Will Court Challenges Shoot Down The Array Of New Gun Control Law?

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Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office via Wikimedia Commons

Below is my column on various proposal for gun control reforms after the latest school massacre in Florida.  As the column discusses, the constitutional burden is more demanding than suggested by many politicians. This is clearly a right that is subject to reasonable limitations but it is an individual constitutional right that affords gun owners a higher protection in the court.

 

The calls for gun controls after the Florida massacre have caused unprecedented political shifts — and defiance of the powerful National Rifle Association. Florida’s conservative governor, Rick Scott, signed the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Safety Act,” which imposes an age limit and three-day waiting period on gun purchases.

The NRA has now sued to challenge that law while, in Oregon, a 20-year-old man is suing Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart for unilaterally imposing the same age restrictions. The individual right to bear arms remains a work in progress constitutionally and these cases could answer lingering questions over how far this right can be abridged through legislative or regulatory changes.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment guarantees the “individual right to possess and carry” firearms and “elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.” The decision put gun ownership on the same constitutional plain as free speech, religious freedom and other core rights.

Before Heller, a showing of a “rational basis” was viewed as sufficient to impose conditions on gun owners or to bar particular guns or accessories. After Heller, courts have applied higher standards. Core constitutional rights are often protected under the highest standard of strict scrutiny, requiring a state to show a compelling, narrowly tailored interest. It is a difficult standard to satisfy by design. Some courts, however, have imposed an intermediate standard, requiring that the change be substantially related to an important governmental interest.

While the public overwhelmingly favors new gun controls, it may be in for a rude awakening as courts test the likelihood that the most common proposals will reduce shootings. The Second Amendment right is clearly not absolute (any more than First Amendment rights) and the Supreme Court has already indicated that it is open to reasonable limitations. However, what passes for a rationale in the court of public opinion will not necessarily suffice in a court of law. Here are the most common proposals, starting from those with the best chances of passing constitutional muster.

Banning bump stocks

Bump stocks allow a semi-automatic weapon to function like an automatic weapon without actually converting it. Stephen Paddock used bump stocks in the Las Vegas massacre, allowing him to hold down the trigger in discharging his weapons. This one is likely to pass muster, though it is by no means as easy as some suggest.

While this is hardly popular (or, for politicians, convenient) to say, it is highly doubtful a bump-stock ban will reduce the risk of school shootings. Critics insist you can achieve basically the same rate of fire with rapid trigger pulls, trigger cranks or even low-tech options like rubber bands. (Nikolas Cruz in Florida fired 150 rounds in just seven minutes without an automatic weapon or bump stock.) Nevertheless, a court is likely to find a ban on the devices sufficiently tied to the compelling interest of the government, and the NRA is not opposing it.

Notably, the greatest vulnerability may not be the ban but the means of it. The NRA and the Trump administration want to make this change through agency action, not legislation. However, in 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives correctly concluded it does not have authority to ban bump stocks because they are an accessory, not a firearm. Neither the Gun Control Act nor the National Firearms Act gives the bureau powers over such devices and, for those of us leery of federal agencies legislating like a fourth branch, any ban should come from Congress.

Banning large magazines

A ban on large magazines is also likely to pass constitutional muster, since it does not prevent gun ownership or impose more than a slight inconvenience on shooting enthusiasts. However, the impact of requiring lower capacity magazines is highly uncertain. Tens of millions of such magazines are on the market and can be created by gun owners. More importantly, an experienced shooter is generally adept at swapping out magazines in a couple of seconds. The ban is unlikely to mean fewer shootings or even fatalities.

In Florida, Cruz had six magazines holding 30 rounds each, and he fired 150 times. That suggests he swapped out magazines five times. A semi-automatic AR-15 can easily maintain a rate of fire of 2.7 rounds per second. Even if you cut that rate by over half, to one round per second, this would allow for 420 rounds. Cruz could have swapped twice the number of magazines and maintained roughly the same level of rounds. Nevertheless, magazine capacity has a direct relationship to the compelling state interest and would likely be upheld.

