BREAKING: Supreme Court Grants Cert to NY State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. City of NY Gun Rights Case

New York State Rifle & Pistol v City of New York

courtesy NYSRPA

As we and others have frequently complained, the Supreme Court has been notably reluctant to take Second Amendment cases in recent years. That reluctance has let a number of lower court rulings that directly conflict with the Heller and McDonald decisions stand in a number of districts.

Those cases include an “assault weapons” ban in Maryland, microstamping and may issue in California and may issue in New York state.

Speculation by Court watchers was that, because of the unpredictability of former Justice Anthony Kennedy, the pro-2A justices would rather let those Heller-defying lower court rulings stand than risk Kennedy siding with the left-leaning Justices and issuing an adverse gun rights decision.

But Kennedy is gone, replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has a solid record of Second Amendment support in his opinion paper trail.

This from reason.com:

The D.C. “assault weapon” ban covers a list of specific models as well as guns that meet certain criteria. A semi-automatic rifle that accepts a detachable magazine is illegal, for instance, if it has any of six prohibited features, including an adjustable stock, a pistol grip, or a flash suppressor. “The list appears to be haphazard,” Kavanaugh noted. “It bans certain semi-automatic rifles but not others—with no particular explanation or rationale for why some made the list and some did not.” In any case, he concluded, the law is inconsistent with the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller.

“In Heller,” Kavanaugh noted, “the Supreme Court held that handguns—the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic—are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens. There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic rifles, like semi-automatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. Moreover, semi-automatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semi-automatic rifles are. It follows from Heller‘s protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that D.C.’s ban on them is unconstitutional.”

Some gun rights supporters blew a gasket in November when the Court, with Kavanaugh in place, denied cert in Rothery, the California may issue case. But as attorney and friend of TTAG LKB pointed out, Rothery had a number of problems that made it a less-than ideal test case.

He saw another case on the horizon that is, in his estimation, an ideal candidate for Supreme Court review.

I believe that the day of reckoning for the anti-2A forces is coming. Roberts being Roberts (and I think he’s going to be the key vote given the current composition of the Court), he’s going to want a near-perfect test case before he’ll enforce/expand Heller. There are several in the pipeline that might do the job.

My prediction is that whatever case they take, Roberts writes a narrow opinion that declares that laws that impinge 2A rights are subject to strict scrutiny, and kicks the case back down for determination under that standard. (Thomas will write a blistering concurrence joined by 2-3 others saying that there’s no need to send it back, as there is no way the law in question survives strict scrutiny.) …

Roberts and likely Kavanaugh are going to want to wait for an ideal 2A test case. Best bet right now is New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, given that the NYC laws are so draconian as to amount to a blanket denial of 2A rights. We should have a decision on whether they will hear the case early next year.

Today, the court vindicated LKB’s prognostication powers, granting cert to New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, a case that challenges the city’s prohibition on transporting licensed, locked and unloaded handguns outside the city.

While ruling the law unconstitutional would seem to only overturn New York City’s law, LKB expects a narrowly crafted opinion that declares that any law that restricts Second Amendment rights would be subject to strict scrutiny, the highest possible threshold.

If that were to happen, it . . .

…would nuke just about all the Heller-agnostic Court of Appeals rulings out there (which typically hold that 2A challenges get only intermediate scrutiny or rational basis review), and make it very hard for district and circuit judges to continue to wink at Heller. When laws are subject to “strict scrutiny” constitutional analysis — for example, laws that impose prior restraints on free speech — almost never survive the challenge.

That would mean our friends living behind enemy lines in states like California, Washington, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland would have many of their constitutionally protected gun rights restored.

We, like you, will be watching this case closely. Stay tuned.

comments

  1. avatar LKB says:

    Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen . . . this is huge.

    Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the usual quarters in 3 – 2- 1 . . . .

    Now the question will be whether Roberts steps in to write a “moderate” opinion or will he unleash the Thomasator . . . .

    1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

      “Now the question will be whether Roberts steps in to write a “moderate” opinion or will he unleash the Thomasator . . . .”

      Exactly what I am wondering.

      As I understand it, they can go narrow, and apply it to NYC or NY state, or go big and address armed carry outside the home nationally.

      As I mentioned to Sam I Am yesterday, I hope the ‘Thomasator’ is frustrated with the disrespect the 2A has been given recently and cuts loose with expanding carry rights.

      …but I just don’t trust Roberts to do the right thing after that stunt he pulled with ObamaCare being ruled by him a ‘tax’…

      1. avatar JI says:

        Precisely. This will be a long 6 month wait.

        1. avatar DDay says:

          SCOTUS isn’t hearing the case until October but the decision likely won’t be until sometime in 2020. So it’s going to at least a year until the decision.

        2. avatar Rico says:

          Maybe Ruthie girl will be six feet under by then

      2. avatar napresto says:

        This one hits home for me here in NY (upstate, not city, thank God). This state is positively malicious when it comes to firearms ownership. I’ll be watching closely, and praying for a positive outcome that might start improving things here and all the other places where freedom goes to die.

        1. avatar BLAMMO says:

          … and, with the RINOs losing their narrow control of the State Senate in the last election, it’s pretty much all over. We’re about to go full-California.

        2. avatar napresto says:

          Yep, I’m quite worried about that as well. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can keep doing the kinds of work I do (interaction design, UI/UX, game design, graphics) in a non-academic context in a less hostile state. Kind of a trick, turns out: the stuff I do mostly happens in urban, liberal environments, mostly in deep blue states.

          If only a gun company needed a human-computer interaction guy for some reason!

        3. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          Figures the ban hammer gets pulled out as soon as we are able to move out of the city of Albany for a much more friendly county. Well probably should still go for the license if we can beat that nonsense social media requirement to implementation. Also hello neighbors.

    2. avatar MarkPA says:

      With the greatest respect for LKB’s generous commentary, I hope one thing he predicts will not occur – YET.

      It should be safe to infer that the 4+ justices who voted to grant cert did not do so with any doubts about one of the 5 “conservatives” bolting at the last minute. This will be a win for us; great or small.

      Suppose (contrary to my opinion) 4 conservative justices go for a great win. Then, the 5’th (Roberts?) is apt to threaten to bolt. He will threaten to go to the “liberal” side. That will force the 4 to modify the majority opinion in draft form to give less; enough less so as to win-back the bolting justice’s vote.

      I contend that the compromise might be on level-of-scrutiny. Five will agree that at least intermediate scrutiny is required; and, NYC didn’t meet that. Should we cheer about such a win?

      Suppose, alternatively, that the five could agree that NYC’s law met “no level of scrutiny”. Same win, isn’t it? And, that will leave for another day the decision of what level of scrutiny is called for in judging 2A laws.

      So, what do we want? Immediate gratification that the level of scrutiny be fixed at “intermediate”; such that it wouldn’t likely be upgraded to “strict” for decades to come? Or, immediate gratification that so excoriates the law that it is found not to meet the lowest level of scrutiny? A win in either case. Findings and dicta that support the 2A in either case.

      I would rather see a bunch of wins like Caetano and the NYC handgun transport law that slowly expand the metes and bounds of 2A protection. As the years pass, additional vacancies on SCOTUS will be filled by Trump/Pence with Constitutional jurists. In the fullness of time, these will likely survey the judicial records of the lower courts and conclude that only the most appropriate level of scrutiny will suffice to bring the lower courts into conformity.

      We do NOT want a half-baked decision to compromise on intermediate scrutiny.

      1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

        “As the years pass, additional vacancies on SCOTUS will be filled by Trump/Pence with Constitutional jurists.”

        Make that effectively one year. I’m not confident Trump will win in 2020, and there’s no way in hell RGB is going anywhere without being tits-up and feet-first.

        ..and a Leftist president means Leftist jurists…

        1. avatar troutbum5 says:

          Given that she’s had cancer 3 times now, and continues to delay her return to the bench, I think there is a good chance that may happen sooner rather than later. I wish the lady no ill, but she’s fighting a losing battle. I am looking forward to seeing her replaced while Trump is still in command. Which means it would have to happen this year.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Which means it would have to happen this year.”

          And we are down to 11 months remaining; time flies.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        The decision is not mine, but I believe that every penny I am contributing toward these lawsuits should emphasize that for a constitutionally specified right with its very own amendment, the only rational scrutiny is strict scrutiny. 1A and 2A define what “freedom” is supposed to mean, and should never be allowed to be ignored by any branch, at any level of government.

      3. avatar LKB says:

        I agree that a finding that intermediate scrutiny applies would be very bad. I do not think that is how it will play out, however.

        Clarence Thomas (as well as Alito, Goresuch, and Kavanaugh) is no fool, and is unlikely to have pushed for a cert grant unless he was reasonably certain that the potential fifth vote is not going to make matters worse — which is why we had the Kennedy stalemate for the last 9 years. And Roberts knows that finding that intermediate scrutiny applies to 2A cases is not a compromise — it is effectively gutting Heller by blessing the kinds of BS decision that we’ve been seeing.

        My guess is that Roberts has any hesitation, then he will opt to write the opinion so that the holding is as narrow as possible, but in the end will still say “it’s a fundamental right, so strict scrutiny is the test.” If he doesn’t have any hesitation, I expect that he’ll assign the opinion to either Thomas or Kavanaugh, in which case we may get a full-throated 2A opinion.

        1. avatar FedUp says:

          Thomas might write a full throated 2A opinion.
          Kav might leave the door wide open for ‘reasonable restrictions’, or say that only weapons of limited militia potential for which bans are not commonly implemented are protected.

          The idea that ‘unconstitutionally nearly banned since 1934 and banned since 1986 means it’s not unconstitutional to keep banning them’ makes me want to puke.

        2. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

          “Thomas might write a full throated 2A opinion.”

          Might?

          He’s positively *itching* to cut loose on the 2A :

          “The lower courts are resisting this court’s [Second Amendment] decisions,” Justice Thomas wrote earlier this year, “and are failing to enforce the Second Amendment to the same extent that they protect other constitutional rights.” He further observed, “If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this Court would intervene. But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court.”

          https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/11/supreme-court-second-amendment-rights/

        3. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

          “Kav might leave the door wide open for ‘reasonable restrictions’, or say that only weapons of limited militia potential for which bans are not commonly implemented are protected.”

          Nope, Kav has been quite clear recently about semi-auto firearms :

          “In Heller,” Kavanaugh noted, “the Supreme Court held that handguns—the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic—are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens. There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic rifles, like semi-automatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. Moreover, semi-automatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semi-automatic rifles are. It follows from Heller’s protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that D.C.’s ban on them is unconstitutional.”

          https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/06/scotus-contender-brett-kavanaugh-on-gun

          The ‘Kav’ is cool with ARs and high-capacity magazines…

        4. avatar FedUp says:

          Geoff, I’m saying that Kav doesn’t seem to give a shit about full auto, or SBRs, or 17″ shotguns because they’ve been subject to legislation in the past.

          If he’s OK with me going to prison for ten years for owning a 14.5″ semi auto M4, he’s not in full support of the 2A, or even close to it.

        5. avatar MarkPA says:

          @FedUp: “Thomas might write a full throated 2A opinion”. That’s NOT the way it works. The justice assigned to write the majority opinion is not in the driver’s seat. He is more-so a scribe and negotiator.

