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Ninth Circuit Defines Second Amendment Rights

In a decision filed yesterday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Second Amendment right to bear arms has been greatly expanded, although I suspect that most people, after reading this paragraph, will wonder why I say that.   The decision is interesting in two respects. First, it is written by the Ninth Circuit, which has not traditionally been noted for its conservatism, and, second, it is the first United States Appeals Court opinion to hold that Second Amendment right to bear arms applies to the states as well as the federal government.

I would guess that many of you by now are saying, “of course it applies to the states, it’s in the Constitution”. But, until this decision no federal appellate court had ever made that pronouncement. Here’s the distinction. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Heller found unconstitutional a District of Columbia law banning hand guns. Because it was the District of Columbia, it was a federal law and thus the ban violated the Second Amendment.

But what about Alameda County, California? Can a  county ordinance ban hand guns? In the case of Nordyke v. King, the Ninth Circuit said, “no”. Although, just as in the Heller decision, the court said the state could limit where a citizen could bear arms, the Nordyke court held that under the Second Amendment, a state or local government  couldn’t ban them altogether.  The Court’s holding is worth your read.

We therefore conclude that the right to keep and bear arms is ‘deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition.’  Colonial revolutionaries, the Founders, and a host of commentators and lawmakers living during the first one hundred years of the Republic all insisted on the fundamental nature of the right.  It has long been regarded as the ‘true palladium of liberty.’  Colonists relied on it to assert and to win their independence, and the victorious Union sought to prevent a recalcitrant South from abridging it less than a century later.  The critical role this deeply rooted right has played in our birth and history compels us to recognize that it is indeed fundamental, that it is necessary to the Anglo-American conception of ordered liberty that we have inherited.  We are therefore persuaded that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment and applies it against the states and local governments. (emphasis supplied)

If you are interested in reading a fascinating discussion of the origins of our Second Amendment, and why our Fourteenth Amendment “incorporates” the Second Amendment, you may want to read pages 19 through 27 of the opinion. But the final paragraph of this part of the opinion is worth repeating.

We also note that the target of the right to keep and bear arms shifted in the period leading up to the Civil War.  While the generation of 1789 envisioned the right as a component of local resistance to centralized tyranny, whether British or federal, the generation of 1868 envisioned the right as safeguard to protect individuals from oppressive or indifferent local governments.

About those guns coming from the US, umm, never mind

I discussed this on the show, after the Secretary of State made the claim that 90 percent of the guns being used by the drug cartel in Mexico come from the US. And yet they are recovering weapons that can’t be sold in the US. So how could this be?

Watch and listen to this Fox exclusive. It’s clear, at least to me and I hope Steve will add to this post, that the Democrats were hoping to use this to clamp down on gun ownership in the US. But that’s just me.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-kPbDsrfgI

Here’s a post by Glenn Reynolds … the first person I know to catch the discrepancy.

So all this talk about U.S. gun shops arming Mexican gangs with bazookas was just gun-control propaganda, then?

Call me paranoid, but I am glad Fox jumped on this early … or is it already too late? Or does it even matter with this crowd in DC? Comments welcome.

Update: (Steve) … Malkin points us over to the Fox News exclusive as well, so maybe these lies and myths have a chance of being squashed, but honestly, this is exactly how the anti-gun crowd operates. They deal with conjecture and feelings all the time; since Mexico is a poor country, they certainly are not responsible for their actions. Plus, it always needs to be about the big bad Americans and their negative influence on poor countries.

Kind of reminds me of the drive by media.

Here’s an excerpt from the Fox News exclusive, which is a must read since it provides detailed information about the number of weapons traced, where they come from, and where they do not come from.

There’s just one problem with the 90 percent “statistic” and it’s a big one:

It’s just not true.

In fact, it’s not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.

What’s true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency’s assistant director, “is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.”

But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

“Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market,” Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.

Hot Air is now on topic, as is Gateway Pundit. Ed Morrissey does ask the question – why lie?

So why make up the lie? The more conspiratorial will conclude that the Obama administration wants to have a pretext for seizing weapons. Public statements like those made by Hillary Clinton certainly put pressure on the US to take some sort of action, if we’re admitting to being the problem. So far, the Obama administration has not proposed a solution to this mythical problem, but we will want to keep a very close eye when they do.