Banning the AR-15

Banning ownership of a class or type of firearm drives directly at the heart of Heller and would face a more difficult challenge. Much of the debate over the ban is ill-informed. “AR” does not stand for “assault rifle,” which is an automatic weapon. Rather, the name AR-15 comes from the “Armalite rifle” that was offered in the 1950s. It is popular because it looks menacing and is a modular weapon, allowing owners to swap out different barrels, chambers, grips and stocks. It is not more powerful than other legal weapons like the popular 30-06 Springfield or .300 Winchester Magnum.

Nevertheless, it is highly accurate and can use a magazine with up to 100 rounds. Moreover, it uses a thinner .223 caliber bullet than the 9mm handgun, which moves at a much higher velocity and can go through multiple barriers. The question is whether banning this one weapon, and not equally powerful lawful weapons, can be justified. This could be too close to call judicially.

Imposing waiting periods

Reasonable waiting periods, often three days, are likely to survive judicial review. However, they are unlikely to end massacres or school shootings. The Las Vegas and Parkland shootings both involved long-planned accumulations of legal weapons. Nevertheless, the waiting period can allow the government to check and respond to improper purchases.

Imposing age limitations

The new lawsuits raise the question of age limitations and another difficult challenge for gun control, though the federal government has previously prevailed on age limits and 71 percent of people in a recent poll favored age limits on guns. The strongest case may be the Oregon lawsuit by Tyler Watson, who is 20 years old in a state that allows for the purchase of guns at 18. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart refused him the purchases despite a state law banning discrimination based on age in places of public accommodation. The stores would need to justify denying service to Watson based on his age.

Statistically, it may prove difficult to show 18 to 20 year olds are more dangerous as a class to warrant this ban. According to federal statistics, men aged 18 to 21 accounted for 8.7 percent of violent crimes. Women in this age bracket, who are also barred, accounted for only 1.8 percent. Moreover, men aged 21 to 24 accounted for 9.2 percent of such arrests.

The NRA lawsuit also raises Second and Fourteenth Amendment challenges. The law bars the purchase of any gun of any kind for this age group. This includes a ban on hunting rifles and shotguns, despite the large number of young hunters and recreational shooters. That is the total denial of an individual right and must be justified on either an intermediate or, more likely, a strict scrutiny basis.

However, the NRA has lost on a direct age discrimination challenge before. In National Rifle Association vs. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2013, the Fifth Circuit upheld the federal law that prohibits federally licensed firearm dealers from selling handguns to people under age 21. This, however, means all guns of any kind. California, Florida and Vermont are considering similar bans. A state will likely need to show that this was a narrowly tailored means to achieve the compelling state interest in reducing school shootings and related crimes.

In all of these proposals, courts will demand more than a cathartic response to a national tragedy. These cases could separate the real from the rhetorical in gun reform and we are likely to learn much more about the newly minted right to bear arms.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

91 thoughts on “Will Court Challenges Shoot Down The Array Of New Gun Control Law?”

  1. Reality Check:

    There are 300 million guns in this country that are legally owned. (Scads of illegal ones). They range from the underappreciated .22 pistols and .22 rifles to the AR-15 semi-auto rifles to 30.06 hunting rifles to federally regulated automatic machine guns and everything in between. There about a 100 million gun owners in the US making us the largest armed fighting force in the world. For comparison the US Army has about 2.25 million on active and reserve duty. China’s military numbers 2.28 million total. Russia has about 3.5 million in active and reserve status. All of NATO amounts to 4.3 million on active and reserve duty. Thus the combined force of the world’s largest militaries amounts to a paltry 12.33% of the armed American citizenry. Take out about 1/2 of the 2.25 million military who are also private gun owners and the number “balloons” to 13.8% of the US armed citizen militia.

    No one can disband the American citizen’s militia absent a try at Australian-style gun confiscation. That attempt at confiscation would make the American Civil War look like a turkey shoot. Legislators can pass laws but it takes a compliant citizenry to abide by them. We are not now nor have we ever been described as a “complaint citizenry.”

    WW2 Admiral Yamamoto is reputed to have said that Japan could never had invaded the US mainland because there would have been a “rifle behind ever blade of grass.” Whether he said it or not, it was right then but it’s more right now.

    1. mespo – but how many stealth fighters do the citizens have? or aircraft carriers? or tanks? We need to armor up!!!

