bill of Rights:

    THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Early Americans lent their cannons, ships, cavalry horses to the Continental Army.

    I seriously doubt that Armaments that saved Georgia Washington, Ben Franklin, Hamilton, Adams, etc from being hanged as traitors to the Crown would only want to protect swords, rifles, and pistols.

    Nukes would be included but could easily be unprotected via a Constitutional Amendment or the fact that nobody would help their neighbor build a nuke. A lot of people would be required to build a nuke from scratch.

    BTW, the federal government still gets to regulate interstate and international commerce, so you cannot just buy a nuke.

  • Zeb||

    What if the nuke was produced entirely within one state?

    Would the same not also apply to guns if, as you are arguing, guns and nuclear bombs are in the same category of "arms"?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I love hypotheticals.

  • Miles Fortis||

    SCOTUS in Heller ruled that "Keep" and "Bear" are two separate rights, not codependent on each other, but able to be exercised individually and together.
    Thus, your argument fails state of the court jurisprudence.

    BTW, private individuals - today - own, and use, several different types of modern military artillery and fully operational, including cannon, tanks.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    They made no such finding.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    The usual answer is the same as for freedom of speech and all other rights. You are misunderstanding that the rights themselves have always been shorthand for well-understood abridged rights. Thus freedom of speech does not include slander, libel, military secrets, passwords, etc. Thus the right to keep and bear arms does not include felons, children, senile adults, mental defectives, etc.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    And for someone who quotes absolute phrases ("shall not be infringed") as gospel, you do a remarkably poor job of justifying immigration control. How about showing where the federal government gets its authority to control immigration?

    Article 1, Section 8: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization... To declare War ...

    Article 1, Section 9: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight ... I have never seen this used in any context but slavery, which is the only subject the Framers dodged, kicking the can down the road 20 years. They didn't dodge war or naturalization; why single out immigration, which was not contentious?

    14th Amendment, Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    9th Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Don't fall back on hand-waving about border control being too obvious to enumerate; it's hard to think of a natural right more obvious than self-defense.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor alphabet troll.

  • Nardz||

    1.8
    "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"
    "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"
    "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization"
    "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions"
    "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

  • Nardz||

    1.9
    "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
    The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
    1.10
    "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."

  • Nardz||

    2.2
    "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

  • Nardz||

    4.2
    "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States."
    "A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime."
    4.3
    "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State."
    4.4
    "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against

  • Nardz||

    6
    "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    I'd like to see one solid indication that anyone ever thought 1.9 was the basis for immigration control, before the rascally Chinese and Japanese exclusions required finding some after-the-fact rationalization; such as among the Framers. Maybe my google-fu is weak, but I have found none.

    The Framers especially would be interesting, since John Adams brought forth the Alien and Sedition acts, and he sure should have known better. But I have found no such Framer thoughts on 1.9 and immigration control.

  • Nardz||

    Do you see all those references to invasion?
    The term is meaningless if not applied to all potential border crossings.

  • Nardz||

    Invasion is unlawful entry.

    That the federal government is given the duty to deal with invasion, the power to determine what constitutes invasion, through legislation that specifies the procedure by which one may enter the nation lawfully, is at the very least implicit.

    Otherwise, what standing would the federal government have had to interfere with the immigration of 20,000 British individuals traveling together and bearing arms?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nardz, You're arguing with a troll who is one of those people that refuses to accept the writings of the US Constitution even when its in black and white.

    The US Constitution could say, "Congress has the power to regulate all borders of the USA and keep out any non-American".

    They would say that the Constitution is not sufficiently clear on immigration regulation.

  • Zeb||

    Invasion is unlawful entry.

    Bullshit.

  • Nardz||

    Its unfortunate that words hurt your feelings, Zeb, but you could at least try to provide an alternative definition.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Have Gun - Will Travel"

    The Millennial Education Task Force would like to point out to those unaware that "Have Gun - Will Travel" was a western TV show from the '50s about a mercenary gunfighter who would advertise his services in the paper. It spawned all sorts of copycat versions like Robert Heinlein's "Have Spacesuit - Will Travel" and this classic garage rock song by The Sonics:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20S_kwNb4rg

  • Bubba Jones||

    I have a different view of the second. 2A was intended to prevent the feds disarming state militias. Therefore all federal gun laws are unconstitutional.

    However it was not intended to restrict the states. The operative amendment is the 14th.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Not bad at all!

