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U.S.S. Alabama (courtesy

Alabama voters have joined Louisiana and Missouri voters by approving a change to their state constitution to stop the gubmint from infringing on their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. By a margin of 73 percent to 27 percent, Yellowhammer Staters amended their constitution to include the following provisions . . .

a) Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

(b) No citizen shall be compelled by any international treaty or international law to take an action that prohibits, limits, or otherwise interferes with his or her fundamental right to keep and bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state, if such treaty or law, or its adoption, violates the United States Constitution.

The UN thing’s a bit of a joke, really. (At least in the foreseeable future.) But the strict scrutiny thing’s the real deal. reckons . . .

Strict scrutiny is the most exacting level of judicial review employed by the courts. For a gun control law to survive strict scrutiny, the state must prove that it has a compelling interest that both justifies and necessitates the regulation in question. Among lawyers, strict scrutiny is frequently characterized as “strict in theory, fatal in fact.” Lawmakers receive no deference from the courts under this approach.

Put differently, this new constitutional provision is a huge win for gun rights and a major defeat for gun control advocates in Alabama.

Wait. There are gun control advocates in Alabama? Damn! Those folks get everywhere! But not everything they want, thank God. [h/t Pascal]


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    • It’s already enumerated in the 2nd Amendment, but additional protection and recognition at the state level is definitely welcome. Unfortunately, many states have additional infringements at the state level which are clearly unconstitutional.

      I’m saving pennies and making retirement plans for free states. Thankfully Scott Walker won in WI, so that is definitely an option for me.

    • Already required in Florida:

      Hillsborough County Gov’t. Employees Ass’n v. Hillsborough County Aviation
      Auth., 522 So.2d 358, 362 (Fla. 1988)

      Doesn’t mean the courts won’t lie though. Good test case tomorrow as Fl Carry fights for open carry in the 4th DCA. 10 AM, 11/6/14.

      • When a judge wants to adhere to the Constitution, then he applies Strict Scrutiny to his decision. When he wants to protect us from gun violence, then he applies a lower level of scrutiny, because he knows his arguments will not survive the Strict Scrutiny test.

        Didn’t the Justices’ statements in the Heller Decision include comments to the effect that Strict Scrutiny should be used in all 2nd Amendment cases? However, we still are seeing cases in Federal Court where lower levels are used. The SCOTUS needs to put a stop to that.

      • @Ralph –

        That being the case, why does NJ refuse shall issue? What part of “Shall not be infringed”?

        I’m not trying to be obstinate here…(But probably succeeding…)

        • Because judges act like unelected politicians instead of simply interpreting the law. They will use linguistic gymnastics to make a decision to support a progressive dogma.

          There is huge fight post election inside the Republican party if they should but the filibuster rule back that Harry Reid removed which has allowed the Democrats to stuff the courts with uber liberal judges. Sadly, stuffing the courts is the way to promote a political idea which has ruined the courts. Judges have become bigger crooks and political pawns than politicians and even worse, since they have life long terms, they can be crooks for life.

          Because of the stacking of the courts, state constitutions have become absolutely meaningless.

    • “…that both justifies and necessitates the regulation in question.”
      Call me crazy but dont we want that for every law known to man?

  1. Any state able to pass a measure like this is not one that needs it… for the moment.

    But when the gun-control people get tired of living in their states where criminals run rampant they have to go somewhere. And they bring their anti-gun beliefs with them.

  2. Strict scrutiny is not the answer to our prayers. It is helpful, yes, but let’s not forget that the Japanese Internment survived strict scrutiny. If rounding up people, confining them to camps and taking their property based on their race can survive strict scrutiny, what can’t?

    • Besides the “that was then, this is now” argument, and the fact that we’re hopelessly awash with lawyers like never before, the chance that strict scrutiny will be abused in such a heavy-handed fashion is practically nil. Didn’t someone write a book about how Japanese sympathizers and spies WERE among the innocent Japanese-Americans that were rounded up and interred? Just sayin’. Strict scrutiny is only a starting point. What happens after that defines whether it was a good idea or a bad one.