      1. Don’t need em. Historically, if an occupying forces” loses 10% or more of its troops it quits. The Brits, the Russkies and the French all set the standard. I’m
        Guessing confiscation will result in tons of desertions and those high tech weapons won’t get off the pad in any big numbers. Plus who wants to be the ones to fire on their fellow citizens?

    2. These numbers are meaningless bluster unless this ‘make the civil war look like a turkey shoot’ ‘force’ is unified in purpose, organization, training and so on. We can’t even get two people to agree on anything trivial, never mind a million on who to fight and why, never mind how. Moreover, convenience, not principal, is king in our society and fittingly, people are now called consumers, not citizens even by our politicians. There is a reason for that.

      Against even a conventional WWII military, a rabble double the size of the numbers you posit would be little more effective than a gigantic mob with pop guns. Mayhem, yes as a bunch of disorganized groups engaged in often contradictory efforts, but military victories, puleese. And that doesn’t even take into account the incredible technological advances in drones, AI and so on, or advantages of scale (such as tanks, aircraft, drones to name but a few) of a modern police force, never mind an advanced military leveraging its full panoply of resources, organization and training.

      Asymmetric warfare is the only thing that currently frustrates States (and frustrate is usually the operative word) and it is worth noting that those who are involved in it, even though geographically outside of the US and politically outside of the second amendment, seem to have little trouble getting the weapons to do so.

      But sheer numbers of people in possession of small arms without any of the above is probably the last thing one could define as an advantage.

      1. BB:
        By “meaningless bluster” I guess you mean true. As for a bunch of disorganized groups with only small arms being hopeless, I guess you never heard of Afghanis versus Russia and US. By sheer numbers of people in possession of guns I guess you mean a free people. As for anyone taking the American people on over their guns, I’m sure you’re dreaming.

        1. Nice try.

          First off, as I noted, people such as the Afghani who need arms seem to have no problem getting them without recourse to the second amendment.

          Moreover, and as usual, you have a singular way of leaving out significant details (as in, the main story). During the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, Americans supplied the Mujihadeen (or rebels) with:

          “[…]a broad mix of weapons, tactics, logistics, along with training programs, to enhance the rebels’ ability to fight a guerilla war against the Soviets.[28][29] Reagan’s program assisted in ending the Soviet’s occupation in Afghanistan.[30][31] A Pentagon senior official, Michael Pillsbury, successfully advocated providing Stinger missiles to the Afghan resistance [emphasis mine], according to recent books and academic articles.[32].

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cyclone Stinger missiles, training programs, tactics, logistics are now “small arms”??? .

          Sneaky as usual, but in spite of your rhetorical antics, it remains established fact the Afghani would have gotten absolutely no where against the Russians had they been left to their own devices as small disorganized groups with only small arms. Until the continued American support of serious military equipment mentioned above, they got nowhere.

          1. Really? Someone should have clued in the Afghans about their hopeless situation. Likely they were too busy to realize the it since, in succession, this disorganized band of armed-to-the-teeth partisans have defeated these invaders: Maurya Empire of ancient India, Alexander the Great of Macedon, Umar, an Arab Caliphate, Genghis Khan of Mongolia, Timur of Persia and Central Asia, the Mughal Empire of India, various Persian Empires, the British Empire, the Sikh Empire, the Soviet Union, and most recently a coalition force of NATO troops. Underestimate them and us at your peril. And you really need to upgrade your historical knowledge and your logic since there’s serious doubt about The USA supplying them with arms before 1776, yet still they prevailed. Keep swinging, you’re bound to hit one out of the infield someday!

            1. upgrade your historical knowledge and your logic since there’s serious doubt about The USA supplying them with arms before 1776 This is classic Mespo speed, doubling down on purposely ignoring facts. What ever victories Afghans may have had prior to the period under discussion, and without the help of the US, they were not up against the incredible discrepancy of technological sophistication of modern militaries that I spoke of in response to your braggadocio.

