Northern Mariana Islands Set to Replace Unconstitutional Gun Laws with More Unconstitutional Gun Laws

Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (courtesy bbc.com)

The United State District Court for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) recently ruled that the island chain’s gun laws — written by a peace corps volunteer in the 1970’s — are unconstitutional. The House and Senate of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands reacted to the Court’s ruling by passing S. B. No. 19-94, “To regulate the possession of firearms in the Commonwealth.” The bill passed the Senate unanimously. The short title is the SAFE Act (Special Act for Firearms Enforcement), perhaps in reference to the infamous New York law of the same name. It has not yet been signed by the Governor. Reading the bill . . .
It’s clear its authors looked at the most restrictive possible language from appellate courts in the circuits most antagonistic to Second Amendment rights. Then combined provisions of those laws, to make it as difficult as possible to possess or use for defensive purposes, any firearms in the CNMI. The authors specifically cite the Cities of Highland Park (a suburb of Chicago), the District of Columbia, and San Francisco as models for their SAFE Act.

There are the exemptions from the bill for “Any judge, justice, judge pro tern, justice pro tern, administrative hearing officer, or administrative law judge,” all police officers, all correction officers, parole officers, customs officers, and anyone else designated as a law enforcement officer. The bill gives several officers the ability to grant immunity from the provisions of the bill to whomever they please, by designating them as “law enforcement,” “Investigator” or deputy. The Public Auditor, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Public Safety all have this power to some degree.

For resident without political connections, Islands carry will be extremely limited. Some exemptions exist for private property owners, but private property may only be owned by people in the direct line of descent of people who were born on the Islands before 1950. This eliminates the private ownership of real property for over 50 percent of the population.

The new law would continue the CNMI’s ban on any rifle but those that fire .22 rimfire or .223 caliber centerfire cartridges, and any but .410 shotguns. The law establishes “gun free zones” out to 500 feet from day care centers, or places of worship, casinos and areas that extend 500 feet around any building owned by the Legislature, Attorney General or Court. The bill would also impose a $1,000 “temporary tax” on the importation of any pistol into the CNMI within one year of the statute being passed.

The law seems destined for passage. How much of it — if any — will be challenged in court remains to be seen.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar Mark says:

    shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhocking.

    1. avatar Chier DuChien says:

      The USA needs to unload all of these territories, including Puerto Rico and be shed of them.
      They are nothing but parasites that we can no longer afford.

      1. avatar int19h says:

        Parasites? They host numerous military bases, allowing US to project power in the region. And their population is disproportionally involved in military service, compared to mainland US citizens.

        1. avatar Cleophus says:

          An even better reason to be rid of them!

        2. avatar JohnF says:

          That was a lot more true 50 years ago than it is now. We now have ships that can stay at sea for months, planes that can hit any target in the world and return, and super-carrier task groups that can project more power, more places and more effectively than any island. The idea of our territories being militarily strategic is an outmoded concept.

      2. avatar Mark says:

        PR becoming a state would insure Democrats control over the white house. Also, I’ve traned with PR national guard and they are not well managed or trained.

  2. avatar Dave says:

    A peace corps volunteer??? Seriously???

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Chris Mathews?

    2. Yes. I have had email correspondence with the lawyer who wrote the law. He was a peace corps volunteer in the Islands at the time, and was working in the legislature as an assistant.

      The Islands legislature leadership got the Idea from all the “gun control” propaganda being pushed in the late 60’s, early 70’s. They did not have any “gun crime”; they just wanted to pass a law as a precautionary measure.

    3. avatar robby wilshire says:

      Almost all the laws and constitutions across Micronesia,
      are the direct result of peace corps volunteers and other left wing racist Neocolonialist pukes writing them.

      Think young Clinton or Finestien being given absolute power and control to establish new from the ground up governments over populations that had been reduced to total dependency from years of war and exploitative foreign military rule.
      It is just as you would think!!
      I know first hand.
      I lived on one of the outer islands of Palau for a number of years before the “Compact of Free Association” gave Palau “Independence ”
      I spent my youth in the Marine Corps NOT the Freaking Peace Corps.

  3. avatar Tom says:

    Interesting that the Mariana Islands, the launch point for the most powerful weapons ever used, want to restrict weapons except for the power-hungry government. Enola Gay and Bockscar launched from the North Field on Tinian to fight a power-hungry government.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      The most powerful weapons ever used launched from the Mariana Islands?

      Why, yes.

      The incendiary bombs dropped by the thousands of tons destroyed far more square miles of Japanese cities and killed far more people than the first two first-generation fission firecrackers used in combat ever did…

      1. avatar jwm says:

        True dat. But how many airplanes and their exposed crews and how many thousands of firebombs had to be dropped?

        To qoute Mencia. “They dropa 2 bombs…..”

        1. avatar Cleophus says:

          It is immoral to make war on civilians.

        2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          Immoral to make war on civilians went out the window sometime ago.
          Actually, when it came to war, I think Sherman and Forrest had the thoughts about it nailed the best.
          . Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.”-LeMay.