          The assigned justice writes a draft and circulates it. He fields oral and written complaints from the other 8 justices. Then back to the drawing board, re-writing. This process is iterative and goes on for as long as it takes until the author is done and is willing to live with the remaining outstanding complaints from the other 8.

          Now, get this. One of the 5+ justices in the majority might tell the author of the “majority” opinion that he can’t concur with that opinion (approaching a final draft) in whole or in part. If the decision were 9:1 that justice’s objection wouldn’t matter. It would be 8:2. But, when the “majority” is just 5:4 this is BAD news.

          If the bolting justice concurs with the decision but not the rationale in the opinion then the “majority” wins but the majority opinion isn’t a majority; it’s a plurality. The opinion doesn’t mean much, if anything at all. Might as well not have won.

          If the bolting justice won’t concur with the decision then the majority flips. The other side wins the case and a justice from the other side writes the majority opinion. This is a loss.

          What this means is that the swing vote (Kennedy in the past, Roberts in the future) holds veto power over everything in the opinion. By refusing to concur he can make the winning decision almost meaningless or turn the win into a loss.

          Sure, we might love to see Thomas writing the opinion. But, any one of the other 4 justices in the majority can threaten Thomas that he will pull-the-plug on the win and make it a loss, or a meaningless win.

          A 5:4 or 4:5 court isn’t enough. For the winning side to have a pretty solid lock on the outcome of cases that side needs 6 or 7 staunch supporters of some ideology (e.g., conservative or progressive). Until Trump/Pence have the opportunity to fill another vacancy or two the only way for us to win is for us to seek very clear-cut decisions on very narrow grounds whereby there isn’t much room for negotiation.

          The Caetano case was perfect. Once it became clear that the decision would be in favor of this sympathetic appellant, even the progressive opposition signed-on to the majority opinion. Caetano (in effect) asked SCOTUS to rule that the 2A “is not just for flintlocks anymore”. Not much to ask for; and so, it was easy for 5 conservatives to agree that THIS much (or, rather, this little) was so. And then, the progressives had to decide whether they were going to vote against that majority and explain why this sympathetic appellant ought to go to prison. This they would not do.

          We are better off finding cases such as this one (can’t take a handgun outside the city) which is just so absurd that the conservative majority is likely to find little to hem-and-haw about. Then, we get a full-throated 5 votes (maybe more) that clearly upholds something, no matter how minor it might be. And, we should want it to be fairly minor with broad implications. We should NOT expect ‘guns for everyone everywhere at all times’. That simply isn’t going to keep a 5-vote majority together.

          The more we try to bite-off in each successive case the more likely that one of the 5 conservatives will find something to quibble about and the author of the majority of the opinion has to water down the opinion in ways that we don’t want.

    3. avatar Sgt Bill says:

      for all you NRA haters: “The NRA is centrally involved in the case. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association is the NRA’s official state affiliate in the Empire State.” The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Associaiton v. New York, No. 18-280 in the Supreme Court of the United States.

      1. So you’re saying that this went too far for the Negotiating Away Rights, for now. At present they’re only cool with Red Flag Laws, universal background checks, Bumpfire Stock Bans that they ask for, machine gun bans they agreed to, the GCA and the NFA.

        Until next time Wayne LaPierre and similar cronies need a big injection of cash, at which point they’ll see what else they can compromise on to be “Reasonable” and then bleat that they saved us from worse, please give them money.

        No. Not a cent. Ever. I do not give money to gun control organizations. They’re slightly less gun control minded than Brady, but they still endorse, support, and demand federal gun control. F them.

        1. avatar Sgt Bill says:

          Yeh, keep hiding in your basement and complaining about everyone else.

        2. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Ouch, that really hurts. :-I

          Of course, you probably never sent them, or any organization that could make a difference a cent before, either. Full non-disclosure- there’s a LOT of that going on around here.

          Real big-timers in this war.

    4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      What leads us to believe that the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a ruling which does anything beyond merely guaranteeing a right to transport unloaded firearms in locked cases? How would such a ruling have any significant value to us?

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        It’s hard to predict.

        Take a look at the Heller decision. Dick Heller asked only that he be issued a permit to have a handgun in operable condition in his home in DC. The majority in his case could have simply said “OK; Dick can have his gun.” But, they said more.

        The majority had relatively free reign to say whatever they wanted to say about the 2A. Read through the whole opinion and decide for yourself whether each rational was absolutely essential to granting Dick Heller the small relief he asked for.

        In the process of writing the Heller opinion the majority extended the metes and bounds of “the right” to arms in important ways; and, left other possibilities where they lay. In the latter respect, precisely because they were not germane to Heller’s case, they are mere dicta; i.e., they don’t mean much.

        For example, what that opinion said about militia weapons does NOT stand as an obstacle to SCOTUS ruling, for example, that the AR-15 is protected because it is comparable to the M-16/M-4 when the latter are set to Semi rather than Full. And, on these grounds, are protected because they contribute to the efficiency of a “well regulated militia”.

        Also, look at Caetano. SCOTUS could have said that Jamie gets her stun-gun. But they didn’t. They simply reasoned that it is absolute nonsense to say her stun-gun is not an “arm”.

    5. avatar Aaron says:

      I wrote a letter to Roberts and Thomas a while back asking why the 2A is treated so differently from other constitutional rights, using the example that a lawful Virginia concealed carrier becomes a felon merely by crossing the Potomac river into Maryland. I noted that to my knowledge, there is no other constitutional right that is so disparately treated between the states.

      Never heard back, but I would like to delude myself into thinking that phraseology will some day end up in a SCOTUS ruling!

  2. avatar Neil says:

    As I live behind enemy lines in Los Angeles county (no issue), I can only hope! I will start taking time off work to ratchet up a CCW.

    Next, allow interstate trade by recognizing ccws from other states.

    Oh, and open up the roster! I’ll start by buying a …

    Serious, I prefer pistols and own every one on the roster I desire. There are four I would buy if the price was ok and it was easy (on roster). So far, I have only splurged on one off roster that is wonderful! (I know want the set.)

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      That damn handgun roster. I am more of a pistol pistol person too. CA handgun sales would go through the roof if the roster opened up and the CA Lib-Govies would not want that. But I’m not holding my breath. Like a few of the guys mentioned, I think it will take up to half a year till we see some traction on this.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Jesus f’ing Christie. I’ve been waiting for over 50 years! While shit went in the wrong direction. This is freaking MONSTROUS! I can stand on my head for 6 months, let’s GER ‘ER DONE!! Where’s the donation page?

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I meant “GET”. You know, like “Get me a damn edit button!”

  3. avatar Matt in Ohio says:

    Cautiously optimistic about this

    1. avatar L says:

      I’m with you. It’s just a case on transporting firearms and the author is making it out to be EVERYONE GETS THEIR RIGHTS BACK!!!!11one but it’s too much of a stretch. That said I am happy to see the SC actually taking a 2A case for once, even if small, and will be watching to see how it goes…

      1. avatar LKB says:

        I demur. By your logic, Heller wasn’t any big deal because it just dealt with a challenge to complete handgun prohibition in DC.

        Nobody is saying that this case (or any case, for that matter) is just magically going to fix everything. Supreme Court practice doesn’t work that way. The point is that they *are* taking the case, and in deciding it will likely set the proper test for deciding other 2A cases. And, as noted in my comments below, the mere fact that they HAVE granted cert on this one probably means that most of the other pending cert petitions are going to be held and then sent back down.

        1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          This case is extremely important if they determine 2A must suffer strict scrutiny. The major case of Peruta in California that everyone thought would determine may/shall issue got defeated on the basis of scrutiny. And because Kennedy was still on the court, it was denied cert. This affirmative ruling would bring back all those cases to new life.

        2. avatar LKB says:

          Precisely. The decisions in Peruta, the Fourth Circuit’s approval of an AW ban, the Second Circuit’s approval of “may issue,” etc., all become moot. Yes, new test cases will have to be brought, but with some creative forum shopping for such cases we could see some real changes in the next few years.

        3. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

          I will be *ecstatic* if this case rules the ‘Firearm Owners Protection Act’ (FOPA) means what it says about transport of firearms across state lines.

          Meaning, having your flight inadvertently diverted to a New York City airport and being allowed to exit the city with your firearms in checked luggage won’t get you arrested in New York City.

          Traveling across state lines with a locked and unloaded firearm won’t get you arrested in a Leftist-controlled state.

          I would just like to be able to travel interstate with my legal firearms and not treated like a fucking criminal by the police.

          Just *that* will be a major win for national 2A rights, as far as I am concerned…

  4. avatar Shire-man says:

    Kind of make or break for the 2nd. Stressful.
    How does this work now? Arguments heard in the Spring and a decision in the Summer?

    1. avatar LKB says:

      Yup. This conference was probably the last chance for cert grants that would be argued this term. Subsequent grants will likely get rolled to next term.

      So, probably argument in April, decision before they leave town in early July.

      1. avatar LKB says:

        Just saw a report that the case might not be argued until the fall. Will check on this and report back.

      2. avatar LKB says:

        As of 10:15 AM, the official Supreme Court calendar indicates that NYSR&P (along with 23 other cases where cert has been granted) are listed as “argument not scheduled.”

        Only a couple of cases have been set for March argument, and none for April, so we’ll have to see whether the case gets set for argument in April or whether it gets pushed to the fall. (I have a line into one of my contacts at SCOTUSBlog to see if they have any insight on this. Stay tuned.)

        1. avatar LKB says:

          In response to my question about whether the case could be argued in April, my contact at SCOTUSBlog says the following:

          “It would be a tight fit and they apparently didn’t expedite the briefing schedule so perhaps they’ll leave it for the fall. But if you run 75 days from today you’d get briefing finished on Monday April 8, so they possibly could do it. My guess is that they are set for April without this case.”

          So, we’ll see, but it looks like they won’t get to this one until this fall. 🙁

        2. avatar JI says:

          Fall could work in our favor. Assume RBG retires (I won’t wish ill on anyone) in the next couple of months. We could be on track with a nominee confirmed before the beginning of the fall term.

          Trump would do well to nominate a strong 2A backed woman or minority. Imagine the liberal’s wailing and gnashing of teeth.

        3. avatar LKB says:

          IMO, short of her demise, no way RBG leaves the Court while PDT is in the White House. Even if she were completely and irrevocably incapacitated, the only way to remove her is via impeachment process . . . and there’s no way the dem’s are going to let that happen. They’d prefer that her seat be effectively vacant rather than let PDT appoint a replacement.

          It’s possible that RBG has left a “trigger” letter (i.e., a resignation letter saying that if and when X happens, she is deemed to have resigned). These apparently became a thing after the Douglas debacle of the late 1970’s (when William O. Douglas was clearly senile but refused to resign), with some Supreme Court justices reportedly agreeing to execute such “trigger” letters to keep that situation from recurring. Of course, even if RBG did execute one, all she has to do now is tear it up or announce that she no longer agrees to it, and we’d be back to square one.

  5. avatar Baldwin says:

    There’s the dream…and there’s the reality. I, for one, am not expecting a proper, complete, and correct outcome. The Supremes are like a pack of gunshy (pun intended?) bird dogs…nice to look at, but absolutely useless in the field.

    1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

      “The Supremes are like a pack of gunshy (pun intended?) bird dogs…nice to look at, but absolutely useless in the field.”

