“The National Rifle Association applauds the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the United States Supreme Court,” the NRA’s presser proclaims [via ammoland.com] According to NRA-ILA’s executive director Chris Cox, “He has an impressive record that demonstrates his support for the Second Amendment.” Specifically . . .
During his tenure on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch has demonstrated his belief that the Constitution should be applied as the framers intended. To that end, he has supported the individual right to self-defense. Specifically, he wrote in an opinion that “the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.
Our man Johannes offers a closer look at Judge Gorsuch’s firearms friendliness in the next post.
Meanwhile, the Gun Owners of America were at least initially hesitant to endorse Judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, as revealed by a pre-nomination editorial in American Thinker.
Larry Pratt focused his concerns on the Judge’s ruling in United States v. Rodriguez, 739 F.3d 481 (11th Cir. 2013)
The precedent from the Rodriguez opinion will affect police-citizen relations in New Mexico, and possibly elsewhere in the Tenth Circuit, for many years to come. Not bothering to figure out the legality of Rodriguez’s firearm before detaining and disarming him, the officer’s initial actions would have been the same even if Mr. Rodriguez had been a lawful gun owner.
According to the 10th Circuit’s opinion, the police are justified in forcibly disarming every armed citizen based on nothing more than the presence of a concealed firearm. This allows the police to treat every law-abiding gun owner like a criminal – which, in many cases we have seen, includes rough treatment such as grabbing him, twisting his arm behind his back, slamming him down on the ground, and handcuffing him.
Far too many police officers do not like anyone to be armed other than themselves and have taken it upon themselves to intimidate those who dare to exercise Second Amendment rights. Under the Rodriguez decision, only after being forcibly disarmed and detained would a citizen be entitled to demonstrate that he was lawfully exercising his Second Amendment rights.
In closing, Mr. Pratt admits that “a single opinion such as this is not be enough to derail a Supreme Court nomination, especially since Judge Gorsuch did not even write the opinion.”
But “a pro-gun United States senator or two should most certainly inquire as to this decision and ask Judge Gorsuch to explain whether he really believes that the police should be free to treat all armed citizens as though they were dangerous criminals.” Here’s hoping.