        3. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “It is immoral to make war on civilians.”

          In Japan, industry and civilian housing are often literally next to each other.

        4. avatar jwm says:

          cleo. So we allow Japan to rape and plunder and murder cause they got civilians?

  4. avatar notalima says:

    Their law looks like a grab bag of “go find out what all of the restrictive guns laws in various US states are and put them ALL in ours!”…and a $1,000 poll tax.

    1. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

      “That the power of taxing it [the Bank of the United States] by the States may be exercised so as to destroy it, is too obvious to be denied” (p. 427), and “That the power to tax involves the power to destroy … [is] not to be denied. (p. 431).”
      –Chief Justice Marshall, ‘McCulloch v. Maryland’, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316 (1819)

      Ergo: “the power to tax a constitutional right is the power to destroy that right.”

      The “right” here is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms – guaranteed to the citizens of the U.S. territory of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands by the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution.

      Interestingly enough, I haven’t yet found mention of this law in the U.S. “lamestream media” – maybe they don’t want to draw attention to a law that will be declared unconstitutional once it hits the courts.

  5. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Duly added to the list of places I never heard of before, and those I will never again visit for any reason. Those lists are actually getting a bit shorter… but still. Can’t imagine anyone serious about self defense staying there, for sure.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Duly added to the list of places I never heard of before, uuhhhhmmm….ever hear about the Enola Gay?

  6. avatar gs650g says:

    Dog catchers included in that special class if authorities?

  7. avatar Steven says:

    “private property may only be owned by people in the direct line of descent of people who were born on the Islands before 1950.”

    How is that not unconstitutional via the Equal Protection Clause?

    1. avatar Jared says:

      Only “fundamental rights” apply to unincorporated territories.

      They have a “covenant” with the US government and they opted out of jury trials (unless penalty is 4+ years in prison), they explicitly allow for land alienation. And heir senate is based upon geography with no consideration of population.

      1. avatar Steven says:

        If marriage, and having an abortion are both fundamental rights, owning property most definitely should be too.

        1. avatar Jared says:

          One would think; however, court precedent with unincorporated territories is horrible. Many of the Insular Cases are horrible as well.

        2. avatar Roymond says:

          Only property that is the product of your body falls in the same category as marriage and abortion.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Right there with you.

      These places should have a choice- in or out. If you don’t want to be a state, whatever, by if you are a territory you don’t get to deny your citizens Constitutional rights.

  8. avatar Mr. 308 says:

    “There are the exemptions from the bill for “Any judge, justice, judge pro tern, justice pro tern, administrative hearing officer, or administrative law judge,…””

    In other words, screw you Jack, I got mine. Now keep on paying those taxes.

    Seems to be a trend going on with all this stuff, doesn’t it?

    1. avatar Sian says:

      Some animals are more equal than others.

      1. avatar dlj95118 says:

        “Oink!”

    2. avatar Jared says:

      Actually, they don’t pay any federal income taxes. Yet many inhabitants of the territory scream oppression by Washington DC.

      They exempted their buddies under the old law by calling them “law enforcement officers as well”.

      If you are expecting honesty. This is the same government where

      1. The last governor allowed his armed escort to sell hard drugs out of the governor’s limo.

      2. A higher up in DPS gave his crack dealing nephew a handgun so he could go murder someone.

  9. avatar Jared says:

    Well Dean,

    One man with his buddies did all he could. That’s why I can’t push this issue in the CNMI any further.

    Hopefully the NRA and others pick up the fight because it needs to be fought.

    In 2008, the NRA told me that they “don’t care about the territories”. Something must have made them change their tune because they funded a bulk of the case.

    Hopefully that continues.

  10. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Aren’t these the same islands that some global warming whiners were complaining are going to disappear forever when the polar ice caps melt? I guess the real property thing won’t mean so much then.

    1. I believe you are referring to the Maldives, which are in the Indian Ocean.

      Of course, they are not in real danger. It is just another way to attempt “resdistribution of wealth”.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Now that you mention it, I do believe it was the Maldives. You are certainly right about carbon credits/trade/global warming being just another way to redistribute the wealth, or scam the tax payers out of some more grant money. That isn’t going to change any time soon, of course neither it the climate for that matter.

  11. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I haven’t read this much crap in one amendment since reading a lot of the NY bull hockey.
    Good luck to the 1st resident who brings these klownz to court.

  12. avatar Mikey says:

    I remember the local police whining about our m14’s being a banned caliber during our Saipan visits but they got to rock mp5’s with the happy switch. Ahhh government logic.

  13. avatar Simon says:

    “The new law would continue the CNMI’s ban on any rifle but those that fire .22 rimfire or .223 caliber centerfire cartridges..”

    Two of my favorite cartridges. You can can own an AR and a 10/22. I don’t see a problem there. 🙂

  14. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    The island people have been contaminated.
    These were warriors who were armed where ever they went before the white liberals came.
    Unfortunately the ” prime directive” was not enforced back then.