      • Sorry, but to hell with your good intentions; they’re meaningless. The Japanese were deprived not only of freedom, but of their homes and possessions, and were never compensated for either. There was no significant Japanese rebellion, resistance, or even sabotage or unrest that could even come close to justifying such injustice at the time, let alone in retrospect. Therefore, I would argue it is just as plausible that some horrific whirlwind of circumstances could land us in a similar place one day. Therefore, I would want protection in every possible form from the mob who would destroy me without reason.

        • Included in any reciting of the story of WWII internment should be the fact that no Germans were interred. I am willing to be wrong about this as I am frequently wrong about many things but I am pretty sure this is true.

        • You are (partly) wrong. Several thousand Germans and Italians, mostly merchant sailors and other foreign nationals unlucky enough to be on US soil when war was declared, were interned for the duration. There was not any movement to intern citizens of German or Italian ancestry.

          It’s unclear why. German-Americans were abused during WW1, in some cases fairly horrifically. Nobody remembers that these days, but they certainly would have in 1941. There also were many millions of American citizens of German and Italian ancestry, thoroughly integrated into the population from coast to coast, while Japanese-Americans were geographically concentrated in California and had very limited ability to integrate due to the racism of the times. They were just easier to pick on.

        • The propaganda of the day had us at war with”Germany” not the German people (partly due to how WWI was wrapped up, with supposed reconciliation). That part was quite different from WWI. The Japanese had no such favor. It is ironic that few Germans were interred compared to Japanese, since there actually were instances of them sabotaging here, and going abroad to fight us. No such incidents with Japanese as I have been able to find. Makes it all the more unjustifiable.

        • Yep. What else is ironic is that, while Japan is lumped in with the Axis, the only thing it had in common with its European co-belligerants was being at war with the US (and later, the USSR). There was no equivalent of the fascist ideology in Japan to motivate Japanese-Americans to fight for the homeland (there was an equivalent to western racism, which is not the same thing).

          The alliance with Hitler was opportunistic, and there was very little meaningful military cooperation or technology transfer. That’s good for us, because if Japan had mastered the assembly line, if German aircraft had Japanese-designed engines and aerodynamic aids, Japan had Panther tanks, and so on, the war would have been much longer and harder.

        • If some Japanese-Americans committed the crimes alleged, their (and our) Constitution says they should have been tried before a jury and convicted before they were imprisoned. The episode was disgusting.

        • Japanese ideology in WW2 was not, strictly speaking, fascist, but it was pretty damn totalitarian, and sharing many of the same traits.

          (By strict definition of the word, Germany wasn’t fascist, either.)

    • This. As much lip service is paid to the various levels of scrutiny, judges seem to have a particularly hard time remaining objective when guns are the subject (funny how that works), and too often construct logic mazes that lead them to their preconceived conclusions. The fact is, this law will do nothing to punish a judge who does not apply strict scrutiny, because I suspect it is more or less impossible to prove which level of scrutiny a case is judged by. Which means it comes down to the judge’s personal statement, which we all know is often spoken from a place of extreme bias or ignorance where firearms are concerned. I’m sure that judge in DC who ruled muzzle loader projectiles were ammunition would say he was strictly applying the law, too…

    • death is too easy, give them a 6 month stretch on the inside of any of the state or federal prisons, and viola! you will have a another libertarian who devoutly believes in taking power from those who have it, and leaving everyone else to our own devices.

  3. To get this nationwide, I’d be willing to make a package deal: a bill with this in it plus a national single-payer medical insurance program. Most anti-gunners are in the group of people wanting a system much like Canada’s for health care, so I figure this would fly.

    • It seems I read that the good people of Vermont are in the process of instituting single payer health care. Everybody will be covered with no exceptions. If they can put that together they will show the rest of the country it can be done and maybe other states will follow suit.