      Oh, *please*.

      They came through on the ‘Heller’ and ‘McDonald’ decisions that declared a constitutional right to own a gun inside your home.

      NATIONWIDE.

      That covered the ‘keep’ of “keep and bear arms”. Now, with luck, the bearing of arms in public will be dealt with…

      1. avatar Baldwin says:

        Keep and bear in public nationwide…not holding my breath on that. The SCOTUS will NEVER do that.

  6. avatar RF s a BFBD says:

    Putting any faith in Roberts is like putting faith in magic beans that cure cancer.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Roberts and Kavanaugh are the weak links to a originalist court.

      1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

        “Roberts and Kavanaugh are the weak links to a originalist court.”

        I guess you have missed what Kavanaugh has had to say about the AR-15 and similar semi-auto firearms with detachable magazines?

        “On the historical and traditional grounds, Kavanaugh argued that the ban on semiautomatic rifles and handgun registration requirements are unconstitutional. He reasoned that semiautomatic rifles “have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses.” Similarly, he claimed that the “[r]egistration of all lawfully possessed guns — as distinct from licensing of gun owners or mandatory recordkeeping by gun sellers — has not traditionally been required in the United States and even today remains highly unusual.””

        https://www.vox.com/2018/9/5/17820310/brett-kavanaugh-second-amendment-guns-supreme-court

        Two *huge* points –

        1 – Kavanaugh considers AR-15s expressly constitutional.

        2 – The *real* biggie in my book, that gun registration is expressly un-constitutional.

        Kavanaugh and Thomas are the best friends the 2A has…

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          Gun registration would be a threat to the 2A. However, this issue is a dangerous one to take up in the courts.

          Recall the text of the 2A. The benchmark is “infringed”. What did that word mean in 1791? Observe that the question is NOT what that word means in the 21’st Century. That word is NOT spelled “a-b-r-i-d-g-e-d”. It IS spelled “i-n-f-r-i-n-g-e-d”. Do the words in the Constitution mean something? What is it that they mean? Do we PotG hold – with Humpty Dumpty – that they mean whatever it that “I” want them to mean? Or, is their meaning established by what those words would have meant (in the applicable context) at the time of ratification?

          A progressive interpretation of 18’th Century usage of “infringed” is that it means “broken”. I.e., a law that “breaks” that “right” contemplated by the 2A is UnConstitutional. If a law merely “bends” the “right” without “breaking” it, then it’s OK. Are you willing to risk such a court decision?

          I hold that we are best off pursuing every case possible where a law is so severe that it is hard to argue that its impact would have been acceptable to the mind of ratifiers in the late 18’th Century. Cases such as Caetano or the NYC handgun transport prohibition. Eventually, we will build-up a 2A jurisprudence that makes gun-control laws little room for impact. What we do NOT want is a premature evaluation of the standard implied by the word “infringed”.

          The best avenue to stop registration is political. Registration on a municipal level has no practical impact. At a state level, it has little impact. Where we need to be persuasive it is at the Federal level.

          We must persuade Congress that national registration will have no practical impact. ATF will screw it up. (Will ATF do better than Canada did when it attempted a long-gun registry?) Criminals won’t register. Whatever leakage of guns occurs from lawful buyers to traffickers will continue to happen; ATF won’t pursue and prosecute straw buyers under national registration any more enthusiastically than they pursue such cases today.

          We, the law-abiding gun owners will respond to registration by finishing our own 80% receivers/frames. As loyal citizens we pledge to register every receiver we finish. Until we hear the call to arms from Lexington & Concord. On that day we will have all the tooling and skills (and unfinished receivers) needed to equip ourselves.

          In the mean time, watch the mix of non-numbered vs numbered guns recovered by the police. When the non-numbered guns stand in 9:1 ratio to numbered guns, Congress will have what it really wants. Registered legal guns and ghost-guns in the hands of criminals.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Mark, ATF doesn’t have to screw it up. WTF is it even possible for registration to accomplish? A fully registered gun will still shoot you, there is one thing it cannot do. How about, if someone is shot, it can help find the shooter to discover who has such a gun. OK, so he was shot with a .38, or maybe .357 since the bullets are the same, or maybe a 9mm or .380 auto since the bullets are difficult to differentiate after firing. So send off to ATF for a list of all those who have purchased any of those during the past 75 years so we may begin questioning them, since surely that will be considered probable cause to investigate 50 million people, a few million of whom died years ago, right? I don’t think registration is going to be any help, there.
          So, how about if the gun is recovered at the scene, then we got him, right? Just look up who bought the gun 30 years ago and take him out back and shoot him, this is great! Don’t you still have to prove who pulled the trigger? If you can do that, why do you need the gun registration? Or the gun, for that matter. And if we all know all firearms are registered, why would anyone leave one behind at the scene of a crime, unless it is not his gun? No, I don’t think that is going to be useful in enforcing the law.
          EVERY conceivable use for a registration scheme can be shown to be useless, or extremely close, with very little effort, except one. It would be very helpful should an out-of-control government decide to forcibly confiscate all firearms it does not control. And in the meantime, the costs might well be huge, in both blood and gold. Our opponents consider universal registration as the mother lode, finally we have accomplished our life mission, but it will accomplish absolutely nothing until a tyrant demands all guns be turned in or we will come and take them.

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          The gun-controllers don’t care – not one wit – about the usefulness of a gun registry. They take it as an article of faith that no one should have any objection to registering anything; car, toaster, anything at all.

          I stipulate to every scenario you describe. Still doesn’t matter.

          The gun-controllers will claim that lawful buyers sell to prohibited persons. This assertion is one that can’t be refuted. Certainly, in the history of the US, it must be the case that somewhere at some time at least one law-abiding gun-owner sold a gun to a prohibited person. If it happened once, it probably happened a few times.

          The gun-controllers will claim that when a gun is found as having been used in a crime that registration will be able to trace the gun to the last recorded lawful gun owner who must have either: sold it without providing for a transfer of ownership; or, it was lost/stolen. That is, in theory, true.

          If a given lawful gun-owner sold, lost, or suffered a theft of one gun then there is little that the criminal justice system will do about him. Should he have a dozen or two dozen guns (discovered in crimes) traced to him then – eventually – a plausible case of inference could be developed to prosecute him for trafficking.

          The weak point here is that the criminal justice system has no appetite to pursue such cases. If they had such an appetite then we would see prosecutions by straw-buyers of new guns. I presume that evidence leading to candidate targets of such prosecutions are simply not strong enough. A straw buyer is traced to a half-dozen guns out of dozens that he straw-bought. The prosecutor decides he isn’t going to waste his time based on that evidence. The picture isn’t going to change if all gun sales were traceable. Traffickers will still find plenty of straw-buyers willing to perform their role until they are caught and threatened with prosecution.

          Suppose we spend hundreds of millions annually to inhibit law-abiding gun owners from selling (unknowingly or with some suspicion) to traffickers. Perhaps we will reduce this channel of leakage from the white-to-grey-to-black market. Some other channel will pick-up the slack.

          Ultimately, the 80% receiver/frame market has rendered any point-of-sale control mute.

          If prosecution is to make any contribution to gun-control it will be in making felon-in-possession a crime that inhibits some felons/youths unwilling to do-the-time for. Just as for alcohol or drugs, there will always be smugglers or clandestine manufacturers willing to make the supply. If you can’t/won’t control demand then you can’t control the vice.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Say what? Roberts and Kavanaugh? More so than RBG? Kagan and Sotomeyer? Really? Can I have some of what you’re smoking?

  7. avatar LKB says:

    Next predictions:

    (1) Look for a ton of currently-pending cert petitions in 2A to be held (rather than denied). Ultimately, most of these will have the cert petitions summarily granted and remanded for the lower courts “for reconsideration in light of our opinion in NYSR&P.”
    (2) One of these is the 5th Circuit’s decision on sales of handguns by FFL’s to non-state residents (reversing district court, which found that the prohibition was unconstitutional). That case squeaked by en banc reconsideration by 1 vote, and there have since been 2 new Trump appointments to CTA5. VERY good chance that CTA5 ultimately reinstates the district court’s decision overturning that portion of the ’68 GCA.
    (3) What will CTA9 do en banc on the Hawaii open carry case? My guess: sit on it for as long as possible.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      LKB,

      Just how confident are we that the U.S. Supreme Court would rule that courts must apply strict scrutiny to all Second Amendment cases?

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Pretty unlikely when it comes to the regulation of commercial sales of firearms, which s what this case is all about. There is a long history of the feds regulating ffls as to what they can and cannot do, so it is even iffy if it gets intermediate scrutiny.

        1. avatar LKB says:

          Uh, no.

          NYSR&PA is about the NYC law that prohibit individuals who have a license to own a firearm from transporting them to/from shooting ranges or hunting outside of the city. Case doesn’t have anything to do with commercial regulation or FFL’s.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Wait! I thought this case was about transporting firearms. Which is it?

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        LKB,

        I reiterate my question, “Just how confident are we that the U.S. Supreme Court would rule that courts must apply strict scrutiny to all Second Amendment cases?”

        1. avatar LKB says:

          I can’t say how confident “we” are on anything. This is constitutional law with a healthy dose of politics, not math or engineering.

          As *I* read the tea leaves, from my perspective of being a serious student of constitutional law for over 40 years and a practitioner in federal courts for over 30, *my* personal prediction is that there are going to be 5 votes for an opinion holding that any law that materially and substantially impacts a “fundamental right” recognized in Heller/McDonald must be reviewed under “strict scrutiny” analysis. YMMV.

          Would that mean that things like state/local “may issue” CHL’s, AW bans, laws and policies that disregard FOPA, etc., as well as a number of aspects of the ’34 NFA, ’68 GCA, and quite possibly the Hughes Amendment are going to be subject to serious constitutional scrutiny — which many of them will be unable to satisfy? I think so.

          Would that mean that all you have to do is claim that a law impacts your 2A rights, and the law will be subject to strict scrutiny? No.

          It is possible that the Court will strike down the NYC laws, but does so under intermediate scrutiny (as part of a John Roberts campaign to get some of the liberal wing to sign on to the opinion)? It’s possible, but I do not think Roberts will fall for that. (As I have said before, Clarence Thomas is no dummy, and he’s unlikely to risk undermining Heller unless he is confident that he has the votes.)

          It is possible that we get a plurality opinion, where a majority (possibly even a unanimous court) votes to reverse, but fragments such that there is no reasoning for the decision that commands a majority (e.g., unanimous per curiam opinion reversing but giving no reasoning; concurrence by Thomas/Alito/Goresuch/Kavanaugh that applying strict scrutiny, fundamental 2A rights are infringed; concurrence by Roberts / Breyer / Kagan that applying intermediate scrutiny, 2A rights are infringed; concurrence by Kagan / Sotomayor / RBG that the NYC law impermissibly infringes the right to travel; concurrence by Goresuch / Roberts / Thomas / Alito that the NYC law impermissibly burdens interstate commerce)? Possible, yes; likely, no.

          Is it possible that the Court strikes down the NYC laws as improperly burdening interstate commerce or the right to travel, and doesn’t reach the 2A issue at all? Sure, but my read is that that is unlikely.

          Again, that’s how I read the tea leaves. Feel free to disagree. We’ll see soon enough who’s predictions were closest.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          LKB,

          Thank you for your detailed response. I have only a novice knowledge/experience leve from which to predict what the U.S. Supreme Court will do on this case.