We’ll, maybe they didn’t lie, the administration just hears what they want to hear and passes it along. That way, if the 90 percent figure goes viral and everyone believes it – they can pass more restrictive gun legislation.

If they get caught – just like all of the administration tax cheats – it just becomes a clerical error that is really no big deal.

Connecticut Legislature schedules hearing on firearm micro-stamping requirement

More feel good legislation targeting firearm owners and future owners. The Connecticut State Legislature has introduced SB 353 that would ban the retail sale of semi-automatic pistols that are not equipped with micro-stamp technology after Jan. 2011.

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary will be holding a hearing at 10 a.m. ET on Monday, March 16 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The NRA has suggested that members – and all of those concerned about deteriorating 2nd Amendment rights – attend the hearing to chime in on SB 353, An Act Concerning the Microstamping of Semiautomatic Pistols.

Of course, the committee announced the public hearing concerning the bill would be held in less than 14 business hours. Thanks for the advanced notice.

Micro-stamp technology adds identifying information to the firing pin. When the trigger is pulled and the round is ejected, a serial number or other identifying mark is embedded onto the cartridge case – not the bullet –  of the round that is fired. The stated purpose of the legislation – sponsored by Sen. Martin Looney (D-Conn. 11th) and Rep. Andres Ayala (D-Conn. 128th) – is to facilitate the linking of a cartridge to the pistol it was fired from.

But in reality, this is feel good legislation that will make semi-automatic pistols more expensive, and ensure some manufactures pull out of the Connecticut market. As a matter of fact, one manufacture of high quality pistols – STI International – stopped selling pistols to the civilian and law enforcement market when Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a micro-stamping law that will take effect next year in California.

Many scams are in the works by politicians and organizations who want to disarm law abiding citizens in the United States. Instead of banning personal protection firearms – which they are finding out is not Constitutional – they are going the incremental route.

Incremental steps include: mandatory registration of firearms, encoding and registration of ammunition, worthless safety test requirements, confusing concealed carry and open carry laws, confusing transport requirements, storage regulations that make it impossible for a person to defend themselves at home, bans on lead ammunition, limiting the sale of ammunition to those “registered” with the state, ballistic fingerprint databases and micro-stamping.

Those who apply an incremental amount of logic to these arguments realize these laws do little or nothing to reduce crime or violence. The laws simply make owning and training with a firearm more difficult and expensive for law abiding people.

Some facts about micro-stamping…

  • Firing pins with micro-stamps can be removed in as little as five seconds and the stamp can be filed off in less than a minute. The firearm will continue to function. Criminals who do not hesitate to file off serial numbers will have an easy time removing the micro-stamp.
  • Firearms that are currently in the hands of law abiding citizens – and criminals – will not have the technology. There are a lot of semi-automatic pistols out there. A lot.
  • Criminals don’t buy guns legally, they steal them or buy them from other criminals. They are unlikely to register them.
  • The law ignores the use of revolvers in crimes since the casings are not ejected. Yes, many criminals still use revolvers since they are cheap and easily accessible in the criminal world.
  • Criminals would have easy access to spent cartridges that have micro-stamping from other pistols, and cartridges without any micro-stamping. Twenty rounds tossed around the crime scene from other pistols of the same caliber can easily result in hours of law enforcement investigative efforts being redirected to dead end leads.
  • The cost to add micro-stamping to new pistols could be as high as $150 per gun. Some say it would only cost $1. If it would only cost $1, would STI International pull completely out of the California market? Cost really is not the issue, again this is purely feel good legislation. STI pulled out because California was just a pain in the but to deal with.
  • The law seems to put the burden of managing the stamp database and matching it to specific pistol serial numbers and owners on the manufacturer. I’m sure this will not cost too much. [rolleyes]

Let’s discuss another feel good law passed within the past ten years – ballistic fingerprinting. Certainly, if the state required that test cartridges from every firearm sold in the state be registered and entered into a database, some crimes would be solved? Sorry, if you think that you would be incorrect.

From the Sept. 2004 State of Maryland State Police Integrated Ballistics Identification System report after four years of data…

The additional year of study request in the initial report on the status of the MD-IBIS program has just concluded, Basically the same situation exists that was prevalent a year ago; however, some other issues of negative consequence have been illuminated.