  • Bubba Jones||

    The catch is that states have standing to overturn federal gun restrictions but not individuals.

    I would consider this NYC law an infringement of the privileges or immunities clause. It restricts free travel and is probably targeted at scary black people.

    But I am more tolerant of the various state level asininity. I have grown to appreciate the prior rulings that cosmetic gun control is constitutional to the extent it is ineffective.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Only the 1st Amendment says "Congress shall not...", so this implies that the 1A only applies to the federal government while the rest of the BoR applies to the states and federal government.

    Otherwise why distinguish Congress only in the 1A?

    Another point is that the Right to speedy and public trials and other government created rights were effectively forced on the states as a minimum standard. It would be unconstitutional for a state to remove those rights from their state Constitutions.

    Either way, the 14A was intended to make all federal rights (i.e. 2nd Amendment protection) applicable to every US Citizen inside every US state. Making all implication moot. The 14A makes this incorporation of rights to the states in black and white.

  • Bubba Jones||

    "14A was intended to make all federal rights..."

    Sort of. I think it was more generally intended to recognize that states had to recognize that black people had the same rights as white people. I don't think it was intended to overturn laws that had been previously applied to whites.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Amendment XIV
    Section 1.
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    The law is that the People have the right to keep and bear Arms. The states have to protect that equally inside the USA.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The 'State Militia" argument was

    A) dreamed up (if I remember correctly) by disgusting bigot and Confederate apologist Woodrow Wilson. It has scant credibility.

    B) In any case, invalidated by the Federal assumption of authority over the State unites of the National Guard.

  • Bubba Jones||

    It doesn't make sense that the Feds has to guarantee the ability of a federal militia to arm itself.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Amendment II
    Right to Bear Arms Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791. The first 10 amendments form the Bill of Rights

    Modern debates about the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms, or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard. This question, however, was not even raised until long after the Bill of Rights was adopted.

    Many in the Founding generation believed that governments are prone to use soldiers to oppress the people. English history suggested that this risk could be controlled by permitting the government to raise armies (consisting of full-time paid troops) only when needed to fight foreign adversaries. For other purposes, such as responding to sudden invasions or other emergencies, the government could rely on a militia that consisted of ordinary civilians who supplied their own weapons and received some part-time, unpaid military training.

    The onset of war does not always allow time to raise and train an army, and the Revolutionary War showed that militia forces could not be relied on for national defense. The Constitutional Convention therefore decided that the federal government should have almost unfettered authority to establish peacetime standing armies and to regulate the militia.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    (contd) This is why the government cannot ban products or services without a constitutional amendment to give them the power. The state's power to regulate business intrastate and the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce, does not allow for banning business.

    The federal government has the power to regulate militias and a standing army but does not have the power to ban militias.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    " and the Revolutionary War showed that militia forces could not be relied on for national defense."

    This usually involves taking some complaints Washington had about one particular militia company out of context, pretending it was a general complaint about militia.

    Nobody thinks, or thought at the time, that militia are as effective as a standing army, man for man. Just that you can afford a much bigger militia than army, and it's less likely to obey orders to oppress its neighbors and families.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Militias man-for-man were cheap and could seriously hinder an enemy army.

    The battles of the time were fought with columns shooting at each other at point blank range. You have to be a complete moron to be a farmer militiaman and do that. Hence, the serious complaints about militiamen not having the discipline to stand there and get slaughtered.

    Many Americans were frontiersmen and learned battle tactics from AmerIndians who did not stand in lines and get slaughtered. They licked off officers leading the unit, picked off cavalry riders, and sneaked into rear encampments to cause chaos.
    The American Rifleman in the Revolutionary War

  • loveconstitution1789||

    (contd) On September 11, 1777, an army of 12,500 British troops who had recently landed at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay marched through Pennsylvania toward the patriot capital of Philadelphia. Covering their flank, a detachment of green-clad British marksmen hid in the woods along Brandywine Creek, near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and kept a lookout for American forces led by General George Washington. Suddenly a cavalry officer dressed in the flamboyant uniform of a European hussar rode into view, followed by a senior American officer wearing a high cocked hat.