          Assuming that your prediction is correct:
          On the bright side — the courts will have to apply strict scrutiny to all future Second Amendment cases. On the dark side — it will take decades to get judgments which overturn all the existing unconstitutional laws such as may-issue concealed carry, National Firearms Act of 1934, Gun Control Act of 1968, Hughes Amendment, etc.

        3. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

          ” On the dark side — it will take decades to get judgments which overturn all the existing unconstitutional laws such as may-issue concealed carry, National Firearms Act of 1934, Gun Control Act of 1968, Hughes Amendment, etc.”

          Maybe not so much, if we deal with it intelligently.

          Let’s do the grunt work of keeping the court ‘pipeline’ full of quality challenges to unconstitutional gun control laws so that we may rapidly drop them in SCOTUS’s lap for consideration of writ of cert. .

          We have wealthy conservative backers of 2A rights, if we can lobby them for the financial support we will need, the same way the Leftists use the resources of the ‘Joyce Foundation’ to further their political goals…

  8. avatar C.S. says:

    Heh, Progressive judges have always been weaseling around language and case precedence… such as, “shall not be infringed”.

  9. avatar TommyG says:

    Yes this could be a make or break decision. Great if we win, very bad if we lose. It will basically signal to every demorat controller legislature that they can restrict and ban whatever they want and not have to worry about it being overturned by the courts.

    1. avatar LKB says:

      True, but consider this: why didn’t the Supremes grant cert in any of the other post-McDonald cases? Primarily because our side knew Kennedy was squishy, and thus might vote to eviscerate Heller.

      Clarence Thomas is no dummy. If he was worried about Roberts going all Souter on this case (and let’s face it, Thomas has a MUCH better insight of what Roberts is likely to do than any of us), he could easily have arranged for it to be relisted several more times to see if RBG goes off the Court this year. The fact that they granted cert now tells me that we likely have the votes on this one.

      1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

        It also appears RGB is now missing her third straight week of work at the Court.

        But I hold no illusions she will voluntarily retire. Her hatred of Trump is stronger than her promise to retire if she was unable to run at 100 percent…

        1. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Perhaps we could all get together an make an RBG “pool”- you know, date, AM/PM, that sort of thing. That’d make the headlines, even more so than those poor young Catholic men…

          I have a feeling our “representatives” would be a little less respectful.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          She will die soon. Can we get another Trump justice appointed in time to sit in on this case?

          On the day Trump was elected I predicted we would get a scotus ruling during his terms making constitutional carry the law of the land. Not because he loves guns. But because he is a business man and businessmen want conservative justices.

        3. avatar Shire-man says:

          Can’t retire when you’re brain dead on a ventilator. They’re going to hide her status until they their fantasy of impeachment comes true or she starts to smell.

        4. avatar Craig in IA says:

          I’m thinking they already have her head in a pickle jar for future reattachment when they find a cure for old age. Cryo isn’t only for rifle barrels..

          If “Futurama” was still in-series I’d bet she’d be making regular appearances.

        5. avatar Huntmaster says:

          Trump will not be permitted to name RGB’s successor. If she dies or retires the Dems will impeach Trump in order to prevent Senate Hearings. They will insist that a President under the cloud of impeachment should not be allowed to send a Supreme Court nominee to the Senate. And the RHINO’s will cave.

        6. avatar Huntmaster says:

          Bring back the edit function!

        7. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I think it would be wonderful for RBG’s health and attitude if her colleagues took her on a camping trip in the mountains.

        8. avatar Craig in IA says:

          “Trump will not be permitted to name RGB’s successor.” Wrong. I’d lay money on it. “Impeach” all they want. First name a crime and show the evidence, especially with Trump’s approval rating as high as it is. Then get the Senate to convict. If it were possible, it’d have happened by now.

        9. avatar Chris Corbett says:

          Serious question. If RBG is “incapacitated” but is not dead and hasn’t officially retired, might we be looking at some potential 5-3 decisions, or does one of her paralegals get to offer opinions on her behalf??

        10. avatar LKB says:

          No. If she’s incapacitated, she doesn’t vote. Her clerks can’t just act on her behalf.

      2. avatar JI says:

        Excellent point. Still nerve-racking.

      3. avatar John says:

        I would disagree about why SCOTUS has not taken another case until now. The lower courts have been narrowing Heller. https://www.scotusblog.com/2016/10/legal-scholarship-highlight-when-lower-courts-dont-follow-supreme-court-precedent/ They are doing it is such a way that they know there is a problem, but can’t really articulate the flaws in the argument.

        Thomas’s dissent in Jackson is a good example. He complains about them not following Heller, but does not articulate the flaws. The problem stems from Heller itself. They kind of created the problem by not explaining flaws. I suspect they were unable to explain the flaws and had the votes to simply ignore the issue.

        All of the cases to date have really just articulated what Thomas was saying, they are not following Heller, but I can’t really explain why the lower court’s argument was wrong.

        I see this case as the first case where they can really poke holes in the arguments.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I see this case as the first case where they can really poke holes in the arguments.”

          Not being one to cling to, or depend upon, slogans, it pains me to write this, “Shall Not Be Infringed”. The problem is the SC refuses to start at the beginning of the BOR declarations, such as “Congress shall make not law…”. Instead, the SC, and all the courts, begin with, “What is at issue, and how can we avoid reaching a constitutional principle?”

          The simplest thing for the SC to do is to declare the constitution (and BOR) are the starting point, and anything contrary, no matter how “reasonable” cannot stand. But that would mean denying legislators to adapt, through legislation, the constitution to the society of today.

        2. avatar John says:

          The “shall not be infringed” part is meaningless without understanding what the right actually is. If what you are claiming is infringing, but not actually part of the right, you are not really infringing on the right. According to Heller, the 2A does not actually define the right. It is a preexisting one. If you want to claim something is infringing, you need to demonstrate that it is actually part of the right.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Obviously, an infringement is an intrusion, a limitation, a constraint on exercise (do we really need to do this?).

          Arms are arms (as in weapon, as in armament. The term “arms” is all encompassing of weapons, it is not an ephemeral term.

          Any restraint, constraint, limit, tax, prohibition, equivocation, regulation, law that prohibits the existence, carrying, transporting, storing, usability, and flexibility of action is an infringement.

          Anything to do with armament possessed by the people, makes that “thing” a part of the Second Amendment. Not knowing everything about everything, I would truly be interested in what part of armament, and possession and use of armament by the people, is not covered by the Second Amendment.

          The equation is very simple: Is the proposed, or existing, action related to armament held by, available to, or usable by “the people? If so, the state and, or, local government must prove that the action does not represent any limitation of possession, use, transport, manufacture of armament/weapons. The only exceptions to be entertained are confined to forfeiture of arms for persons convicted of crimes committed with said arms. This is reasoning from the superior law (constitution), down to the specific case before the bar. Beginning with the constitution, the federal and state officials must prove they are not violating the constitution. Reasoning up from the instance allows for making decisions based on the first, easiest and most expedient off ramp in reasoning, never allowing the constitutional issue to be considered.

        4. avatar John says:

          Heller says felons and mentally ill people are excluded. Under your definitions felons in jail have the right to keep arms in jail. This does not seem correct to me. Maybe there are times when people don’t have the right to keep any arm for any purpose.

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Heller says felons and mentally ill people are excluded. ”

          I did note that capturing guns from people committing crimes would be an exception.

          As to the mentally ill, why are they reduced to second class citizens? If convicted of a crime, mentally ill would fall under the criminal exception. But if not convicted, why are the mentally ill (an imperfect term if ever there was one) deprived of the right to self-defense using a firearm? Because they “might” do something harmful? This is pre-crime punishment, and discrimination against disabled persons.

          I have been told that removing firearms from the reach of someone undergoing either involuntary, or voluntary mental health treatment is actually a part of “the treatment”. However, there has yet to be shown that removing firearms improves the mental health of anyone. Thus, such firearm removal is closer to a safety measure, than any effort to help a person address forms of mental illness. That, I find to offend the constitution.

          There is a term called “due process” that is slapped around repeatedly. Due process is whatever process the legislators dictate is be. The result is that “Take the guns first. Due process second” becomes an acceptable infringement of human rights. Compounding the matter is the inversion of the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Somehow, preemptive intervention in denying a person one or more of their constitutionally guaranteed individual rights does not need to meet the standard of standard jurisprudence in this country. The “due process” available is expensive litigation to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is not, and will not be, a threat if permitted to recover their firearms. This is nothing but bold infringement that is permitted by courts because “it is reasonable” to implement such an infringement. The matter is never elevated to a constitutional issue, but is valid under a “rational” scheme of “due process”.

          Are there times when people should never possess firearms? What are the guardrails against government under that theory? If the determination is situational, societal, political, then the theory is so flawed as to be impermissible under the constitution because it is arbitrary, capricious and dependent on circumstances that change with the political winds.

          As a 2A absolutist (actually, a constitutional absolutist), I find denying felons in prison the right to a firearm problematic. The right to life is unalienable, which actually means it cannot be taken or surrendered under any circumstance. The facts on the ground create a serious conundrum, about which I vacillate continually. However, to deny forever a felon the right to possess firearms after serving an adjudicated sentence violates the constitution in regard to many principles.

          A case might be made to deny a violent felon gun and voting rights (can’t think of one, but will not ignore the possibility), but the remedy there is actually to keep such people incarcerated for life. If a person cannot be trusted with a firearm, they cannot be trusted outside prison walls. That is because removing a single tool (weapon) from legal possession of a convicted felon does nothing to prevent said violent felon from using a different weapon. There is no charge, status, or designation of a “gun felon”, wherein some rationality might attach to the idea of denying firearms to such “gun felon”. Since we cannot guarantee that a violent felon will not use a different weapon, we either remove all weapons from society, or we remove the felon from society.

  10. avatar Craig in IA says:

    What remains to be seen is how Roberts will want to appear as the new “swing vote”. I wouldn’t buy a lot of champagne yet. Still, there’s room to be hopeful.

    1. avatar JI says:

      This. Have we forgotten his weasel around to declare ObamaCare a constitutional tax, when even .gov was arguing and representing it wasn’t a tax?

      Roberts has largely been a disappointment to true conservatives. Will he use this as an opportunity to cement himself as the de facto moderate swing vote on the Court? Or, will he give the opinion to Thomas to draft?

      As 2A supporter, I hope he does the latter.

      This is going to be a long 6 months waiting for a decision.

  11. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

    It’s almost like NY and NJ don’t want to recognize FOPA. Which means we peons should be able to ignore the Hughes Amendment….

    If only…

    Rarely does the USSC make anything other than narrow decisions, though. Suggesting strict scrutiny for all 2A cases – wouldn’t that destroy NFA, Hughes, CCW “permits”, FOID cards, background checks (guilty until proven innocent), ???

    1. avatar LKB says:

      If they articulate a strict scrutiny standard, then all of those could be challenged (though some might survive). We’ll then need some good test cases, brought in friendly jurisdictions (the left aren’t the only ones who can forum shop), to hammer some of these.

      I for one would love to see a challenge to the Hughes Amendment in front of district judge O’Connor (who nuked the ’68 GCA ban on FFL’s selling handguns to non-state residents, finding that it did not survive a strict scrutiny challenge), with the direct appeal of that decision going to the newly-remade Fifth Circuit.

