Q honey badger pistol
Jeremy S. for TTAG
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This Week in Gun Rights is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal, legislative and other news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights.

SCOTUS nominee says the Second Amendment is an individual right

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett speaks during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP)

During Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearing last week, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sampled from her majority opinion in a case involving the restoration of the right to keep and bear arms for non-violent felons. Barrett said that the Second Amendment is an individual right. Senator Durbin, naturally, made a big fuss about this because he doesn’t agree with that position. Neither does Joe Biden. Dick and Joe couldn’t be more wrong about it.

Here’s a quick constitutional law lesson on me, gents (and ladies, too).

The Constitution’s articles define the role and authority of the respective branches of the federal government. The Bill of Rights confers individual rights to the People.

Think about it: the First Amendment protects the individual right to speech, expression, the practice of religion, and so on. The Third Amendment protects your right to prevent the government from seizing your home to house troops. The Fourth Amendment protects your right to be free from warrantless search and seizure of your property and person. The Fifth Amendment protects your right to be free from self-incrimination along with your right to due process of the law. And so it goes.

The Bill of Rights is a list of individual rights, with the Ninth Amendment serving as a catch-all provision of individual rights, and the Tenth Amendment serving to protect the rights of the respective states to independently govern within their borders. That’s why Justice Scalia was right when he wrote for the majority in District of Columbia v. Heller and why Justice Alito was right when he wrote for the majority in McDonald v. City of Chicago.

The right to keep and bear arms addresses the fundamental, natural right to self-defense, which is necessarily an individual right. To suggest otherwise is just . . . bananas. In any case, the committee’s confirmation vote on Judge Barrett’s nomination will be held on Thursday

ATF suspends Honey Badger cease and desist letter amid White House investigation

Q honey badger pistol
Jeremy S. for TTAG

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has backtracked on its cease and desist letter to Q regarding the Honey Badger AR pistol. The suspension of the cease and desist is for sixty days, unless “withdrawn or suspended by the ATF.” The reason for this suspension is unknown, but it comes shortly after report of the White House investigating the ATF’s decision.

However, most people seem to believe that it’s a political move…a sixty-day suspension would presumably place the cease and desist into effect well after the presidential election and after any of the country’s attention has been captured by the inevitable election court battle to follow, leaving the ATF to operate in the shadows.

According to Ammoland, senior ATF officials believe that a Biden administration would give them sufficient political support to ban the possession and use of all AR pistol braces, which is what they tried doing in 2017 and as recently as this past summer. Ultimately it’s all up in the air. With the presidency potentially changing this election cycle, AR pistols may become NFA-regulated items, if not banned entirely under a new assault weapons ban.

GOA and GOF file petition to the VA to restore veterans’ gun rights

One of the most discrete forms of government discrimination against the right to keep and bear arms happens to military veterans who, thanks to the Department of Veterans Affairs, have been reported to the FBI as disabled for the purpose of owning guns.

Since the establishment of the National Instant Check System, the VA has been reporting the names of individuals who had been issued a disability rating that required them to be provided with a fiduciary manager (basically, someone to help them with understanding and accessing their VA benefits). Last time I checked, just because you’re no good at navigating a government program doesn’t mean that you’re incompetent to own a firearm.

Nonetheless, once this information is forwarded to NICS, these veterans are legally prevented from buying a firearm and it needs to stop. That’s why I was happy to hear this week that the Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation have filed a petition to the VA to have over 250,000 of these veterans’ rights restored. If you’d like to read the petition, you can find it here

Giffords’ new “gun rights” group

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a . . . gun control group larping as pro-Second Amendment! Realizing that virulent anti-gun rhetoric doesn’t work, especially during a period of anti-government sentiment and civil unrest, Giffords has launched a new organization: the Gun Owners for Safety. Their goal: combat gun rights groups!

They claim to have accumulated about 50,000 members so far, including “hunters, veterans, former law enforcement and others who value firearm ownership but also want to reduce gun violence.” We’re pretty sure that’s just code for Fudds who love the government.

The point of establishing a group like this is the same as establishing political organizations like the Lincoln Project – it’s controlled opposition to support your agenda. Giffords and other anti-self-defense organizations will point to Gun Owners for Safety when they’re pitching some ridiculously draconian gun control law and say, “See?! Gun owners support it!”