              Moreover, to compare Afghans to Americans is simply absurd. Americans are far more diverse in their interests and are (if categorizations are at all possible) fat and lazy by comparison not to mention geographical differences. Except for one important fact. Any success of Afgans is, if proof of anything related to Americans, proof that people don’t need the second amendment to defend themselves. They may need mountainous terrain, they may need a rugged lean culture intimately familiar with deprivation and going without, they may need the sort of unified purpose that comes with being a relatively small country, but they clearly didn’t need the Supreme Court of the United states going back and forth over time on exactly what the Framers of the US Constitution and the American Bill Of Rights meant and how it should apply to Americans today.

              As to the fact that the Nato “alliances” can’t make headway in Afghanistan, that is due more to American Empire Collapse than any inherent quality of people with small arms. The United States particularly, but Nato as an extension of US international interests and scope, has proven itself significantly challenged in winning any long term military objectives over the last two generations. To suggest that Americans with small arms are individually or collectively comparable to Afghans is already absurd, but to suggest success in simply resisting Nato occupation proves anything about small groups of Americans with small arms and without support of foreign military support is simply laughable.

              Keep swinging, you’re bound to hit one out of the infield someday! The usual Mespo Cheap Shot. Without it, I would have been worried about you.

              1. Each empire they defeated were technically superior in every respect. The Afghans knew and used the terrain and were resourceful in using the weapons they had. Just like some 18th Century disgruntled British subjects you might have heard about. Or maybe not.

                1. At this point we seem to be covering the same ground over…

                  But anyway, the one (Afghans) has nothing to do with the other (Americans). Contemporary Americans are nothing like Afghans, historical or contemporary, nor have they anything to do with American Revolutionaries of some 250+ years ago. Collectively, with or without their guns, they are fat, lethargic, addicted to consumerism, comfort and utterly dependent on convenience.

                  Yes, individually, you might find a number who could make up a small fighting force organized and motivated around a common purpose and with decent leaders, but such would not scale to anything like the numbers of your, ahem, realty check

                  Finally, even if you succeeded in that dubious task, your claim of strength with small arms would prove hopelessly romantic at best and outright deluded at worst even in terms of an asymmetric strategy against any sort of modern military force. Without real military grade resources, even your ferocious Afghans couldn’t do much more than play hide and seek against even so much as a disorganized Nato.

                  1. At this point, you have no rebuttal to historical proofs I have presented. That makes you the guy with the penchant for hide and seek not the proudly independent Afghans.

                    1. Then go live with your beloved Afgans before the air hisses out of your tires entirely. They have nothing to do with what you started out bragging about – not the Second Amendment, and definitely not contemporary Americans, or anyone for that matter, with mere small arms.

                    2. I was bragging about Americans who would rather fight than capitulate – just like those Afghans you mock. The Second Amendment is the necessary but insufficient means to that fight. The other is to know your enemy. Most of us do.

                    3. No, you were bragging about, “a 100 million gun owners in the US making us the largest armed fighting force in the world.” (your words) and No, I wasn’t mocking the Afghans, I was mocking you for such a far fetched comparison.

                      And that doesn’t even begin to address the sheer bald absurdity of your claim that 100 million people of all ages and beliefs, (the large majority of which would either be unfit – as in too old or too young or infirm, or have zero interest in fighting or be actively against it, or would have totally different ideas of what they should be fighting for), that this totally disparate group of people equals a fighting force of any sort, never mind the greatest fighting force in the world.

                      And your notion of “historical proofs” is laughable. The history of Afghanistan is far more complex than you let on. It was a veritable melting part for the better part of it’s history. ” Many empires have established capitals inside Afghanistan, including the Greco-Bactrians, Mauryas, Kushans, Hindu Shahi, Saffarids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Timurids, Mughals, Hotakis and Durranis” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Afghanistan

                      Yes, there are many Afghan mountain tribes that have fierce fighters. How that is proof that your 100 million American gun owners is the greatest fighting force on earth is beyond reason.

                    4. Keep taking whack at it, BB. And BTW my figures are understated if anything. You wanna believe at least 100 million Americans wouldn’t rise up violently to stop the obvious tyranny? (Which is ,incidentally, about the same proportion of patriots in the original 13) Then you are as mad as George III. He thought the same thing.

  2. In all of these proposals, courts will demand more than a cathartic response to a national tragedy

    Accurate as far as it goes, It seems fair, however, to challenge such an ephemeral characterization of public position on gun control. This is not an isolated event, and the public is not merely reacting, nor is it merely reacting to this sole event.