      1. avatar Hamchuck says:

        I wonder about the effect a strict scrutiny decision would have on the Kansas NFA case GOA is fighting. In my dreams, a restricting of Wickard is the ideal outcome. Imagine NFA not applying to “Intra” state items.

        1. avatar LKB says:

          It’ll probably just get sent back for a redo under whatever standard they articulate in NYSR&P (perhaps with a concurrence by Thomas questioning the continued viability of Wickard, in much the same way that he has raised questions about qualified immunity, etc.).

          While I’d love to see the SCt actually reconsider Wickard (for lots of reasons besides the potential for increased gun freedoms), right now I’d say that’s probably a bridge too far. (Now, if RGB is off the Court and is replaced by a solid originalist, then all bets are off.)

  12. avatar Duane says:

    Depending what happens with Ruth.

    We could end up with another constitutionalist.

    1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

      She has *promised* to retire if she was unable to run at 100 percent.

      She still hasn’t returned from surgery (now into the 3rd week).

      Her hatred of all things Trump is greater than her retirement promises , I fear…

  13. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    And so the “Period of Restoration” begins. Those of you who criticize our President do it at the peril of our Constitution. If nothing else, he’s been the most consequential President, regarding judicial nominations, in a hundred years.

    1. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

      FDR would like to have a word with you – he tried to pass a “court packing plan” in 1937…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_Procedures_Reform_Bill_of_1937

      1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

        Court packing is very different. You know that, right? That means adding justices to alter the majority. Trump isn’t packing the court. He’s nominating judges just as every other president has done. He’s just been very effective in coordinating with the senate. We all owe Harry Reid a big thank you for setting a precedent that McConnell just followed to its logical conclusion.

        1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

          The Leftists have been making noises recently that an FDR-style ‘court packing’ with extra justices is required the next time they are in power to un-do what Trump has accomplished :

          “Court-packing, Democrats’ nuclear option for the Supreme Court, explained
          Why an FDR plan from the 1930s is suddenly popular again.”

          https://www.vox.com/2018/7/2/17513520/court-packing-explained-fdr-roosevelt-new-deal-democrats-supreme-court

          “Pack the Supreme Court? Why we may be getting closer.”

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/09/pack-supreme-court-why-we-may-be-getting-closer/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6aaa54daa6f9

          The Leftists are *serious* about this…

        2. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          I am well aware. I maintain a subversive account at the leftist sewer the Daily Kos for the purposes of sowing seeds of discord amongst those terrorists. These filthy “people” are truly the domestic enemies our Founders warned us about.

        3. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

          FDR had 15 years to fill the courts with socialist New Deal judges. The effects were felt for DECADES. It made all manner of socialism that we live with today – NFA (he tried to ban all HANDGUNS) to Social Security / Welfare to Medicare.

          Trump has been able to reverse the tide to a (significant) extent. To claim he’s done more with judges than anyone in 100 years is short-sighted IMHO; now granted, he has done a LOT, and is one of the reasons many voted for him. Let’s wait a few years to crown him the best president ever on the grounds of appointed judges.

        4. avatar LKB says:

          Yes, some on the far left are claiming that they will just do a court-packing plan once they regain power. I’m not particularly worried about that:

          (1) To do it, they need both houses of Congress AND the presidency. As it’s looking likely that the GOP will hang onto the Senate in 2020, and may well regain the House (especially of the Dem’s nominate a hard-left presidential candidate), that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
          (2) If the dems do a court packing bill, a GOP-led court repack becomes a certainty the next time it has all the levers of power. Smarter dem politicos know this, and aren’t going to want to effectively blow up the judiciary.
          (3) Absent the dems getting to 60 in the Senate (not happening anytime soon), such a plan would also need to invoke the nuclear option on non-budget, non-appointment Senate business. After seeing how badly they got burned the last time they tinkered with filibuster rules (we can all thank Harry Reid for allowing us to have Justices Goresuch and Kavanaugh), I suspect some of the dems will not want to completely blow up the filibuster and let that genie out of the bottle.

  14. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

    The woman running the live feed of the ‘SCOTUS Blog’ thinks this is a big fucking deal :

    “How many new grants today? Thank you
    by Philip 9:54 AM
    Replies1↑ 1
    Amy Howe
    One, but a pretty big one — in a challenge to a New York City law that bars the transportation of guns outside the city limits.”

  15. avatar Ginder12 says:

    Good lord let Thomas write the decision. He will lay waste to all the BS once and for all and millions of libtard heads will spontaneously combust.

  16. avatar Tyranny is just a tax says:

    Begging the government to protect us from itself. We’ll see how it goes.

  17. avatar former water walker says:

    Eh I’m not holding my breath. If Satan’s daughter dies mebbe good thing’s will happen. After Kavanaugh got dumped on I wonder who would want another leftard pillory?!? And call me selfish but ILLinois is going to he!! in a handbasket…hope for the best-prepare for the worst💀

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I prefer to hope that Kav will want pay back.

      1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

        “I prefer to hope that Kav will want pay back.”

        Preach it. And that a 2A-rights frustrated Thomas joins him for some tag-team revenge…

        *snicker* 😉

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Good lord, can we have a MOVIE???

  18. avatar Stateisevil says:

    A milquetoast decision in our favor. Or rather in the favor of a few gun owners unfortunate enough to live in NYC. Yawn.

    “Assault weapons” bans, mag bans, carry bans, may issue…they all remain forevermore.

    1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

      “A milquetoast decision in our favor. Or rather in the favor of a few gun owners unfortunate enough to live in NYC. Yawn.”

      Save it until the decision is actually handed down, OK?

      Cripes. We’ll get a bit of an idea how it might go during the oral arguments…

      1. avatar Stateisevil says:

        If they were willing to say strict scrutiny applies, they could have easily waited to take up a number of cases dealing with “assault weapons” bans or may issue. Therefore, we can conclude it will be milquetoast. In all probability.

  19. avatar Hamchuck says:

    I’m hearing Amy Coney Barrett to replace RBG. How is she on 2A?

    1. avatar Stateisevil says:

      RBG has to die or retire first. She ain’t going anywhere until Trump is kicked out in 2020.

      1. avatar Hamchuck says:

        Nah. My money is RBG doesn’t live to see 2020. All the talk of how healthy she is indicates the exact opposite. Plus the whole being out for coming on 3 weeks now. The boys of the old guard are polishing up their brass for her funeral.

        1. avatar TomC says:

          It doesn’t matter if RBG dies before 2020 or not. She could die today and there is simply no way that Trump will get another SCOTUS nominee confirmed during his current term.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Tom, I’d take that bet in a moment. Trump has 2 years, 53 GOP senators, and McConnell. He is probably already perusing his list for the next nominee, she kicks and he nominates a replacement the next day (for appearances sake, and a bit of respect, wait a few hours-no more), replacement could be seated in 2 weeks.

  20. avatar Hannibal says:

    Probably just going for low-hanging fruit- the laws in NY and especially NYC are especially capricious and without any rational basis. If they declare strict scrutiny applies I’d be very surprised. But one can hope…

    1. avatar Stateisevil says:

      If they were willing to say strict scrutiny applies, they could have easily waited to take up a number of cases dealing with “assault weapons” bans or may issue. Therefore, we can conclude it will be milquetoast.

  21. avatar Aaron Walker says:

    “Shall not be infringed.” Period…..(regardless of whether it’s a rifle/shotgun/pistol/knife/sword/form/dagger/pepper spray/stun gun , etc….

  22. avatar NORDNEG says:

    One more pick for the Supreme Court from President Trump would be nice…,come on Ruthie , move on …

    1. avatar TomC says:

      Even if RBG decides to admit having died, Trump will not get another nominee confirmed (at least not unless he is re-elected in 2020 which seems unlikely).

      The Republicans still nominally hold the Senate, but (1) their “majority” is too narrow, (2) their “majority” rests on several RINOs, and (3) the Republican leadership (Mitch McConnell et al) is expert at maneuvering as the minority party but totally clueless as a majority party.

      1. avatar Hamchuck says:

        That’s why Amy Barrett is the ideal choice to replace RBG and will be a RINO proof nominee. The female RINO’s won’t vote against her because “girl-power!” and Romney wouldn’t want to be seen as being anti-woman. Using the left’s identity politics against them is always fun to watch.

      2. avatar LKB says:

        I demur.

        McConnell isn’t my favorite, but the job he did on getting the Kavanaugh nomination across the finish line was a master class in hardball politics.

        The landscape has changed from last year. RINO squishes like McCain, Flake, Corker, and Heller are gone, and the GOP now has 53 votes in the Senate. Lindsay Graham has now developed a spine and maybe even some claws, and will be heading the judiciary committee. If PDT were to appoint someone like Barrett, the dems and media will howl (which they will anyway), but McConnell and Graham will get the nomination through.

        1. avatar ThePiousPriest says:

          Graham is employing the “Count to 6” rule. He knows that he has to be as close to Trump as he can for 2020, as he is up for re-election in 2020 and the only reason why Graham missed being primaried in 2014 was due to the primary field being too large. With Trump’s Twitter account, Graham could have faced a more substantial probability of being primaried. Not arguing with the results though, I actually like having my senator finding his spine (along with organs that produce gametes).

        2. avatar FedUp says:

          Those 53 senate votes you’re counting on include the Masshole who first brought us mandatory health insurance (the new Senator supposedly from Utah), and Murky Lisa, and Susan Collins.

          Mittens in particular is trying hard to go on the attack against honest conservatives everywhere. He might be able to replace both Flake and McCain, at least as far as emitting progressive wailing noises is concerned. And Lisa has already proven that she’ll do whatever a bunch of First Nation racists tell her to do.

  23. avatar TomC says:

    Every once in a while the Supreme Court chooses to flex its muscles (it was only in 1857 that the court even invented those muscles), but ordinarily the court crafts very narrow opinions as a deliberate choice to NOT establish grand precedents of far-reaching scope.

    It is possible that this might be “The Case” we and the justices have all been waiting for. Or it is just as likely that this is “a case” the justices have chosen simply because the law is so egregious that it offers a clear avenue to an easy decision — where “easy” means N-A-R-R-O-W in all caps.

  24. avatar john says:

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAA

    I did not think we would get a case like this heard this soon. So much awesome here. Fasten your seatbelts children!!!!

  25. avatar T-Unit says:

    How will applying strict scrutiny change things in Anti gun states?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      In short, those states will be unable to infringe on their people’s right to keep and bear arms. That’s all.

      1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

        “In short, those states will be unable to infringe on their people’s right to keep and bear arms.”

        They will anyways.

        Because of “the special danger guns provide” or some such prattle.

        And don’t forget, they may play the “Constitution isn’t a suicide pact” card, because guns…

  26. avatar Buff cousin Elroy says:

    This is just speculation. I’ll be happy when it actually starts happening.

  27. avatar Mad Max says:

    If we get lucky and Notorious RGB retires (by whatever method) this could be a huge win.

    If Barrett gets the seat, if I were Thomas, I would rule that Constitutional carry is the law of the land and strict scrutiny applies.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      RGB is the gun array in a color TV. Maybe RBG?

