It’s Now Senate Democrats vs. The Supreme Court Over Gun Control

SCOTUS supreme court prohibited persons

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This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. 

Senate Dems vs. The Supreme Court

We’ve covered New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. The City of New York quite a bit in this column. There have been twists and turns along the way. But if you thought it was dramatic before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Led by Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse, a group of Senate Democrats filed a brief transparently threatening the Supreme Court. This isn’t just my language either; a piece at the leftist Think Progress lauds the brief as a “declaration of war” on the Court.

The brief basically condemns the Court for doing its job and ruling on matters of public significance where Congress has overstepped its constitutional limitations. The group of senators is basically suggesting that if the Court doesn’t “heal itself” (their actual words) that, once able, they’ll pull an FDR — packing the court to reestablish a liberal majority.

Because what could possibly make the Court less political than a wave of appointments from a single political party?

Jerrold Nadler new york judiciary

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Judiciary Coming Back Early to Address Gun Control

After the string of mass murders early this month, there were calls from certain politicians to return the House and Senate from their August recess for an “emergency session” on gun control. The hope, of course, is that gun control advocates can seize political capital and public pressure fast enough to push through some measure of gun control through the Senate.

The Senate has been silent so far, but House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler on Friday announced the Committee’s early return, announcing, a propos of nothing, that “thoughts and prayers” have “never been enough.”

Still, with the Senate uninterested in breaking off their August travel plans, the move will do little but allow Nadler opportunity to tell everyone how strong and principled he is.

Missouri ar-15 bill

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New Assault Weapon Ban Challenge in San Diego

A civil rights organization and three residents of San Diego filed a lawsuit this week challenging California’s assault weapon ban. The suit reasons that because earlier this year, the same court found “high capacity” magazines to be constitutionally protected, a ban that categorizes a rifle (in the instant case, a fixed magazine rife) to be a prohibited “assault weapon” solely because its magazine holds more than ten rounds cannot be constitutional either.

The logic is sound, and this breed of challenge is cutting edge. Keep your eyes on this case.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Philadelphia, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. A gunman, identified as Maurice Hill, wounded six police officers before surrendering early Thursday, after a 7 ½-hour standoff.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philly Drug Bust Shootout Inexplicably Leads to Gun Control Calls

We’ve all heard of the story this week, where Philadelphia police were serving a drug warrant on a known dealer and convicted felon, and the suspect responded with gunfire. Thankfully, nobody died. Despite the atypical nature of this shootout, gun control proponents levered the incident as evidence that we need to pass gun control.

The Philadelphia Mayor and chief of police were “frustrated” with the fact that the criminal — a felon — was able to have “so much firepower,” despite the fact that it was already illegal for the suspect to have a firearm or ammunition. The clear answer, according to our anointed politicians, is to make it super-duper-double-dog illegal.

Of course, no politicians pointed out the fact that the “war on drugs” (which drugs have been winning for 48 years straight) is the root cause of an unknowably large number of incidences of street violence, driven the militarization of police, or that it accomplishes nothing but ruining countless disproportionately poor and minority lives. That would be too hard to think about.

Shortly after the Philadelphia shooting, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolfe signed an executive order creating a special gun violence task force…because that’s what you do when you want to be seen as doing something but don’t really know what that something is.

The order also created two brand new state agencies that will be tasked with telling the state legislature how badly the Governor wants new gun control laws. These new offices will, to be sure, be super-efficient and informative and not a massive waste of public funds at all.

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers (AP Photo/Scott Bauer, File)

Wisconsin Lawmakers Roll Out Universal Background Check Bill

On Thursday, Wisconsin governor Tony Evers asked state lawmakers to expand background checks. The bill was openly in response to two mass murders which were committed by people who purchased their firearms…after passing background checks.

This kind of response is possible, of course, because American politics jumped the shark eight seasons ago and nobody even really cares anymore.

The bill exempts transfers to law enforcement, military, or “gifts” between family members. Its future is not certain, but its inutility sure is. There is a rally in support of the bill planned for today. Hopefully there will be snacks, at least.

California’s Strict Gun Laws and How They’ve Affected Mass Shootings

Spoiler alert: they didn’t. An analysis released this week tracks California’s famously restrictive gun laws against the Golden State’s firearm-related violent crime. The results were overwhelmingly inconclusive. Especially when one focuses on mass shootings, which are incredibly rare.

It’s never going to be easy to study rare events, but we can see that California’s decline in violent crime has mirrored — or been less than — that of the rest of the country over the last 30 years.

Will this spell disaster for California’s never-ending gun control push? No. Nobody cares about statistics. They’re far too boring and informative.

comments

  1. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    The Philly mayor is calling for gun bans because the perp shouldn’t have been able to get those guns. Maybe we should ban them so you can’t get them like we have done for drugs. What warrant were they serving on him?