  3. There are 60 million AR-type rifles in the U.S. It is my understanding, that somewhere in the last three SC gun rights rulings, was a finding that the more popular was a particular gun, the greater would be its Constitutional protection.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

  4. Several years ago in the state I live in a sportsmens club had a shoot where you could go and shoot a machine gun( full automatic). At the shoot there was a tragedy. A father allowed his 8 year old to shoot an Uzi. There was a malfunction. While the child was holding the gun it was firing and kicking. The child let go of the trigger but the trigger somehow got jammed in the firing position. The gun kept firing till one of the bullets it the boy in the head. After this happened the state I live in wanted to raise the age to fire one of these things to 21. That didn’t work because an 18 year old can join the national guard.

  5. Jim22, you’re right about the insurance thing. It only helps to put off growing up. Let’s keep junior at home as long as we can.

    1. It is amazing how we keep complaining about this current generation and yet every move we do seems to just enforce the “don’t grow up” mentality. And as a parent, it gives you less tools to push your kid out the door.

  6. America has never had, and never will have, political tyrants like Mussolini, Lenin, Tito, Franco, Hitler, Stalin, Pinochet, Fidel Castro, et al for one simple reason: 2nd Amendment. The Holocaust would have never happened had the Jews owned guns.

    “Holders of annual hunting permits, government workers, and NSDAP (the National Socialist German Workers’ Party) members were no longer subject to gun ownership restrictions. Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn Railways were exempted.[8]

    Manufacture of arms and ammunition continued to require a permit, with the proviso that such permits would no longer be issued to any company even partly owned by Jews; Jews could not manufacture or deal in firearms or ammunition.[8]”

    “The 1938 Regulations Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons, which came into force the day after Kristallnacht,[10][11] effectively deprived all Jews living under the Third Reich within the occupied Sudetenland and Austria of the right to possess any form of weapons, including truncheons, knives, firearms and ammunition.[12] Before that, some police forces used the pre-existing “trustworthiness” clause to disarm Jews on the basis that “the Jewish population ‘cannot be regarded as trustworthy'”. – Wiki

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_legislation_in_Germany

    1. America has never had, and never will have, political tyrants like Mussolini, Lenin, Tito, Franco, Hitler, Stalin, Pinochet, Fidel Castro, et al for one simple reason: 2nd Amendment. The Holocaust would have never happened had the Jews owned guns.

      This is quite outstandingly ridiculous.

      1. How so? Russian leaders in the past have even said, that the armed American public was a great hindrance of ever invading U.S. soil.

        1. Jim22, you should recognize Russian trolls like “Mo” since they hate America’s 2nd Amendment. Otherwise we would be Russia’s new frontier.

          Our Glocks keep us safe and sound, Komrade Mo

  7. Let’s see. Haven’t we proved that with the wrong motivation or mental illness, people can work unspeakable violence and death on our population without a gun? Horrific carnage using; automobiles, pressure cookers, knives, arson and many things not mentioned here. With that, unless we get at the root problems all of the other measures, including gun control, are nothing more than window dressing. If we continue to ignore warnings and don’t deal with the mental health problem we are doomed to witness repeat performances. Isn’t the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?

    1. Yes, gun control and the NRA are gust shinny spoon’s that the left puts out because they do not want to look at the real problem, they breakdown of the American family. The statistics of increasing single parent children across all races is alarming. All studies show that two biological parents are the best case scenario for any child. But this goes against the liberal feel good, no responsibility, do whatever you feel philosophy. So, we are just beginning to reap what we have sowed.

  8. Off topic: Fake Glases/Fake News. Have any of you noticed when watching Fox or CNN or NBC that the guests on the roundtable discussions on the news shows often wear very similar black plastic frame glasses. They are given out before the person takes the stage to one guest.
    Ever notice that a lot of the female guests speakers on the news shows are sort of dolled up and foxy and talk “poppy talk’.

  9. Excellent post. Excellent analysis of the judicial state and where the various proposals are likely to succeed or fail. A small bone to pick would be some coverage of how these interpretations of the second amendment have changed and shifted (back and forth) over time. I don’t think one can assume there is any ‘absolute’ correct position on what the framers meant or what they would mean if they could see into the future. I’m not saying Professor Turley agrees or not with that POV, but rather that the subject merits some attention in such an exposition of where we are today.