      • I would like to see a few years go by, to observe the means by which Vermont would recover from bankruptcy, before the rest of the country commits mass suicide to follow them. There is no free lunch, and wherever government takes over the functions of the free market, prices go up hugely, in part to pay for the corruption going up hugely, and result in campaigns to cut skyrocketing costs which cut benefits to nearly nothing.

        You will never cut costs by instituting another layer or two of bureaucracy into the delivery system.

  4. The voters of Alabama were NOT given all the information needed to make an informed decision on this amendment to the Declaration of Rights. Here is the previous wording of the Alabama Right to Bear Arms in Section 26:
    Constitution of Alabama 1901
    Article 1 Declaration of Rights.
    That the great, general, and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare:
    SECTION 26 Right to Bear Arms.
    That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.
    SECTION 36 Construction of Declaration of Rights.
    That this enumeration of certain rights shall not impair or deny others retained by the people; and, to guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, we declare that everything in this Declaration of Rights is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate.
    No existing firearms regulation in Alabama has been challenged on the basis of the right to bear arms having been removed from the general power of the legislature!

    This change to Alabama’s Constitution also sets up a fundamental conflict with the Section 36 Construction of Declaration of Rights. How can restrictions be placed on a right that has been “…excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate.”

    Is this truly a victory for the Right to Bear Arms in Alabama?

    • I don’t know if it is a victory, but it seems (to me) to be a helpful step in trying to secure a right that continually gets violated. I work for the City of Montgomery and, despite the clear wording of the State Constitution (let alone our Federal Constitution), I have been forcibly disarmed and threatened with legal action and loss of employment by the municipality if I have my firearm with me at work…a public building, not private property. I am hoping the “strict scrutiny” clause and the declaration that my right to bear firearms is now, explicitly, a “fundamental” right will change things.

  5. Yeah well lets all hope for continued successes against rich nannies like Bloombag and his paid mouth.
    594 passed in Washington State, against my wishes, but it happened. Although it could be viewed as a gateway law, really though, it will have no ill effect against myself or the majority of citizens here in Washington as it’s more of an unenforceable inconvenience at best. It won’t curtail gun crimes and serves nothing more than a feel good pat on the back. All I can say to the gun control crowd “relish in your win, because it’s not going to accomplish anything useful”

    • They know it won’t accomplish its stated goals; they’re looking in the long term. They want to make gun control the norm.

    • You are wrong. The end game is registrations. Universal background check is just a step. At some point that was a memo from NIJ (I guess early in the AWB revival during first part of 2013) that stated:
      “Universal background checks
      Twitter summary: Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun
      registration and an easy gun transfer process.” Look on page 5.
      So that is already considered. Some opinions as the above will be used later to strengthen the UBC. You can bet on that.

  6. Good on ‘Bama. It really was an awesome night for the country, and for gun rights overall.

    (Only regret was losing in PA, but I won’t cry in my soup. Hopefully the Repub state House and Senate will keep the Commie Libbo GovNer in check)

  7. I’m thinking Gottlieb is right — and now is the time to get out in front of this UBC issue at the Federal level, while we have Congress and can write our own concessions (and protection) into the bill. Otherwise Bloomberg’s crew is going to try to do this at the State level through the ballot box, like they just did in WA.

    “I knew that they had planned to do this,” Gottlieb told Wednesday. “That is why I have been so pro-active in trying to make sure that we drive the train and write the background checks in a way that protects our rights. No registration, and provisions that expand our rights in other areas that the other side would be forced to accept. Maybe now some gun rights activists that have been criticizing my approach will take their head out of the sand before it is too late for these other states.”

  8. There is nothing to joke about regarding the UN Treaty. It needs brought to a Senate vote and rejected outright rather than let it lay around. Plus, since Kerry signed the damn thing, Barry or Hillary could play games until it is rejected.

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