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      The problem isn’t guns; the problem is the lawlessness promoted and supported by the mayor, district attorney, and other elected officials in Philadelphia.

      https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/statement-united-states-attorney-william-m-mcswain-shooting-six-philadelphia-police

    2. avatar PK says:

      The perp, who was a drug dealer, illegally selling drugs, was not legally allowed to have firearms as a felon… and yet, another gun law would have stopped the drug dealer from illegally dealing drugs while illegally buying and owning a super-duper illegal gun?

      Okay.

    3. avatar Shire-man says:

      They’re also having or had an organized protest in support if the drug dealing felon and against the cops who so racistly forced him to fire on them.

      Best part is the police have to be there for typical protest duty.

      If Philly wasn’t a lost cause before it is now.

    4. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      No drug war, no warrant being served. Cut in taxes as we reduce our police forces and prison capacity. WIN WIN WIN.

      1. avatar Mad Max says:

        With the attitude of the Philadelphia DA, they’ll have empty prision cells to rent out.

      2. avatar Jon in CO says:

        This is my thinking. Stop locking people up for stupid things that they choose do in their homes, maybe they might support cops a bit more. Moreover, pot is a plant, as well as opium and coca, now you need to be arrested for selling flowers? Come on.

        1. avatar B.D. says:

          well… yes, and no…

          cocaine is a helluva drug. And drugs rarely stay “at home”. We all know there is no #Equality in the dope game… because if there was, tobacco and alcohol would be in the same spot right along with ibuprofen and band-aids with neosporin.

        2. avatar Mad Max says:

          It wasn’t just the drug dealing. The perp has multiple violent crimes on his rap sheet.

          If he was just peddling drugs without any violent crimes or repeated firearms violations, it wouldn’t be much of an issue.

          Ok, skip all of the drug charges but prosecute all violent criminal activity to the max. You’ll still need a lot more prisons.

          If drugs are decriminalized or legalized, there will be capitalist competition and prices will fall. The brothers still want their gold jewelry and Escalade and they’ll rob and kill you to get it.

    5. avatar GS650G says:

      How many shootouts per day will they have confiscating the guns?

  2. avatar IN Dave says:

    They are still playing the short game. Many of us voted for trump because of court nominations, and he has done a decent job of that. 95% of Dems didn’t even think of an election shifting the court until now. Now they are talking about packing the courts, first they need to actually win the house, senate, and the Whitehouse. Second, the Supreme Court gets 10,000 petitions each year and they only hear 80 cases. The vast majority of these cases would be decided by lower courts and the Dems don’t realize they exist. They would be more dangerous if they had half a brain between them.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Can one imagine ole Sheldon if he only had half a brain,a definite improvement over the current idiot he is currently,the same could be said of most of his fellow Commiecrats.

    2. avatar Mad Max says:

      The Democrats threat to pack the court is effectively an admission that the Democrats know they are wrong on the 2nd Amendment.

      We need one more justice before Trump is gone.

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        RBG is immortal.

        Drinks much formaldehyde and explains her drunkenness. .

        1. avatar Rusty - always carry - Chains says:

          The old bat is 86 and senile. She would be 91 if she survived an entire second Trump presidency and the oldest justice to ever serve. Possible that she could outlast Breyer who is 81. The courts are the only reason I will be able to hold my nose and vote Trump.

        2. avatar Ing says:

          Both of my grandmothers passed away this year, one at 94, another at 91. They slowed down a lot over the final 10 years and became physically frail, but they were otherwise sharp and fully functional right into their final weeks.

          Senile or not, RBG could easily outlive a second Trump term…if there is one. Between the Democrats cheating and Trump’s inability to stop saying stupid/insane shit, we could easily see another progbot in the white house next November.

  3. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    If the court is at all swayed by the Libitards wants.
    That will be the end of this country as we know it.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      I ‘m thinking the Supremes will protect their territory and push back hard against the diluting their individual and collective power. As well they should. The courts are a separate but equal branch of the Federal government.

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. Lots of guns." PR says:

        “I ‘m thinking the Supremes will protect their territory and push back hard against the diluting their individual and collective power.”

        Dream on.

        They didn’t in 2012 when Obama threatened the high court about ruling against ObamaCare, and Roberts fucking folded on us…

      2. avatar Ing says:

        They are separate, but not actually equal.

        The Constitution says the Senate can decide how many justices are on the Supreme Court; 9 is just a tradition. In fact, there’s nothing in the Constitution that says Congress or the President has to do what the SC says.

        For 200+ years, we’ve been operating on a gentlemen’s agreement, more or less, with regard to the 3 equal branches thing…but we may have reached a time when there are no more gentlemen in the game.

        And the constitutional system has been fucked up in so many ways since then that the republic might not survive the demise of that agreement.

        1. avatar B.D. says:

          Can I “borrow” some ammo?

        2. avatar Mad Max says:

          It appears that the Constitutuon leaves the actual rules and operating procedures for the Supreme Court up to the Supreme Court.

          The existing justices could change the rules and operating procedures in a way that neuters the power of any new justices.

          The Constitution doesn’t say that all Supreme Court justices have to sit for a case. The existing justices could change the rules so that any new justice has to wait in-line for a vacancy amongst the current nine justices to be seated.