The easiest way to defeat your enemy is to set up a straw man, and that’s precisely what Giffords is trying to do here. Meanwhile, gun owners who appreciate why we have the right to keep and bear arms — for both practical self-defense and to prevent the tyranny of government — will keep fighting until you can do things like walk down 5th Avenue with a machine gun slung over your back.

We see what you’re up to, Giffords, and we don’t much appreciate it. 

Canadian government plans to allow municipalities to ban handguns

Oh, Canada. This has been a pretty rough year for our northern neighbors, and now their government is trying to make things worse. After using a murder/crime spree (that the Mounties could’ve stopped) as a pretext to ban commonly owned rifles, the Liberal party is taking its anti-gun platform to the next level by allowing municipalities to ban handguns.

While nobody is certain what this legislation would look like, it appears that the mayor of Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city, is particularly interested in the option if he is reelected on October 24th. Canada’s Minister of Public Safety refused to comment on the Liberal Party’s plans, but condemned Saskatchewan for passing legislation that would prevent its cities from instituting the bans.

Of course, what the Liberal Party fails to understand is that the bans won’t have any effect on reducing crime. Or maybe they do understand this and don’t care. After all, Canada is a commonwealth nation.


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  1. Once again, could somebody please explain to me what a “collective right” is, such that the concept is distinct both from the aggregation of the rights of many individuals, and also from the powers of the state?

    • During the ACB nomination hearing, she was explaining that voting is a collective right meaning it’s the body of the people exercising a right collectively. You might be an individual casting a vote, but you are doing it with everyone else. However the second amendment she described as a right conferred only to an individual meaning it couldn’t be stripped away. I don’t necessarily agree but that’s the way courts have interpreted rights. If I could go back in history I would have had a serious discussion with the supreme court during the restoration years when justices turned rights into collectivism. If you look at these precedent and contextualism that’s where a lot of our problems stem from.

      • Sorry, that pretty clearly makes the “collective right” of voting nothing more than the aggregation of each individual’s right to vote. I’m trying to figure out if there’s any sense of gun controllers’ construction of the 2nd Amendment – some strange phenomenon whereby a collective right emerges where no corresponding individual right exists.

        • Dave,

          The “collective right” people argue that the right to K&B arms belongs not to the people, but rather to the militia. From there, they say that if you are not a member of a militia, then the right doesn’t apply to you. The long game will be abolishing all militias other than the national guard, which is a political end run, and easier than changing the constitution.

          Of course, the militia ARE the people, but the redefinition of words is a standard tactic to dems/leftists.

        • @Skeptical… Which brings us right back to the part where a right must be inherent to the individual if it’s going to exist at all. If it’s not accessible to all individuals as a rule, it’s not a right.

          All of the Left’s machinations and redefinitions are an attempt to obscure the fact that they don’t think there’s any right to own or carry a firearm at all — which is why they’re trying to turn it into a privilege reserved to loyal soldiers and the elite.

      • “…the second amendment she described as a right conferred only to an individual meaning it couldn’t be stripped away. I don’t necessarily agree but that’s the way courts have interpreted rights.”

        What do you not agree with?

  2. NO, NO, NO, a thousand times NO, I say. The Second Amendment does NOT CONFER rights to The People. It enumerates the rights the people have , God given, and which the Government my not reduce…..”infringe’ upon as specifically worded in the Second Amendment. Shaking Head; rolling eyes.

    • Exactly. The first words of the USC itself state plainly “We The People”, and the entire document is read as though spoken to the Government from the People. This includes the Amendments, in which the language clearly outlines the restrictions set upon Government for the purposes of protecting the Peoples’ rights.

    • Exactly,by virtue of being born everyone has the natural right to self defense. One also may explain to the uneducated braindead that the BOR specifically preclude government from usurping those enumerated rights, so much so that the 2 nd. goes as far as to issue warning “Shall Not Be Infringed”.

      • While most here understand and agree with your post, the reality is that a “packed” or even single-vote majority liberal court will strip you of that “god-given (or natural) right” in the eyes of the law. Read the Heller Dissent by Stevens.

        The only difference between having the god-given right and not having it, is well, not much if SCOTUS declares it a collective right. Then gun bans become legal in the eyes of the US court system.