      1. avatar Mad Max says:

        Typos with no “Edit” button.😞

  28. avatar Docduracoat says:

    I am at a loss as to how New York City justified preventing people from taking their legally owned gun out of their apartment in New York City to their second house in, for instance, Pennsylvania.
    What possible legal argument could they make to justify preventing law abiding people moving legally owned and registered property from one domicile to another?
    Can someone enlighten me?

  29. avatar ThePiousPriest says:

    Any chance this case winds up like Masterpiece? What I mean by that is the court finds fault with the government, but does not issue any sort of broad ruling (in the case of NYSRPA, not ruling on the review standard itself)? I find it somewhat unlikely given the lack of 2A cases having gone to SCOTUS and this being the first one in 10 years, but I’m SCOTUS is side-stepping some issues.

  30. avatar Sam I Am says:

    “…and make it very hard for district and circuit judges to continue to wink at Heller.”

    And that would be because, what?

    There is no penalty for lower courts defying the USSC. USSC will not order the Chief US Marshal to arrest entire banks of federal judges, nor arrest even one federal judge (on what charge?). USSC can appeal to the Executive Branch to enforce their rulings via the police power of the Executive, but again, on what charge? Contempt of Court? Where is the statute? what is the process for appealing/defending against a contempt charge? What are the established penalties? If an appeals court defies USSC, are individual judges charges, or the entire appellate court (all the appeals judges)?

    The single thread running through the Republic, and through the Constitution is that everyone agrees to play by the rules. As applied to the federal court system, failure to “play by the rules” upends the entire theory and application of “rule of law”. But, for the anti-gun mafia chaos in the courts is a suitable outcome.

  31. avatar retmsgt says:

    Doesn’t matter much right now, but I’m certain that New York City (and State) are shitting bricks at the moment.

  32. avatar Nanashi says:

    “Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has a solid record of Second Amendment”
    I wish. He openly stated gun bans were OK if they were “traditional”.

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      Do you know what he means by “traditional”?

      If I were him, I would say that the 1840 ruling stating that concealed carry is a crime if it is done for the purpose of committing a crime but is Constitutionally-protected if it is done for self defense is a”traditional” gun law. I would also say that the modern 1934 NFA is not “traditional”.

  33. avatar possum says:

    They would not need Certs if they got their teeth fixed

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      (I think that one went over just about everyone’s heads…)

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        ” (I think that one went over just about everyone’s heads…)”

        Thought it was clever, then forgot to go back and acknowledge. Gotta improve on congratulating people for agile thinking.

  34. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    As several others have said earlier…The Democrats will move to impeach President Trump if RBG checks out of the net. They are not all too interested in a trial or conviction but want to cast a big cloud over the President until 2020, running the clock out so to speak. No supreme court picks during election year or so the alleged rule says..some say ‘ol’ Uncle Joe made up the rule when he was a Senator, but it may go further back than that. At any rate the Democrats want to make it to 2020 looking at a very damaged President Trump.

    I just hope that the wacko Ocasio-Cortez becomes the face of the Democrat Party by then….

    apologies if this was already mentioned.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Just to hedge my bets, I’ll say this. If President Trump does get another Supreme Court pick, what they did to Justice Kavanaugh will seem like a nice play date with cookies.

      The Democrats, ‘Never-Trumpers’, and the rest of the assorted Socialists..freakin Communists will lose their bloody minds…and it’s going to be soooo much fun to watch.

      ..sorry

      1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

        Cant wait to hear all the stories about Amy Coney Barrett being a rapist and how she was a drug addicted prostitute in college 😂😂😂

        1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

          “Cant wait to hear all the stories about Amy Coney Barrett being a rapist and how she was a drug addicted prostitute in college”

          “I was young. I needed the money…”

          (Lisa Marie Presley – ‘The Naked Gun’)

          And, who could forget?

  35. avatar KUETSA says:

    PRAISE THE LORD!
    I’ve been waiting @5 years now to get this news.
    What good is the Second Amendment if the New Nazi Party could simply outlaw the firearms that ENABLE THE CAPABILITY of citizens to effectively defend against atrocity.

  36. avatar Zippy2003 says:

    What do you mean Washington State is behind enemy lines? We were abandoned… thank you very much…we used to have one if not the most progressive gun rights throughout this nation not long ago, plus low crime, violence and great place to live. (Not long ago was prior to 2013-2015, granted Seattle has been going downhill for quite a bit longer)

    How much longer will we continue to be abandoned and let the anti gunners and other morons be allowed free rein in this state?

    We had basically zero outside support on our last 3 gun control initiatives that passed due to big money. I-1639 raised 4 million and all but less then 1 million came from 2-3 people. And the vote no campaign barely raised 1 million…

    If it can happen in Washington State it can happen anywhere. I could argue that was our national litmus test and we all failed. You all failed my home state and our country not once but 3 times.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “You all failed my home state and our country not once but 3 times.”

      This is odd. Does Washington state allow people from other states to vote in Washington elections?

      For future planning against anti-gun creep, how could people in other states have prevented to capture of state politics caused by people moving in from anti-gun states, and creating the haven they left behind?

      Given anti-gun (progressives) voters are the significant majority in Washington state, how much money would have been necessary to forcefully import pro-gun voters in numbers to outweigh the anti-gun voters?

      The locusts of anti-Americanism, liberalism, authoritarianism, leftism, know how to capture and consume the voter centers of any given state. All are at risk, with no means to eradicate the clouds of locusts. But birth rates are falling in America, and the demographic suffering the loss seems to be that which describes liberals, leftists and academia. May time will eventually be our friend?

      1. avatar Zippy2003 says:

        Support is always helpful.

        Unfortunately, much more often then not big money wins elections, sways the populace and politicians.

        Support doesn’t mean moving here or voting in our elections.

        “Given anti-gun (progressives) voters are the significant majority in Washington state”

        I’m tired of hearing that. An uneducated, uninterested voter doesn’t magically turn them anti-gun. Plus, we need to rally more people to get out and vote.

        You deem my state anti-gun yet know very little of who we are. There’s a lot more to Washington State then the Puget Sound region and Seattle. Yes, people moving here from out of state doesn’t help but there is still a lot more of us then them, for whatever reason they are more vocal and are getting things forced through.

        We have had very little support to fight the big money that’s being poured in by a select few who wish to pass gun control in my state. Unfortunately without enough money and people to fight back and show our side we lose. And with my state once having the most liberal gun laws in the nation, that doesn’t bode well for everyone else as it will now be easy to replicate the anti-gun agenda in other states.

        When Initiative 591 was on the ballot we got a small pittance from the NRA to fight it, yet vote Yes on I-591 blanketed the airwaves. That initiative could have been defeated had there been actual support, the biggest supporter we had was our home grown Second Amendment Foundation which just couldn’t compete against big money. This was also back when the NRA flatly refused to work with any other pro gun groups and would basically walk away if there was another pro gun group around… Unfortunately, this was repeated on our next 2 gun control initiatives. (At least the NRA has mildly warmed up to working with other pro gun groups.) Where’s our modern day 1997 Charlton Heston to decree against gun control in Washington state?

        “Given anti-gun (progressives) voters are the significant majority in Washington state…The locusts of anti-Americanism, liberalism, authoritarianism, leftism,”

        What? Sorry, you’re way off base there. We’re talking about Washington State not Washington D.C. There are plenty of liberal gun owning Democrats in this state and they’d be happy to support us if we stop insulting them at every turn. And the others who know nothing would be glad to listen and possibly support us if we give them the facts and act civilly.

        Washington State has historically been agnostic towards political parties and politics. Granted that’s changed some the past decade or so because both political parties saw that as a threat.

        Really look at our state, especially individual counties. Overall with the exception of the Puget Sound area the rest of this state is red. It’s actually to be expected a major population center is blue, it’s like that everywhere in our nation and throughout the world. Not to mention having the majority of the population in one area makes it easier to advertise and sway enough voters to get what you want.

        Yes, nationally we primarily vote blue but at the local level it’ll change with the winds because most of us aren’t beholden to one political party. (I could go on about the dreadful lose of our blanket primary and how things went down hill from there. That was one thing the political parties could agree on, our most loved and fantastic blanket primary and how our elections operated was unconstitutional according to them. Since the Ds and Rs own the entire government they can get whatever they want if they work together. I’m not sure how voting with our heads and not locked into political parties is unconstitutional but they both didn’t like that and saw that as a threat. Unfortunately, the new system screwed over our choice as voters and consequently has nearly killed the Republicans in this state. The Republicans shot themselves in the foot and they worked with the Democrats to do that and neither side has a clue what they honestly did.

        Thanks to them when it comes time to vote for mayor of Seattle for basically the end of time, we the voters will have no choice and will be stuck with two people who are exactly the same and in the same political party; that’s what happened in our most recent election. Hell, our Republican governor that got elected in 1980 wouldn’t even have been on the ballot if we used the “new and improved” voting scheme we use today.)

        Regarding gun laws, for the longest time our state legislators were on our side because that’s not what we the constituents wanted. (Not to mention most of it was against state law. It’s in our state constitution.) They wouldn’t pass gun control laws and tried their best to make sure no local governments could preempt state law. The anti-gun crowd were forced to go the initiative route and it’s easy to get a “majority” of those who bothered to vote to vote how you want when you have a ton of money to influence them.

        Unfortunately, our courts are anti gun as well, all the recent gun control initiatives broke the rules for initiatives and our judges won’t enforce that. (Yet, had Tim Eyman written these initiatives exactly the same, the courts would have struck them down and declared them illegal in a heartbeat. Initiatives are supposed to be one topic/issue not 20 different things in one broad field. For example if we do tax breaks but include more than one tax break, the courts say the whole initiative is illegal. Recently an initiative passed in Seattle to protect hotel workers. It was struck down by the courts and their reasoning was they believe voters would have been confused or only voted for it because of a few provisions but think we wouldn’t have agreed with some other parts, thus we were forced to vote yes. Yet, that’s exactly how the past 3 gun control initiatives have been, too broad and including multiple and varying/different changes…)

        1. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Nice rant, Zippy. Lots to complain about.

          I’d put all of this a lot more simply, however. To paraphrase an old NRA slogan-

          “I am the Second Amendment”.

          As such, “I” represent and work for it, both as a sacred right and for the responsibilities to which it stands. One of those is to support it, through, among others, advocacy, exercise, awareness, study, and often times occasional painful financial contribution as well as time to travel to legislative centers to help others in the support. The last two often mean using money one might rather spend on entertainment or more upscale board, or taking a day off work to seek out your lawmakers in person either as part of an organized effort or alone, if that’s the only option. We should do this because we believe in the cause and want this for our children and grandkids, not just because someone a couple of hundred years ago wrote it on an ever-decaying piece of paper.

          We can’t hold a candle to what those original people went through to provide us this country, even 200 years later these rights are astronomical in the least. First time ever attempted- to put the people above their governing body.

          Cannot we, with our incredible personal and collective wealth, technology, networking, communucations, ability to travel, and yes, ultimately, those arms our Founders saw fit to recognize as a God-given provision try to live up to a little that they had to go through for us? Is it not worth it to take a day off work for personal lobbying or send in a couple hundred bucks per year to an organization that has helped maintain these freedoms? Need we, as people who only inherited these things be so selfish that we’d allow them to slip away with only wimpers and finger-pointing?