Continuing problems include the failure of the MD-IBIS to provide any meaningful hits. There have been no crime investigations that have been enhanced or expedited through the use of MD-IBIS. The program has bee in existence for four years at a cumulative cost of $2,567,633.

The status of the sister system to MD-IBIS, the New York State Combined Ballistic Identification System (CoBIS) was reviewed. The system has compiled almost 80,000 cartridge case profiles in their database. The result however is the same as Maryland. There have been no hits reported by CoBIS. The fact that two systems performing the same function and yet have no results indicative of performance in the manner for which the systems were designed is significant, The annual budget request for CoBIS is approximately $4 million.

If someone knows of any cases in Maryland or New York helped by ballistic fingerprinting since the release of the report, let us know.

Feel good legislation does not work.

In the featured image, last April Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel urged the New York State Senate to pass her micro-stamping legislation. It did not pass. I guess she learned nothing from the New York State Combined Ballistic Identification System program.

Who to Contact – Call to Action

If you can not make the hearing on Monday morning, I encourage you to call the committee at the number listed at their Web site, (860) 240-0530. If you agree with what I have posted here, simply direct them to this post.

You can also contact Rep. Ayala and Sen. Looney through their Web sites.

San Francisco mayor blames NRA for triple homicide

I’m questioning future visits to San Francisco until this idiot Gavin Newsom is out of office. He actually smiles as he says the NRA is against “anything that restricts the opportunity for a guy who gets cut off in traffic from pulling out a hand gun and almost assassinating an entire family, as was the case a few days ago in San Francisco, where three people were gunned down. That somehow that is appropriate and wonderful and that person celebrated his freedom to carry a loaded pistol”.

Author note: While I’m away from the computer, I’m republishing my top 20 posts from 2008 each afternoon. -Steve

Is he nuts? He’s trying to pin the drive-by, mid-day, Sunday afternoon, gang-land style attack and murder of a father and his two sons on the National Rifle Association.

[Update July 25] Newsom video courtesy A Keyboard and a .45 and The Real Gun Guys.

Here’s the original story on CBS5.com and here is the video. In short, some gang-banger types murdered three innocent people and drove off. Anthony, Matthew and Michael Bologna were killed.

The guy charged, 21-year-old Edwin Ramos, is being held without bail. Of course, Ramos’ attorney says he’s a fine young man, but then the video report goes on to say that his client (Ramos) may be a member of the notorious MS13 gang. Yeah, a fine young man indeed.

It gets better. HotAir and Fox News reports that Ramos was an illegal alien and he had two previous felony convictions. Megan Kelly from Fox News provides the reporting in this video.

I’m not too familiar with what the city of San Francisco is doing to thwart crime, but I do know that the City by the Bay has the some of the most restrictive handgun laws in the country.

A city ordinance prohibits possession of any gun if you live in public housing. (Who says Republicans treat those in public housing as second-class citizens?) Those who do own firearms, must keep them in lock boxes or use trigger locks. The NRA just filed suit to fight the public housing ordinance.

San Francisco does not issue carry permits – unless you are a judge or a government official.

In November of 2006, San Francisco’s Proposition H – which passed and had intended to make it illegal to own or possess a handgun in the city – was tossed out by a Superior Court judge.

So Mayor Newsom, if Edwin Ramos did it, how many San Francisco laws was he breaking already? How can you justify more laws that will not work?

Where do you get off blaming the NRA? Criminals and gang members do not care at all about the extra laws or outright bans that you put on the books to make citizens feel better. They are criminals. Do you think they will turn in the tools of their trade just because you pass another, more restrictive law?

You’re an IDIOT. I blame you for these murders mayor. You promote San Francisco as a sanctuary city and you should pay. These criminal low-lifes seem to have full immunity in your city.

Let law obiding citizens take appropriate training, buy firearms and carry concealed. Maybe only 1 percent of the San Francisco citizens would carry – but watch the crime rate fall.

Criminals want to operate in target rich areas. If they knew there was a possibility that a trained citizen with a SIG P239 DAK in .40 caliber was around the corner, they just might elect to not commit a crime or move elsewhere.

See-Dubya has more over at Malkin’s place.

Guns Don’t Kill People … They Help People Stop Home Invasions

OK … not exactly the way the phrase goes … but I could add 10 more stories I know of just like this.