  10. You either believe that the right to protect yourself is inalienable (natural) or you don’t. It kind of reminds me of an electrical engineer I worked with who used to say, “There are people who believe in the second law of thermodynamics and then there are those who don’t”

  11. “We heard from local law enforcement that the Justice Department has issued a memo that forced the FBI NICS background check data base to drop more than 500,000 names of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants because it was uncertain whether those fugitives fled across state lines.”

    Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein

    Please blog on this

  12. Since you like to comment on European politics and apparently think the American constitution applies in Europe, I can’t hold my tongue anymore. Do you Americans realize how nuts you appear to the rest of the world? You think it is normal to run around with a gun 24/7 and you think such lunacy is a “right”? There is a reason you have the bulk of the mass shootings in the world – because of your religious worship of Guns. Yes its true that Guns themselves are not killing anyone but it is the people who pull the triggers and that is why most other countries make sure the general person is not carrying a gun. The Brittish redcoats left your country long time ago, where do you see the need for a continuously armed militia? And where is that militia anyway? You are simply nuts and meanwhile Americans die nonstop because you are inept to regulate gun ownership.

    1. I assume your are European? If so, you sure didn’t mind us coming with guns in the past or all of our bases that help keep the peace (I for one am all for removing every base and troops from the socialist Europe).
      The right to protect oneself is inalienable. If you want to live somewhere where you get your rights from the state be my guest.

    2. Antonio. I don’t have any desire to press the United States Constitution on ANYONE living in Europe. As to guns in America. They are one of the main reasons that the red coats don’t return. Our Constitution reinforces the rights of the people. Let me be clear. I don’t like our Federal Government infringements on the people. Also let me be clear that I will die to support our Constitution and our due process.
      It could be that you are getting your data and information on this issue from our national press. For that I am sorry. But you appear to be retorting the Problems in the USA using the SAME INACCURATE INFORMATION that our press does.
      Don’t generalize such an important topic without educating yourself first. I am not your brothers keeper and you, well I don’t know.

    3. Oh, antonio, you are sooo smart! Let me tell you, though, it is only racissst! white people who have all these guns. But there are lots of places in America that are not full of white racisssts! On your next vacation here, you should visit those places and see how wonderful it is not to be around a bunch of armed white kooks!

      I suggest Baltimore, Memphis, South Chicago, Detroit, and lots of big inner city areas where you will be generously and warmly welcomed! Bring plenty of cash! And then you can return to Europe with all sorts of tales about your visit!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  13. I think that is some cases the age limit puts them out of the militia, which is unconstitutional. The militia needs to be armed, you just cannot throw rocks at the enemy if you are under 21. Now in AZ, you are automatically a member of the militia from 18 to 45 (part of our Constitution as accepted by the United States govt to become a state). We have never changed that.

    1. If you took the time to read the Arizona Constitution, you would see that the section you’re referencing already builds in deference to any federal law. (Ariz. Const. Art XVI, Sec. 1).

      It’s just so sad that you make stuff up to try and trick readers on an internet comment section into believing you.

      1. Nope – why don’t you cut-and-paste the section to make your point? If I made a mistake I will walk it back, but so far I just have a statement from you. BTW, admit it, you did not even know it existed in the Arizona Constitution and you had to look it up. 😉

        1. “The militia of the state of Arizona shall consist of all capable citizens of the state between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, and of those between said ages who shall have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, residing therein, *subject to such exemptions as now exist, or as may hereafter be created, by the laws of the United States or of this state.*”

          So on it’s face you can see that federal or state laws can make exemptions to the militia membership. Very straight forward.

          1. Nope – but the exemption would have to be specific to the militia. Even I can read that well. Raising the age you can buy a gun is not specific to the militia, unless it would mention it. If you live in Arizona you know how litigious we can be over our ballot propositions.

  14. Why all the attention on gun control? What about knife control? For example, take the latest decision of the FBI to slow down the process of charging a 17 year old Islamic terrorist so that he could complete his job of murdering another young boy. The Islamic terrorist used a knife to commit his murder and to cause serious injuries to two other individuals. Why not a call to ban knives?