          The gun owners in WA should’ve be able to put forth the finances and where-with-all to battle these injustice attempts but they don’t. Ditto for every state, city or county. Blaming the lack of what you deem as NRA financial support, or longing for another “Heston” is a cop out for WA citizens to not shoulder the support for those things that were already provided for them. Again, I warn everyone, the Amendment process in the US Constitution does provide a means to cancel out the entire 2nd Amendment if that be the will of the people- God-given or not. We firearms folk need to get serious about fighting this battle and what is in store for us if we continue to blame someone else. Look in the mirror first. Good luck.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “We firearms folk need to get serious about fighting this battle.”

          Question: what do the numbers portend?

          The most frequent stat I see is that the voters of the nation are just about evenly split on “gun rights”. The numbers move fractionally one way or the other from year to year, but there is no momentum from the “gun rights” defenders that indicates a ground swell building. What do the numbers tell us?

          At this point, with the birth rate declining below replacement levels, where are the new pro-2A voters coming from? Conversion/persuasion? Not enough of either to amount to anything deterministic. I don’t think we are in a situation where we can rouse the sleeping giant of “the silent majority”. One might note that the demographic of anti-gunners is overwhelming the population centers, whereas the pro “gun rights” demographic remains strongest in rural areas…where population is static, or declining.

          The intent of the leftists/liberals, statists, Dimwitocrats is to transform the culture through an inexhaustible supply of malleable voters. The current leadership of the liberals believes they can forever manage an enormous plantation, and that the vassals will never be smart or determined enough to wrest control from the current power structure. Either way, the idea that “the people” will always need the tools to throw off tyranny will disappear, as the new vassals come from societies where people are dependent, not independent; where government is expected to hold the majority of the wealth; where individual liberties are not the norm.

          Eventually, even the entire court system will align with the notion that government is the rightful caretaker of the populace, not the people themselves.

        3. avatar Craig in IA says:

          If you really want to see how Americans line up on firearms, place an item on the ballot in any state allowing the voters to give away their 2A rights and surrender their guns- any of them. I don’t think the final tallies will reflect your “stats”, at least they haven’t yet.

          And a side mention, having worked directly with large numbers of immigrants both legal and not over the past 25 years, one of the things they have in common and hold dear in this country is the ability to own and use a firearm. Some for hunting, some for occasional recreation, but mostly because they can here and couldn’t in the country from which they came.

          This game needs to be changed, not so much the rules as the venue.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The facts seem to indicate that the published polls are fairly accurate, as to the alignment of pro and anti “gun rights”. Election after election, restrictions increase. 100 million legal gun owners are not convinced their 2A rights are endangered. If we cannot electrify the legal gun owners, where is the demographic that will establish and perpetuate a significant majority of voters who will tolerate no further erosion of our rights, not to mention restoration of our rights?

          You ask for an accounting of how many people would support a provision to surrender their 2A rights. The data already exists. Count the total number of voters who got restrictions passed, and the number of voters who opposed those restrictions. The pudding is validated by every successful election that restricts possession and use of firearms. Yes, there are elections that defeat restrictions, even some that prevent certain erosions, but, but none of that represents a clear majority. It is pretty much a break-even.

          If we cannot mobilize the ready audience (100 million legal gun owners) to be rabidly pro-2A for everyone, for all guns, what is the size of the non-gun owner demographic that we believe will turn the tide in our favor, even temporarily?

          Reality check: If we have a God-given, natural, human and civil right to self-defense, and the Second Amendment protects that right from government intrusion, why is it that the Second Amendment (or even the First) are not declared barred from the amendment process? The founders declared we have unalienable rights, then created the very process to alienate those rights. Interestingly, the constitution declares only one limitation on amending the constitution, and it is not related to what we commonly call “rights”. The limitation is on changing the representation of states in the Senate. There are no limits on amending the BOR, nor any other portion of the base document of the constitution.

          Good article here:
          aw2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/unamendable.html

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Let’s be honest, the number of voters who are “non-liberal” is overwhelmed by the number of voters who are liberal/lelftists. In the end, number are all that matter.

          Where in Washington state is that sleeping majority of voters who could defeat the clear majority in the cities who actually control the rest of the state. Principles no longer matter, vote count is everything. No amount of support or money will create a majority capable of arresting the locusts of the left. Washington state is not unique. People don’t vote “liberal” because they are ignorant. They do so because they benefit from voting “liberal”.

          There is one scenario where more money and support may be decisive, and that is when the differential between left and right is minuscule, say a coupla thousand votes (maybe), that might represent an opportunity for more advertising money. But, that would be for a single instance. If the differential is permanent, no outside support will change the direction of the vote.

          The locusts know that capturing the population centers (through legal bribery or importation of more locusts) will establish a permanent majority. People satisfied with their lives do not generally move to a worse situation. Leftists build hellholes, then move to the next pasture and build new hellholes. Non-leftists should begin thinking about moving to places where they can establish, or build on, a non-liberal majority. But, things being things, people being people, the sinister side will always win, until the final chapter.

        6. avatar Craig in IA says:

          “The facts seem to indicate…”

          Not necessarily, on any of your points. Voting in elections for people- candidates- is all-too-often a choice between bad and worse for many people, liberal, conservative and the middle. Voters often face elections where neither person is a good choice and this is the primary reason so many decide to just sit elections out and watch TV. “What good will it do me?”

          Voting for an actual proposal, either yay or nay is completely different. I would not be so certain that all, or even a large number of “liberals” nor undeclared voters would knowingly and willingly cash in their 2A rights, even in the more liberal areas if given the choice.

        7. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I would not be so certain that all, or even a large number of “liberals” nor undeclared voters would knowingly and willingly cash in their 2A rights, even in the more liberal areas if given the choice.”

          How is voting to curtail your 2A rights not a signal that those voters are self-identifying that they gladly surrender theirs as well?

        8. avatar Zippy2003 says:

          Craig in IA-

          “We firearms folk need to get serious about fighting this battle and what is in store for us if we continue to blame someone else. Look in the mirror first. Good luck.”

          True. And that means we need to band together regardless of where we are. We’re all one nation. I don’t need to get involved with local politics or issues but the 2A issues is national even when it’s at the local level. I should still support gun rights and my fellow gun owners regardless of where we all live.

          I shouldn’t say, “well that’s just California, New York, Massachusetts and Washington state, it won’t affect me. It won’t happen here.”

          I agree we should pull our own weight. But how can we do that at the local level when the opposition is severely out spending us and has the media on their side? (And on top of that the pro gun camp doesn’t understand Washington State and thinks we are anti-gun and simply write us off as a lost cause. Which just leaves the barn door open for the anti-gunners.)

          The anti gun group is working collectively and frankly kicking our ass. It’s time we do the same. I’m pointing fingers because we all aren’t doing enough.

        9. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “The anti gun group is working collectively and frankly kicking our ass. It’s time we do the same. I’m pointing fingers because we all aren’t doing enough.”

          Count the votes. Should be simple enough. Find out how many voters supported ending your 2A rights (or incrementally ending them), and how many 2A supporters voted in opposition. If the count proves the votes aren’t there, then research how many voters did not vote at all on 2A restrictions. The latter will be your presumed pool of possible converts (to either proposition). Believing for a moment that all those “undecideds” can be converted to 2A voters, is the number sufficient to guarantee victory for 2A rights? If the votes are yours (2A supporters) to use in overturning infringement, plan your campaign to win hearts and minds. If the votes will not permit a majority of voters sufficient to overturn infringements, well…then it gets interesting deciding what to do next.

        10. avatar Craig in IA says:

          ” “We firearms folk need to get serious about fighting this battle and what is in store for us if we continue to blame someone else. Look in the mirror first. Good luck.”

          True. And that means we need to band together regardless of where we are. … ” I agree, and support the peeps of WA in their efforts. However- I live in Iowa. My money to ILA goes nation-wide but I am most interested in keeping my digs free first and foremost. There is a much larger population in WA- if it really means anything to them they need to educate themselves, step up and stop listening to the ever-present cynics. The cynicism and NRA bashing will not raise either money nor awareness, both of which are necessary in the fight. I seriously doubt all the NRA bashing around here raises the tards at NAGR and GOA little more than spare change and pocket lint and the msjority of bashers are worthies who couldn’t convince anyone at NRA that “their way” was/is the road to Nirvanah.

          And Sam, there is no real indication at all that voters are willingly cashing in their 2A rights if asked, point blank. The real tact of the gun banners (among other Leftists) is to keep the actual truth and resulting consequences about proposed legislation from those who are trying to sift through the legalese and make up their minds on election days. ACA, for example, while not voted on by the public is a good example of a huge project that was based almost completely on lies and false claims. Again, going back to my 30+ years of dealing with both immigrants, legal and otherwise as well as a very large black population in the inner city- they were almost always a sure vote for the Left candidates but made no bones about keeping firearms. They were never candidates to turn them in during the buy-backs attempts, either.

        11. avatar MarkPA says:

          I’ve wondered why we PotG don’t have Congress kissing our boots. We think we number about 100 million; almost 1/3 of the population! If we voted 2A nothing could stop us. What gives?

          I think the answer to my question is that there are lots of different kinds of gun-owners. Most important are the “inherited” gun-owners. I’ll take my own family to illustrate. Dad was a gun dealer; as was his father and grandfather. Dad was a duck-hunter when he was single; but didn’t fire a gun in my lifetime. Had a store to run (almost 0 sales of guns, some ammo). I got into guns as a teenager, but my sister didn’t. Some years after Dad died my sister had Dad’s 12-gage. What to do with it? She was a “gun owner”; but, hardly a member of the gun culture. (Eventually, she gave it away to someone; she forgot whom.)

          So, my sister counted as 1 of the 100 million (at one time); but, she wasn’t interested enough to vote 2A. There are millions of sons/daughters, grandsons/granddaughters with a couple of old guns in the closet. Yes, they are gun-owners, but they don’t vote that way.

          Next grade up are those who may have an inherited or bought gun but haven’t shot it in decades. Making a living and raising a family took precedence. These folks don’t vote 2A either.

          Next grade up are those who shoot occasionally, but guns are not a significant part of their lives. And so forth. The number of 2A-conscious gun owners is a modest part of the 100 million.

          If what I describe is correct, then here is the problem/opportunity. Communicate to those gun-owners (or, heirs of gun-owners who did not inherit a gun or the gun-culture). These folks aren’t hoplophobic. They think of gun-owners as being people like dad or granddad. They aren’t really invested in a gun they have inherited (or bought in their youth) but they ARE invested in traditional American values such as the Constitution.

          These folks are open to our 2A message. Let’s be realistic: We can’t motivate them by telling them that the gun-grabbers are going to confiscate granddad’s double-barreled. These are law-abiding people; they will sacrifice some sentimental value in an old gun they don’t ever expect to use. We can motivate them by reminding them of the importance of defending the Constitution and BoR as a whole. Sure, we all have some doubts and disagreements about one or another Right; nevertheless, we all regard it as important to adhere to these rights firmly lest an encroachment on one right threaten another right. (E.g., when the Miranda ruling came out there were sincere objections. Nevertheless, if the right to remain silent is sacrosanct, then that right has some meaning in the context of an arrest. The Miranda ruling found such a meaning; and we’ve come to accept it over the past 45 years as being part of the right.)