    Captain Patrick Ferguson, a 33-year-old Scotsman reputed to be the finest shot in the British army, commanded the British marksmen, who were equipped with fast-firing, breech-loading rifles of Ferguson's own design. He whispered to three of his best riflemen to creep forward and pick off the unsuspecting officers. But before the men were in place, he felt disgust at the idea of such an ambush, and ordered them not to fire. He shouted to the American officer, who was riding a bay horse. The American looked his way for a moment, and turned to ride on. Ferguson called again, this time leveling his rifle toward the officer. The American glanced back before slowly cantering away.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A day later, after he had been seriously wounded himself, Ferguson learned that the American officer he let ride off was most likely General George Washington. "I could have lodged half a dozen balls in or about him, before he was out of my reach," Ferguson recalled, "but it was not pleasant to fire at the back of an unoffending individual, who was acquitting himself very coolly of his duty—so I let him alone."
    The Marksman Who Refused to Shoot George Washington

  • Ron||

    The constitution says states can only make laws not covered by the constitution therefore states cannot make gun laws since it is covered by the constitution which says "shall not be infringed". Unlike voter rights which are granted to everyone however the constitution does give the state the right to determine how voting is done. No where in the constitution does it give the states the right to determine how guns are carried since its already says "shall not be infringed".

  • Ron||

    . Many claim requiring voter identification is an infringment on the right to vote, then how is registering gun owners not an infringment to my right to the second amendment and to my right to privacy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Everyone knows that background checks and gun registration schemes are violations of the 2nd Amendment.

    Some Americans tolerate it. That needs to change.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Except that was not the purpose of the 2A or the Bill of Rights.

    The Bill of Rights (the first 8 amendments) are about individual rights.

    The 2A does nothing for the states.

  • chey||

    "All gun control is unconstitutional and should be repealed immediately or struck down by the courts.

    Any judge who refuses to strike down gun control laws should be impeached immediately."

    Justice don't need only intelligence but need fair !
    Liposuccion Tunisie
    Abdominoplastie Tunisie
    Lifting cuisses Tunisie

  • chey||

  • Longtobefree||

    Sounds like an infringement to me

  • Rich||

    The only public safety rationale the city has offered for stopping them is that they might be tempted to use the guns in "stressful situations."

    Obviously the "city fathers" should be confined to their homes, since they might be tempted to be violent in "stressful situations." Actually, they should be imprisoned, since they might be tempted to be domestically violent in "stressful situations."

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    "the City put forth no empirical evidence that transporting an unloaded handgun, locked in a container separate from its ammunition, poses a meaningful risk to public safety."

    Empirical evidence is racist! Sexist! Or something.

  • Dillinger||

    >>> enough to persuade a federal judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit

    how is this possibly enforced?

  • Ride 'Em||

    Gun sniffing dog? That would create probable cause to search the vehicle.

  • Dillinger||

    NYC surrounded by gun sniffing dogs would be cute. East Berlin Retro.

  • Dillinger||

    you guys need better copywriters.

  • TxJack 112||

    Can we please dispense with the idiotic and irrelevant arguments about the right to own cannons, grenades and nuclear weapons and focus on the modern reality. Scalia said the 2 nd amendment protects the right to common use weapons. In other words, weapons that the common people readily can use. AR platform rifles are the most common firearms sold and best example of this concept. This law basically makes it impossible for a person to actually use a firearm for self defense which Heller and McDonald require. In addition, it is a good example of a law imposing a prohibiliton without any actual data. Like opponents of campus carry, the premise is if a person has a gun they may use it in a "stressful situation"'implying not when they are in danger. However as with all these claims, this is false and you cannot restrict a right based on what you think "might" happen. Do you deny a person a trial by jury because you think they might engage in jury tampering?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Scalia was wrong about restricting the People's right to keep and bear Arms. All Arms. Its written in black and white. There are no exceptions for only rifles or pistols under "common use". That is a judicial fantasy.

    Same thing about there being no exceptions for written or spoken speech having no exceptions to being 100% protected from Congress.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The definition of "arms" at the time of the Founding did not include artillery or warships.

  • Nardz||

    No?
    Plausible, but haven't heard that before - and it is often pointed out that private citizens indeed owned artillery and warships at the time

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Well, sure, but "arms" and "armaments" were still distinct categories. They were mostly concerned with protecting private ownership of the former, because you couldn't, for financial reasons, expect a lot of people to own cannon.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That is why they used "Arms" and not small arms or arms in the 2A.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    So, that doesn't mean the Founders meant that when the wrote the 2A.