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/14/us/florida-teen-fatal-stabbing-muslim/index.html

    1. Because knives have a useful purpose. The only purpose of guns is to kill.
      Because few murders are committed with knives. Many murders are committed with guns.
      Because it’s much easier to kill using a gun from a distance than a knife up close.
      But you already knew all of that. You also already know why we don’t ban vehicles and everything that occasionally results in an accidental death. I only answered your question because it is so often asked, even though every one knows the answer.

      1. Chris Bacon – a well-thrown knife can kill at 20 feet. And the closer you are with any weapon the more accurate you can be. BTW, I think more people are killed by auto than murdered by all causes in any year. Strangulation seems to be the favorite method of killing by rapists.

      2. So the cost of using a car is that you might die using it or being around one.
        The cost of having a gun is that you might die using it or being around one.
        There is no difference other than one has a natural right attached to it. But you already knew that.

    2. Also…there are already laws limiting possession, concealed carry, and types of knives in basically every state.

      Pick a better straw man next time. You’re recycling this one is sad.

      1. So, if there are laws, then why aren’t those laws stopping knife murders? Your claim that I’m using a straw man argument is sheer leftist hypocrisy. YOU are the one with the straw man argument. And ONLY leftists like you. All the leftist Hollyweird frauds, for example, demand gun control for others, but they literally hide behind armed security guards themselves.

        What is truly sad is that leftists masquerade with such phony BENEVOLENCE, but their real objective is governmental authority and MALEVOLENCE.

        Here’s a little reminder of reality from Buckminster Fuller who was once asked about the atomic bomb being the end-game for humanity.

        Fuller’s response to this was priceless.He said that “Both Adam and Eve could have picked up stones and it would have been all over.. So, in a sense, there’s always been a bomb.”

  15. Could we have another Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) article? Her birthday is March 17 and this blog needs to honor her for all of the important and vital news she has provided.

  16. IMHO, the conflict that you are seeing here is not just between legalities, but a deeper conflict between Theory vs. Reality. Since people have been able to read in large numbers the Human Race has been swamped by various theories and doctrines on all topics. Today, I think many people are addicted to theories just like they are to cell phones or drugs. The Libertarians are convinced that the individual is entitled to do almost anything he wants, particularly in economic arenas, as long as there is no violence. Liberals are addicted to their theories, like Abortion being a basic unrestricted right, even if the baby is 8 1/2 months old, and about to pop out of the womb, no matter what medical science has achieved since Roe v. Wade. And screw Reality.

    Finally, us gun nuts want our rights to firearms to be unrestricted, because we rightly see that the end game is not gun control, but gun confiscation, much like Australia. Where they have recently banned a single action gun because of the way it looks, not what it is.

    Sooo, with that in mind, here is my take. Just like the theory that 18 year olds are adults, the reality is that they are tremendously immature. That is not biology, but the result of our culture, and the Liberal’s decades long assault on bourgeoisie values. Young men are being raised as emotional histrionic pussies by their single moms, and frankly, if we had to fight a major ground war for our survival, we would probably be toast. So we ban underage drinking. Which still occurs hugely. I was going to bars when I was 16 (1990), with an excellent driver’s license, and student college license I forged. But, we know that most 18 year olds are too immature to add alcohol to the mix.

    Same with guns. Theory wise, there is no reason why their gun rights should be restricted. But 18 year olds are well, 18 year olds. Plus, there are a lot less gun stores than there are bars and liquor stores. And I bet people are going to be less likely to buy guns for teens. Of course, there is the whole safety issue for women. Because guns are our Great Equalizer. Most of us aren’t going to fight off a male attacker. I bet the age restrictions hold.

    Bump stock restrictions are work arounds for bans on auto fire weapons. Most of the time, they are useless for accuracy, but hell in tight spaces. The ban will hold.

    Large magazines? Most murders are with handguns, so banning magazines will do little to cut down on murder rates. But, they look scary, and there is a valid reason why military forces don’t use bolt action weapons outside of sniping. You just don’t have to reload as often. Plus, sometimes you need a lot of bullets going the other way, even if they don’t hit anything. With the large numbers of gang members in the country, and the Left’s insane insistence on importing millions more thru illegal immigration, there is a valid need for an AK47 with a 30 round clip. But, I bet those bans will stand, because emotions trump reason.