Owning a gun is your 2nd amendment right. It is also your responsibility to learn to handle a firearm safely and correctly. But if you take the time to learn, train, and legally purchase a firearm it just may save your life someday. After watching this video ask yourself, if the homeowner lived in a “gun free zone” … would the homeowner be talking to the reporter today. Click  to view.

picture-1

2nd Amendment: “Reasonable Restrictions Are Still Possible”

Arghhhhh! Eric Holder bothers me and should all 2nd amendment advocates. He seems to me to be a now reluctant defender of an individual’s right to own firearms … forced there only by the SCOTUS District of Columbia v. Heller decision. Even in this case his position was well documented … the 2nd Amendment, he believed, referred only to a state’s collective right to form a militia.

I am not comforted by his testimony today when question by Dr Tom Coburn. You have to listen closely (audio is stepped on by Shep Smith) but he clearly states that position as accepted fact until Heller. I am not ware it was accepted by anyone other than gun control advocates. Based on what I heard … he is a man who will push Heller to the limits.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUdYWEXq-2M

If you would like the longer cleaner version you can find it here at C-Span … the key portion begins at 53:40

The only guns he will “reasonably restrict” will be those belonging the law abiding citizens. The criminals don’t care. He scares me and should all law abiding citizens. Or am I overreacting?

For more news on Holder and the 2nd Amendment … go to Instapundit here … and then follow every day.

Biden won’t let Obama take his guns – or ours

My first thought when I heard about Biden’s statement concerning firearm ownership was – I’ll bet my last dollar he was not in San Fransisco, Seattle, Chicago or New York. No way. Biden stated, “I guarantee you Barack Obama ain’t taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey.”

Biden spoke at the United Mine Workers of America’s annual fish fry in Castlewood, Virginia, just about as far away from Washington D.C. you can get while still staying in the state. Both the NRA and the Gun Owners of America give Biden and Obama F ratings.

Read more

Wal-Mart’s New Gun Sales Policy – Value? Nothing

Wal-Mart had to do something. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City is on a crusade and taking tips from Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson on how to bully corporations for political gain. That’s simply what this is about, what looks good for elitists like Bloomberg.

I understand that Bloomberg and his like want to keep criminals from getting firearms, but we all know that criminals do not walk into Wal-Mart – or any other dealer – to buy their weapon of choice legally. This is a pure publicity stunt, specifically designed to get the world’s largest retailer to give up selling firearms and ammunition. Read more

District of Columbia v. Heller Transcripts and Audio

For those interested, I’m providing links directly to the written transcript and some audio files as well. Walter E. Dillinger speaks before the court for the petitioners , including the city of Washington D.C., at the very beginning of the argument. Within a minute or two, Chief Justice Roberts throws Dillinger off his game and he never seems to recover. Maybe Dillinger never had a game plan.

Quite honestly, this is the first Supreme Court transcript I can ever remember listening to or reading from. That said, it seemed like Dillinger came into the court knowing that he was fighting a loosing battle from the getgo. You could just tell that he wanted to say guns are just evil, and we should not have them. Read more

Supreme Court Hears Heller Case – 10 a.m. ET Today

For those who are interested, the Supremes are hearing arguments today in the case of Heller v. D.C. Michelle Malkin posted a few excellent background links. To be clear, the case will not be ruled on today, it’s just oral arguments at the court. Although the decision will not settle the situation across the country, this particular case will be unique. It’s really the first time since 1939 in U.S. v. Miller that the Supremes will directly address the scope of the 2nd Amendment.

Here’s some background from Wiki:

In 2003, six residents of Washington, D.C. (Shelly Parker, Tom Palmer, Gillian St. Lawrence, Tracey Ambeau, George Lyon and Dick Heller) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the constitutionality of provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, a local law enacted pursuant to District of Columbia home rule. The law limited the ability of residents to own side arms, excluding those grandfathered in by registration prior to 1975. This law restricts residents, except active and retired law enforcement officers, from owning handguns. The law also requires that all firearms including rifles and shotguns be kept “unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock.” The District Court dismissed the lawsuit.

For those interested, it looks like SCOTUSblog will live blog the even and they may will use Cover It Live – Obama is on right now, so that will take precedence most likely.