    As quoted in Heller -

    Timothy Cunningham's important 1771 legal dictionary defined "arms" as "any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another."

    Also, you cannot "bear" a warship or artillery piece.

    This is a plain English sentence. If they had wanted to protect "the sword and every terrible implement of war" they would have said that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Good thing the 2A says "Arms" not arms.

    You're citation fell off for whoever this Timothy Cunningham's legal dictionary, so we can all look it up.

    As I said, under your silly definition based on SCOTUS justices who okayed Obamacare, "Arms" would not cover ammo.

    Its called twisted rationale and the SCOTUS is seriously ill.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    So because they capitalize Arms that makes a difference?

    Really?

    As tot the citation -

    "As quoted in Heller -

    Timothy Cunningham's important 1771 legal dictionary defined "arms" as "any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another."

    In order to understand the 2A you have to read understand the words as they were understood in 1787.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    AZ gunowner really like scalia since hes taking what Scalia says as more supreme law that the constitution.

    I spent hours today shooting my guns from my armored vehicle and then set off explosives. Wednesday fireworks!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Arms included ships, cannons, ships, and any other weapon you could think of.

    Under your desired result "Arms" would only cover small arms like rifles and pistols. Ammo is not covered because Arms does not mean armaments.

    I keep blowing this silly argument out of the water, so I guess it will have to happen again.
    American Merchant Marine and Privateers in War of 1812
    You will notice that the Privateers used their own ships mounted with cannons to successfully raid British commerce ships. Under your position, cannons would be illegal to possess for Americans.

    How would the Founders ever allow unprotected Arms like cannons and converted merchant ships to exist if the 2A didnt cover all armaments?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    And you keep pretending either that you can bear a warship or that the Founders wrote a amendment to say you can keep and an all weapons and bear those that you are able to.

    The Founders were intelligent men, and agonized over their choice of words.

    If they wanted to do what you want them to have done they certainly were capable of doing it.

    But they didn't.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    I would also point out to you Love that privateers had to operate under a charter from the legislature.

    They were essentially acting as a military force for the government. In such case the idea of a right to certain weapons is meaningless.

    The Founders wrote the Bill of Rights to protect individual rights.

    One of those was the right to (keep AND "bear") arms. Notice the BoR doesn't say anything about the "right" to be a privateer.

    If you can't BEAR them then they are NOT arm's. This is a plain English sentence and it is embarrassing that people on my side are so obtuse as to be unwilling to be able to accept that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They were private persons with canons and ships. They were commissioned by the USA to attack the British. The USA didnt give them cannons. They had them or used cannons seized during the raids.

    Since you're not going to cite anything, I guess we will never know if they got keep the cannons.

    You really dont want people to have anything the 2nd Amendment protects.

    Luckily, I have all sorts of weapons that would blow your hair back. All perfectly legal and protected by the 2A. Thanks for playing.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If you can't BEAR them then they are NOT arm's. This is a plain English sentence and it is embarrassing that people on my side are so obtuse as to be unwilling to be able to accept that.

    Keep saying it and rub the magic lamp.

    You're not on MY side dude. You're on your own side.

    I own any weapon that I want. Those are my Arms or armaments as per the 2A and the FFL.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    It is a pity that so many people, ostensibly on my side, are so stupid.

    Oh, and if the 2A protects all these "arms" why don't you own machine guns WITHOUT the FFL?

    If you have to ask permission for it then it is not a "right".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Youre not on a gun rights side.

    I see now, youre a sock with a handle that makes you seem like a gun owner so you can visit gun friendly websites.

    You would really hate all the Arms that I shoot. I import Arms that would make you run to your favorite Lefty politician.

    When the weather warms up, I plan to take my heavy machines guns on my boat and shoot them at floating targets. Creating a private warship protected by the 2nd Amendment.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Your "heavy machine" guns that you've had to ASK PERMISSION to own (or do you admit you are breading the law - that would of course be the HONEST course if you believe the 2A protects those "heavy machine guns").

    Quite the "right" you are exercising there isn't it pal?

  • mtrueman||

    "Can we please dispense with the idiotic and irrelevant arguments about the right to own cannons, grenades and nuclear weapons"

    Any American wishing to defend themselves against the police, FBI or any other government agency that wishes them harm would do well to add improvised explosive devices to their arsenal. These weapons, as much as firearms, chased America's military from Iraq and now Afghanistan.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Arms include grenades, landmines, bombs and rocket launchers. In the future, they would include laser weapons developed.