          We can motivate these folks by reminding them that their neighbors stand ready to defend the neighborhood in the event of a disaster. Their neighbors who keep guns dissuade home invaders who don’t know which houses keep/don’t-keep guns. Their neighbors who carry dissuade robbers and rapists.

          We can explain how the gun-grabbers are aligned politically with other platform planks such as unlimited powers of government to tax and regulate. Soft on crime. Welfare to both the needy and the able-to-work.

        12. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The underlying principle is that people will accept/support any law that they think will not affect them. Or, as the old saying goes…”It all depends on whose Ox is being gored.”

        13. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Put simply, people who vote to restrict or end “gun rights” for others are de facto voting to restrict or end their own “gun rights”. People who do not vote when “gun rights” are at stake are de facto voting to restrict or end their own “gun rights”.

          There is no sympathy for people who do not know what they are voting for. It is not the responsibility of others to perform “due diligence” for any voter. The reasonable action when presented with a measure you do not understand is to vote against it. Any ballot item that is not understandable is that way for a purpose. Honest people do not need to make ballots confusing in order to get other people to vote for it. Any ballot measure that benefits the state/local government should automatically receive a “no” vote. All politically popular measures should be considered guilty until proven innocent.

          Truth will stand on its own; it is the truly bad idea that needs government support.

        14. avatar Craig in IA says:

          I believe claiming a “de facto vote” is completely simplistic. I guess the only way we’ll ever know is if some state with voter-led initiatives ever puts one up, everything else is less than conjecture. The people I’ve dealt with over my adult life do not mirror your POV. Even the gays (and not only the Log Cabiners and business folk like my summer neighbor) are now beginning to arm up, as are a goodly number of wom- er, females, often a reliable slam-dunk for leftists. Again, go forth with your POV, which is cynicism as far as the movement is concerned. I do not see it as Gospel at all and will continue to conduct my efforts as such. To quote the “Wicked Witch of the East”: Ah ain’t no-where’s tahred… Ah’ve cum too fahr fum where Ah’s ben…

        15. avatar Sam I Am says:

          If a proposed gun restriction is on the ballot, and you are a liberal/democrat/government dependent you will vote the party line, and also every liberal proposition on the ballot. in Wash state, it wasn’t a majority of pro-2A supporters who were among the majority who made the proposition law, it wasn’t a majority of conservatives, it wasn’t a majority of Republicrats who put the measure over.

          As to de facto voting, with voting there are (at most) three options: yes, no, silence. Silence is a subtraction of one vote for the supporters, and a subtraction for the opponents. Silence is acquiescence to whatever happens. When constitutionally protected rights are at stake, acquiescence is a vote to permit suppression of those rights. People who own guns, and support anti-2A legislation are not shadow supporters. People who own guns, and do not vote against anti-2A legislation are not shadow supporters. Hiding guns and voting to restrict “gun rights” (directly, or through silence) is not supporting the constitution. Acquiescence is a de facto vote against those constitutionally protected rights.

          If analyzing the numbers is “cynical”, well, OK. Such a label does nothing to rearrange the numbers, but OK. Oddly, in these discussions, no one seems to have a workable method to flip the voting demographics. There are no reliable estimates of how many “undecideds” exist for purposes of using conversions to overcome anti-2A voters. There are no reliable estimates of how many “undecideds” are natural allies. No reliable market research to tell us how many of these unknown unknowns are “high probable”, “likely”, “low probable” buyers. Without actionable intelligence, we are using the spahgetti approach: throw noodles on the wall and see what sticks. Is this a productive method of building the hordes of new 2A supporters we need?

          No, I do not have a solution, but a caution about thinking repeating the same themes and hoping for different outcomes is moving the ball. We are burning important resources for very little return (law of diminishing returns?). What I see is a hopeless reliance on statistics and logic, when gun ownership is at least as much an emotional issue. To repeat myself (which I love doing), people are not persuaded by the height of you logic, but the depth of your emotion.

        16. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Again, I disagree. There’s no proof that a majority of pro 2A people even went to the polls in WA or anywhere. And that’s where all the cynicism gets us- a large number of people with “skin in the game” just throw up their hands in an effective “what’s the use?” manner and stay home on election days. The same happens in POTUS cycles when Evangelicals don’t bother to go and there are many other examples at all levels. Trump huimself was elected to fix immigration and some other “common man” issues that have been buried for half a century. The Left, and dimwit Never-Trumpers supposedly on the Right have been battling ever since to try to make his election appear a sham and entirely not worth the effort on our part. Even with the MSM in their pocket they’re having a tough time. They especially seek to convince the masses that “educated people” must think and act “this way” and only morons don’t fall in line. Alynsky at his finest, and many of us here have swallowed it whole. Better to battle, say, the NRA, for example, than the real problem- a government, often more appointed than elected seeking to remove the private ownership of firearms from the citizens. Throughout all of history great empires have fallen. Their defeats were nearly all set up from inside, not from without.

          It’s such a simple thing to sit back, stroke one’s chin in the college prof’s stereotypical manner and declare something is “inevitable”, so what’s the use of even trying, boneheads? It makes things much easier for the other side when those who ought to be fighting or at least know better are drinking, or already have drunk the Kool Aid.

          Other than providing a podium for one to rant and feel good having “stated it”, elequently or otherwise, there is a dearth on this site of actual strategy, cooperation, networking, and data sharing between those who might seek to re-educate the ignorant that even they have certain rights, priveledges and responsibilities. Our parents knew it, so did theirs. You believe there is no large, undecided middle left in America, I believe there is based upon actual situations and people that I worked with, and among; from the inner city and basic salt-of-the-earth types, often not well educated but good people just the same. It is to them we should craft our efforts- not to those who are seeking to add them to their tyranical corral. We often speak down to entire groups of people rather than direct the derision only at those trying to lead them. Painting the majority of the electorate as antigun will certainly not bring the results you seek unless you seek to overturn the Second Amendment.

        17. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Please….

          If in your wildest hopes for victory you discover there are not enough votes to overcome the opposition, then you lose. If you don’t know how many voters you have who claim to be on your side, if you don’t know how many of those voters you can count on to actually vote for your side….you lose. If you cannot energize your own voter base, you lose. Losing means you are failing to make the sale that your product is good, better, important to the buyer. You don’t need a bunch of outside money, or outside celebrities making appearances. The Tea Party managed to create a movement that was successful locally and nationally, with no big money donors underwriting the movement.

          If you cannot figure out how many voters you can muster, just call a pro-2A rally in a major city. See how many attend. There are your committed voters. Do the arithmetic.

        18. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Conservative, or traditionally American-minded people generally do not show up for rallies and other type events to march the streets- most are too busy working and running normal lives. (And i’m not going to parse what a traditional American is for this purpose, I think you can figure it out.)

          We can keep chasing ourselves around this tree until we turn into butter and it still means nothing- all conjecture.

          Me? I’ll not give in and stop the fight. My brother and I spend somewhere around 20 weekends per year promoting the Second Amendment and the scars don’t seem to show on us much, in fact we enjoy it. I just left the gun show an hour ago, besides which this weekend I also spent about 14 hours playing 3 “Harry Potter” soundtracks in a symphony setting as well,, so someone got their time and money’s worth out of me. If I believed this was all for naught I’d have given up long ago, My advice to you and others not willing to struggle on- if the battle is lost, go ahead and give up your guns- put your action where your feelings are. Be sure to advertise it as well. I suppose you can also do what some of the gomers are claiming they’ll do and bury them out back, if you can find a shovel somewhere. I’ll just happily go on shooting mine and promoting the old traditional American heritage, exercising as many rights daily as I can. Throughout life, in everything from pursuing a career, a chick (or maybe a guy), or faced with a DGU; the attitude one takes into the arena often has a huge affect on the outcome.

  37. avatar john says:

    Lots of statements being made without doing any reading I see. Shouldn’t be surprised since there is a lot of dead wood here. So lets break it down for the slow ones.

    The below brief is pretty clear cut as to what is hoped to be achieved here. Easy to understand as far as court docs go.

    Brief amici curiae of The States of Louisiana (excerpt below)

    “This Court in Heller said “[t]here will be time
    enough to expound upon the historical justifications for
    the exceptions we have mentioned if and when those
    exceptions come before us.” 554 U.S. at 635. Those
    exceptions have come before the Court time and again
    but the Court has remained silent. This petition
    provides an excellent vehicle for the Court to break its
    silence and ameliorate the deep division within the
    circuit courts on two different but related issues: The
    scope or “core” of the Second Amendment right and the
    level of scrutiny courts should apply to laws limiting
    that right.”

    Reply of petitioners New York State Rifle & Pistol Association

    If you read this you see that a very small part is dedicated to the actual court case and most is dedicated to the fact that the courts are not adhering to the Mcdonald and Heller decisions.

    The fact that the judges read all of the above and STILL accepted the case should make obvious their intentions here. We shouldn’t be throwing a part just yet but we are well on our way to having our 2a rights placed on equal footing as all others as it should have always been.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “…but we are well on our way to having our 2a rights placed on equal footing as all others as it should have always been.”

      Skepticism and caution are not indicative of “dead wood”. They are healthy ways to manage expectations. Perhaps we should accept that we are well on our way to finding out if our 2A rights will be placed on an equal footing.

      1. avatar john says:

        The writing is on the wall here. Just don’t read too much NRA material. You know the usual world is ending and all your 2a rights are being stripped away…..donate money please, type of stuff.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Just don’t read too much NRA material. You know the usual world is ending and all your 2a rights are being stripped away…..donate money please, type of stuff.”

          Not a temptation for me. Most of my family thinks I was born in Missouri, regardless of what the paperwork says.

  38. avatar UpInArms says:

    A question for anyone who can answer it…

    Once this case is heard and a decision is reached, what’s the likelihood that another 2A case will fall into the court’s docket anytime soon after? It took 10 years since Heller.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “…what’s the likelihood that another 2A case will fall into the court’s docket anytime soon after? ”

      It may be indicative – in the 10 years since “Heller”, the SC considered the same issue three times in four years: whether unions can compel non-union workers to pay union dues even though the non-union workers refuse to join the union.

  39. avatar UpInArms says:

    And another question…

    Suppose RBG makes an exit from the court and her replacement gets hung up in the confirmation process. Could this case be heard in front of an 8 member court… with the possibility of a 5-3 decision?

    1. avatar LKB says:

      Yup. Pretty routine for the court to continue on with one (or more) vacancies.

      Recall that after Scalia passed, the court continued deciding cases, resulting in some 4-4 deadlocks (in which case the Court of Appeals decision is affirmed, but the Supreme Court affirmance is not precedent).

      If RBG passes away, look for PDT / McConnell / Graham to ram Barrett thru the Senate in a matter of weeks.

      1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

        Exactly. Can’t wait to see the filthy leftists emerge out from under their rocks and swear to God that Barrett was a meth addled prostitute in college. 😂😂😂

  40. avatar John Isbell says:

    The Supreme Court won’t take a case unless there are at least four jurist who think it should be heard. That’s both good news and bad news. On one hand we can desearn that at least one of our new judges on the SCOTUS is pro second amendment, and sees a need for clarity. The majority of judges in the last nine years have not felt that way. I feel that things have changed for the better in so far as gun owners are concerned. However, I fear for the lives of those judges, and I certainly hope that none of them meet the same fate as Justice Scalia.

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