        • “While most here understand and agree with your post, the reality is that a “packed” or even single-vote majority liberal court will strip you of that “god-given (or natural) right” in the eyes of the law. Read the Heller Dissent by Stevens.”

          I *think* That’s why LKB was telling me a few days back that there won’t be a single, all-encompassing decision on the 2A that will “make all the bad go away”.

          He described it will be a step-by-step process that will build on earlier decisions.

          But, you are right about one thing. Just by reading Stephens’ ‘Heller’ dissent makes it quite clear, Leftist scum have no intention ever recognizing the 2A is an individual right that will “not be infringed”…

        • A law abhorrent to the Constitution is quite simply not a law. This was established in the very case which defined judicial review, Marbury v. Madison. You are not dependant on any court, even the Supreme Court, to tell you you have a right you already have. The only purpose of courts ruling on constitutionality of a law is to provide redress to those wronged by the state enforcing such a non-law. If the courts refuse to do so and your representatives fail to make them, well, “when in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…”

    • While difficult to do there is a mechanism within the Constitution to alter or remove an Amendment in/from the Bill of Rights. It is the same as mechanism that created the the 18th creating Prohibition and the 21st that removed the 18th. The Bill of Rights holds no more prevalence than any other Amendment to the Constitution. The words written hold No Power without the Support and Protection of a Citizenry who Cherish Freedom/Liberty and Abhor Tyranny. A Citizenry who fears the consequences of fighting for their Freedoms/Liberty…More than they fear the loss of those Freedoms/Liberty. Have become Subjects and allowed Tyranny to Prevail. Keep Your Powder Dry

      • “…there is a mechanism within the Constitution to alter or remove an Amendment in/from the Bill of Rights. It is the same as mechanism that created the the 18th creating Prohibition and the 21st that removed the 18th.”

        That’s how they will eventually destroy the 2A. Enough Leftist scum will leave California and take up residence in the ‘flyover’ states and flip them Leftist.

        That’s the point when America breaks apart…

    • exactly my same first three words, The Bill of Rights enumerates the rights of citizens that are to be protected/defended by the governments. Rights do not originate by edict or law or Constitutions.
      Language is being corrupted by ‘regressives’ to control masses. imho

      • “First thing that jumped out at me too.”

        Meaning Barret’s response to Durbin?

    • You are so right! The Second Amendment does NOT CONFER rights to The People. Government can only grant privileges that come with strings attached that include regulation, licensing requirements and the payment of fees. Rights on the other hand are inherent and never require the government’s permission to exercise, nor does exercising a true Right ever require the payment of a fee to the government. However, we have all been tricked into trading in our Rights for government granted privileges.

      Nothing in the Constitution or in the first ten amendments grants any Rights to the people. What those first ten amendments actually do is to recognize the existence of God given Rights and also gives to the government a direct and very clear “command directive” that the exercise of these Rights Shall NOT be infringed upon or in any way impeded by any acts of the government.

      Furthermore, government has no authority under our Constitution to make any changes that would also include any reinterpretation of what is in the Constitution or any of its amendments except via the constitutional amendment process. And so absent any lawful change to our Constitution, the very clear and precise command directive in the Second Amendment remains today as “the Supreme Law of the Land” and no act of the Congress or presidential executive order can change that.

      In the words from the United States Supreme Court:

      “The Constitution of these United States is the supreme law of the land. Any law that is repugnant to the Constitution is null and void of law.” – Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137

      Additionally, “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425

      “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491

      Constitutional Right – “A right guaranteed to the citizens by the Constitution and so guaranteed as to prevent legislative interference therewith”. – Delaney v. Plunkett, 146 Ga. 547, 91 S. E. 561, 567, L. R. A. 1917D, 926, Ann. Cas. 1917E, 685. – Black’s Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition

      ”The Constitution is a legal binding contract between the government and its employer (the American people). The U.S. Supreme Court was right when it said, “The Constitution is a written instrument and as such its meaning does not alter, that which it meant when it was adopted, it means now!” U.S. vs. South Carolina (1905)

      “The U.S. Supreme Court broadly and unequivocally held that licensing or registration of any Constitutional Right is itself unconstitutional.” — Follett vs McCormick, S.C., 321 U.S. 573 (1944)

  3. A new argument I’ve recently discovered for the individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms is that the authority of the States to maintain a militia is already covered in the main body of the Constitution, which predates the Bill of Rights. If the 2nd Amendment were simply again conferring the right of the State to sanction a militia, then it would be an unnecessary redundancy and, as such, would not have been included in the BoR.