    Bigger weapon systems scare some people. As we clear evidence that 200+ millions guns in the USA do not equate to mass violence on a daily basis.

    The people that want them already have bombs, rockets, land mines, mortars, etc.

  • mtrueman||

    "The people that want them..."

    What about the people who need them? Improvised explosive devices are difficult to make and unreliable. Americans deserve to be able to buy properly manufactured explosives with the same ease as they can buy assault rifles.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There would be a definite market for those Arms.

    The people that want to build homemade stuff are free to blow themselves up.

  • mtrueman||

    " are free to blow themselves up"

    I think it's probably illegal to blow oneself up, bill of rights notwithstanding.

  • End Child Unemployment||

    I've been thinking lately that relying on the courts too much to protect the right to self defense is a strategic error. Outreach and education might do more good, or at least should not be ignored. California and the northeast have had AWB and magazine capacity restrictions for 30 years now. As others have noted, the judiciary have rubber stamped these laws, because these restrictions are mostly popular with the public in those states.

    I've found the people who say "no one needs an AR-15" are completely surprised to discover that the capabilities of an AR-15 and Ruger Mini-14 rifle are near identical, but the assault weapons laws only ban one. They NEVER know that the annual number of people killed by rifles ranges 2-400. They usually don't believe me, and I have to show them on the FBI's website. Same with the fact that the murder rate and overall violent crime rate are half what they were in 1990. Same with true frequency of mass shootings. The data is not as easy to get to, but Grant Duwe's mass shooting data set gives 957 killed in mass shootings from 1986-2017. During the same time span there were 123,362 murders in total. People don't know what the availability heuristic even is.

    I think AWBs and mag cap laws are fundamentally targeted at mass shootings. If more people knew mass shootings account for less than 1% of all murders, maybe they'd want to spend resources on other crime reduction efforts.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Any judge who does not strike down gun control laws is violating their oath of office and should be impeached immediately.

  • Nardz||

    The goal of progressives is, and always has been, totalitarianism.
    The psychology of progressives is that individuals are unpredictable and untrustworthy, often malicious, thus a centrally governing body of elites/superiors/experts/professionals is required, therefore trustworthy, to ensure the safety of themselves, their families, and civilization itself.
    Progressives are fundamentally sheep who long for an all powerful shepherd.
    Their civic ambition was contained and diverted for a time through religion/church, but the rise of marxist thought, scientific advancements, enlightenment skepticism of religion, and the process of capitalism in increasingly secularized progressivism as the political wrested power from the religious.
    Thus demand for an omnipotent, social engineer state.
    Progressives do not care if gun ownership is individually dangerous - they care that it is dangerous to the power of the state.
    They are fundamentally opposed to the 2nd amendment because it prevents their shepherd, the state, from being omnipotent.

  • Nardz||

    Education and public relations can help with those on the fence, the non-ideologically committed, but faces an uphill battle against common unfamiliarity and the propaganda/brainwashing heavily implemented by progressives

  • Nardz||

    To the dependent, sight of independence is threatening

  • mtrueman||

    "Progressives do not care if gun ownership is individually dangerous - they care that it is dangerous to the power of the state."

    Who in America is endangering the power of the state?

  • mtrueman||

    No answer? Fear not, it's not a trick question.

  • Kevin Smith||

    In the long run? Anyone who disagrees with the state

  • Kevin Smith||

    I think AWBs and mag cap laws are fundamentally targeted at mass shootings. If more people knew mass shootings account for less than 1% of all murders, maybe they'd want to spend resources on other crime reduction efforts.

    Even mass shootings are predominately carried out with handguns and other weapons that don't fall under the scope of a "assault weapons" ban. Semiautomatic rifles account for less than one half of one percent of homicides committed with firearms

  • John C. Randolph||

    the question of which firearm restrictions are consistent with the Second Amendment

    None of them.

    They all know this, despite the generations of government shysters trying to pretend that the second amendment doesn't say what it says.

    -jcr

  • dlc06492||

    Government's job isn't to grant us rights. It's job is to protect our rights, one of which is enumerated in the Second Amendment. What else could be a better "achievement of an important governmental interest" ?

  • aajax||

    It's hard to argue that you need a weapon because you are concerned for your safety and then you deliberately travel off to someplace where you think you will need a weapon. Of course, there is no chance that this court will look at it that way.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online