    1. They whine about the U.S., but no one mentions the centuries they spent under Spanish, German, and Japanese rule.

      I suspect that under those regimes, they did not get any food stamp money, or were allowed local autonomy in nearly every respect.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        America is an exceptional country.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        Aknowledging that being colonised is wrong and not to be excused.

        Who would you rather be colonised by? Spain. Japan. France. England. Germany. Or the US.

  15. avatar Wrightl3 says:

    Can we just sell this island off to either another country or to some billionaire as a private island?

  16. avatar Mudshark says:

    Year of the Tick

  17. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Uhhhh….is this one of those Japanese Mandate Islands?
    The islands administered by Japan, under a mandate from the League of Nations, comprised the Marshall Islands in the east, the Caroline Islands in the center-south, and the Mariana Islands in the northwest.
    Give it to the Japanese.

    1. The most valuable part of the Northern Mariana Islands is the exclusive economic zone around them (extends 200 miles, I understand) and the airfields and harbors.

      It appears the fishing is not very productive, with little being exported.

  18. avatar 688smag says:

    One of my port calls on my second deployment was in Saipan. It was a cool place, lots of history and the locals were actually happy to have us there. Not hard to understand why, they were very poor. However prostitution was rampant. If you’ve ever been someplace like Mexico where people are always pestering you to buy junk and won’t let up, that’s how the hookers were. They would follow you and not let you alone. All of the girls were Chinese and I assume not there by their own accord. This was 2009, I assume nothing has changed. Perhaps they should put their efforts behind eradicating the sex trafficking first…..

  19. avatar Geoff PR says:

    ATTN Dean –

    Dean, read this please on what they say about the 2A:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/04/what-if-the-supreme-court-were-liberal/477018/

    I looked for your e-mail addy on Gunwatch but couldn’t find it.

    Dan Z. has my e-mail contact info…

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      That should scare the socks off anyone who supports the 2nd Amendment. When it comes to SCOTUS any Republican POTUS would better than either of the Dems. The only bern I feel is the heat of the bill of rights going up in flames as we feel the boot heel of the statists trampling on our rights!

  20. avatar IYearn4nARnCali says:

    Hey! What the hell is going on here! Only my state of California has the right and political ambivalence to the Constitution, reality, “common sense” ( neither common nor sensible ), and the rights of the people to grossly restrict a specifically delineated right that does not exist because it is delineated, only enshrines in common language the right of the people to protect themselves as they see fit.

    This nonsense is infringing upon my state’s ability to retain the crown as the largest collection of disingenuous shetbirds in the nation! Don’t they understand that by now?

    I mean come on, without our disgusting stance on guns, what else could we possibly be more restrictive about?
    /sarc – just in case you don’t get past the 2nd sentence, cheers.

  21. avatar stateisevil says:

    Haha. Toljaso. Kourts worse than useless.

  22. avatar doesky2 says:

    Typical sheet from the Left.

    A rare court ruling in favor of the Right causes the immediate invocation of another unconstitutional law that will take years to grind through the courts. Rinse and repeat.

    Any fleabag minor court ruling in favor of the Left and every county clerk in the state stays open on the weekend to marry as many gay mafia types that they can.

    Phucked up!

    Keep going down this path and our only avenue of recourse will be to vote from the rooftops.

  23. avatar My name is Brian T, Oshiro and I have had multiple attempts made on my life by the local govt's backers says:

    “There are the exemptions from the bill for “Any judge, justice, judge pro tern, justice pro tern, administrative hearing officer, or administrative law judge,” all police officers, all correction officers, parole officers, customs officers, and anyone else designated as a law enforcement officer. The bill gives several officers the ability to grant immunity from the provisions of the bill to whomever they please, by designating them as “law enforcement,” “Investigator” or deputy. The Public Auditor, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Public Safety all have this power to some degree.”

    AAAANd there is your caste system. Just like Oahu, Hawaii. Ex governor had to deputize himself so he can carry a flashy chrome plated semi auto. I wonder if they are trafficking kids and doing toilet related surveillance on the disarmed lower caste over there like in Hawaii. Probably not as much with the kids because they seem to like the lighter skinned ones, I speak from experience. I am a bad slave because I would not let the wrong old white guy put my dinghy in his mouth, so that made me a “suspect” at 14 for EVERYTHING THAT EVER HAPPENS IN THE WORLD, EVER.

    Remember, if you move to Hawaii, and you are less than a millionaire or connected to the proper group, make sure your kids don’t refuse the sexual advances of anyone who is. Just let it all happen. Now with terrorism in the news these days, you and your kids don’t want to be called terrorists, do you?

  24. avatar John Evangelista says:

    Has anybody lived there??? I grew up on Saipan. The local population over there are all related. Taking a concealed carry course over there would be pointless because everyone would know you’re packing heat by the end of the day. Let them figure it themselves what is right as long as they follow the guidelines of the constitution.

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