    United States Constitution: Article I, Section 8, “The Powers of Congress”
    “The Congress shall have Power . . . To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;”

    “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

    If the 2nd Amendment were entirely regarding government sanctioned militia, then it would be a redundancy in its entirety, and unnecessary. Therefor, it must recognize the right of individuals to form militias that are NOT sanctioned by any governing entity.

    • 10 U.S. Code § 246 – Militia: composition and classes

      (a)The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
      (b)The classes of the militia are—
      (1)the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
      (2)the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

  4. The Right of the People to keep and bear arms is both an individual right and a collective right of a community from the small town up to a State level.

    You cannot form a militia unless you have people owning and familiar with the arms common at that time. People cannot become familiar with the arms they own if they do not use them on a routine basis. Thus private ownership, frequent practice and everyday possession is essential in order to have the number of citizens necessary to form a militia.

    “Well regulated” itself refers to training. The routinely scheduled coming together of common citizens, with their arms, to train and practice in the coordinated use of those arms in defense of their communities, their State or the Republic itself should the need arise.

    While advances have been made (not all States but in many States) on the individual right inherent to the Second Amendment, we have fallen far behind on the “Well regulated” part of the Second Amendment. This is, I feel, among our weaker links back to the original intent of the Second Amendment.

  5. Do individuals have a Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Certified by the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution?

    9 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices (yes, that includes Ruth) say YES.

    District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

    • Per Stevens Dissent in Heller:

      “…it is the collective action of individuals having a duty to serve in the militia…”

      He basically said that you only have the right to possess a firearm if you are serving in a “well regulated” state militia… which is the states national guard. And only when you are actively involved with that militia. He also misinterprets the “well-regulated” term, which simply meant back then that you had good functioning equipment, such as firearms.

  6. avatar They’ve picked apart our 2ND amendment rights for years! They need the same application to their first amendment to see what’s at stake!

    Want to talk? Get a permit! Don’t have one? Get background checked! Abide by the no speech zones! Is it truly a right? Why one and not the other???

  7. “ATF suspends Honey Badger cease and desist letter amid White House investigation”

    The ATF is Bracist ,not to mention not a constitutionally authorized agency who appears is politically motivated in their latest attempt at legislation of accessories not arms.

  8. What to do with the ATF/BATFE, it’s antics and actions concerning firearms. Take the keys to the family car away from demonstrated reckless teenagers.

  9. For Veterans:

    I went through the whole PTSD process and never followed through. I was told I can get 70%. My reason for NOT getting it? Having a PTSD disability rating at 70% puts me at GREAT risk as a gun owner. Plain and simple. Without going into too many details, I waited almost 7 years to talk to the VA head doctors. Everytime it was a terrible experience. The questions asked were about as expected, but the process was more ask a question, put stuff in the computer, wait, and every visit rehashed the same event. I got so tired of it I just stopped going. Yes, there was a time I was abusing substances and suicidal after the military. I was VERY low. I lost a child and a relationship not long after, so that had a lot to do with it too. Finally decided to “get help” and the questions around such a situation were asked how I would do it, if I made specific plans etc etc…

    The only thing I ever said on the subject is verbatim:
    “I thought about many ways, none involving a gun. I would never give the gun grabbers another statistic to their cause. I’d rather go out jumping off a bridge that to ever allow those idiots any argument that infringes on peoples rights”
    Straight out of the paperwork I still have. Long story short, I forced myself to “get over it” and stopped showing up to the VA. All they wanted to do was prescribe me pills, watch me sleep, and document everything against me. Life goes on folks, and I will NEVER take a handout from the government. I also whole heartedly HATE the VA. The only thing I would ever use them for is dental but I already have a great plan so they can shove their “help” where the sun don’t shine. From the wait times to the invasiveness of every visit, even for a “check up”. Never again. Avoid the VA like the plague and you might live longer.


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