    The ban on types of weapons will probably not stand. Because frankly hunting weapons are more deadly than “assault” weapons in the right hands. Plus, there is no evidence the previous assault rifle ban did any good. Most murders are done with handguns.

    That is my take on things. I strongly suggest that everybody stock up now on ammo and guns, because we can not rely on our fellow countrymen to act in a sane fashion. One day, we will probably need them.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Developmental studies show that humans continue to mature in important ways up to the age of 24. Brain is not fully developed until then. Neither is the liver.

      So the biological age of maturity is 24. That ought to inform the legal age, which need not be the same for all activities.

      1. David Benson – if the brain does not mature until 24 then we should raise the voting age to 25, just to be sure we are getting mature voters. Same with drinking, driving, sex, (age of consent), etc.

        1. Possibly that is the best way. But even 21 is quite mature compared to 18 and that age compared to 16, which is the age of consent in some states. Further, it used to be possible to obtain a motorscooter license at 14 in New Mexico.

          I am not sure that everything requires full maturity but it is surely a matter which deserves more debate.

          1. An yet the average age of mass shooters is well over 21. It is stupid to remove the rights of many for a few bad apples.

      2. A man may not live to your age of maturity, 24, if he is unable to defend himself against tyrannical and oppressive dictators or other threats. What was the average age of death for young American men during “Crazy Abe” Lincoln’s wholly unconstitutional “Reign of Terror”? JFK and LBJ forced 58,000 men as young as 18 to be killed in Vietnam. According to your thesis, Ron Goldman was barely mature at the age of 25 when he was violently disarticulated by O.J. Simpson.

        Female human beings begin ovulating at 11 or 12. Should they be allowed by law to protect and defend their young families or should they tell the bad guys, “hey, wait another 12 years before you assault, batter, rape or murder us”.

        The 2nd Amendment has been around since 1789. That would seem to be sufficient time for those who disapprove of the Constitution to relocate or not immigrate to America in the first place. All citizens, even those with limited educations or comprehension, including vastly superior Supreme Court Justices, can grasp the unequivocal meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

        “…shall not be infringed.”

        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.”

        Presumably, the right would be infringed by an age restriction.

        You’re a genius!

    2. Squeek,

      So you recognize that there has been a wosification of the male and then think that a state mandate on age will help that? If we never tell kids to grow up and be responsible (like health insurance until 26) then we get what we deserve.

      1. I agree. But in the meantime, what is the current state of Reality? We are living around a bunch of narcissistic and histrionic young men. Nothing will change that but MAYBE a revolution, a huge natural disaster, a nuclear war, or maybe a long lasting financial disaster with some starvation thrown into the mix. Which, if we are lucky, we will then get our own Hitler-type person to take out the trash while we pray he knows where to stop.

        I am not optimistic about the future.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. I too am not optimistic, but catering to the snowflakes just seems like a bad idea.

          By the way, I got to watch a few of the Amy Wax debates yesterday while boiling sap for syrup. She is a pretty fascinating lady and I can’t believe she hasn’t been destroyed yet. Although, it appears they are working on it. Two things that I found interesting was one, how she points to the pill as big catalyst for destroying the American family and two, her analogy (used in the video “Blaming the victom”) of a paralyzed car accident victim having to do the work to make themselves walk again regardless of how much money they take from the one at fault. Also enjoy her overall theme on being able to be judgmental. One of my two points I try to make to people as the cause of our demise.

  17. The original framers of the Second Amendment were dyslectic. The right to arm bears has always been a part of our history and heritage before the American Revolution. Our Framers wanted to have cops to protect us. The eastern black bears were quite able and are willing, ready and able now.
    (Music)
    It’s a nick, nack, paddy wag…
    Give a bear a gun!
    This old bear came rolling home.
    etc

    And bear witness to what I say. Bear farts in the dark is something to be heard and not seen.

  18. Yes. The remedy is to amend the Constitution. It will be difficult (impossible), but it’s meant to be so.

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