        3. avatar Ing says:

          I suppose it could be done that way… I don’t think I want to be around if that argument ever erupts, though. If it does, I suspect I’ll need all the ammo I can get my hands on and then some. Sorry, BD, none to spare. 🙂

  4. avatar grumpster says:

    The perp in Philly would never been able to possess the guns if he had been in prison where he belonged with all his priors of violent criminal activity including with firearms. I bet the fakes news MSM never mentioned that.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      To them the Philly perp was a victim of society and we as members of this society need to be punished.

      The Progressive mind is a dark and dangerous place to be. The cognitive contradictions would send normal people mad. Think Tim Burton combined with Salvador Dali.

  5. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Wisconsin Lawmakers Roll Out Universal Background Check Bill”

    Bill will never pass, evers is a lame duck gov, has no power, he will be a one term gov…republicans control both the assembly and the senate…
    POTUS Trump will take WI again in 2020…

  6. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

    “Led by Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse, a group of Senate Democrats filed a brief transparently threatening the Supreme Court. This isn’t just my language either; a piece at the leftist Think Progress lauds the brief as a “declaration of war” on the Court.”

    I have a serious question I’d like an answer to –

    Attempting to influence a Federal judge is a felony crime, isn’t it?

  7. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    “The group of senators is basically suggesting that if the Court doesn’t “heal itself” (their actual words) that, once able, they’ll pull an FDR — packing the court to reestablish a liberal majority.”

    At that point no one will give a Eff about congress or the court and the party like it’s 1776 will have begun.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      Let me put it to you this way – I once thought SCOTUS was above all the fray, but then, when ObamaCare came in front of the court and at the oral arguments, Roberts sounded properly not convinced by the arguments defending it, Obama blatantly threatened them not to rule against his law…

      Then Roberts folded and did impressive gymnastics trying to defend his vote, I pretty much gave up.

      Obama got away with threatening the Roberts court. There is nothing stopping those senators threatening the court now. Obama trained them there would be no consequences for their actions.

      Look at this from the ‘Think Progress’ article – “The Whitehouse brief is an early warning sign that Democratic elected officials are, at the very least, ambivalent about whether they should obey courts that are increasingly seen as illegitimate. If those courts push too hard, that ambivalence could harden into something that will do permanent damage to judicial power.”

      That’s how thugs talk.

      My prediction – The oral arguments will be heard, we’ll get all happy things look like they are going our way, and the ruling will be a kick in the teeth.

      Why? Because Obama trained the Leftists they could threaten the court, and get away with it. I’d like to think someone like RBG would see that for what it was, but she’s a Leftist first, above all.

      I expect to get shit on. I’m not counting on it going our way. The thugs control the court…

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        quote——————-I expect to get shit on. I’m not counting on it going our way. The thugs control the court…————–quote

        The only part you got right was “I’m bit counting on it going our way”. The courts both conservative and Liberal have always been anti-gun and in order to stay in power vote with public pinon not on what the Constitutions says or what it means. That is historical fact dating all the way back to when the ink was still not dry on the Constitutional Document.

        The Supreme Court will simply refuse to hear the case letting the anti-gun lower court rulings stand that way the Supreme Court ducts the responsibility for shitting on the Constitution and they get what they wanted from the beginning and that is more restrictive gun laws that enhance their power over the people which is as cherished by both the Conservative Courts as it is cherished by the Liberal Courts, and again History has proven it time and time again.

        1. avatar Ad Astra says:

          I used to think you were a bot but I know better now since bots can at least cut and paste quotes properly. You seem to lack the basic cognitive functions for even that.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          “Vlad” is actually a small conglomerate of pygmy-sized meth heads living in a collective basement. They rotate turns at the single PC in the corner of the room, which explains why the comments all look different from one another.

        3. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          I’m of the opinion that both Vlad and Pg2 are employees of Wide Open Media (this is how they get admin access), probably without the knowledge of any of the day to day people, like Dan Z., who remain blissfully unaware of what goes on at TTAG, right under their collective noses. Their ignorance makes their performance about not knowing what’s going on more convincing.
          Oh, they might get a whiff of the stink every once in a while, but, like most, are too enamored of their paycheck to care much about the bad smell.

    2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      Packing the court is long overdue. With a much larger group of Justices on the court the chances of a court always voting liberal or conservative is reduced substantially simply because of the amount of members who are voting. Its a much more democratic and fair system and its astonishing and obscene that this did not take place long ago with a court that would number at least 50 or 100 people.

      1. avatar Hank says:

        Your liberal hero Ruth Bader Ginsberg disagrees with you 100%. “I believe 9 is a great number.”-RBG.

        1. avatar Ad Astra says:

          He wants them to be like the show courts of his hero joseph stalin.

      2. avatar GS650G says:

        6 conservatives would be a great start. Then we won t notice RBG breathing or not.

      3. avatar Huntmaster says:

        The SC is not and never was supposed to be democratic and fair. It’s supposed to be a meritocracy, dedicated to getting it right. That means using the Constitution as the basis for their decisions and not what was fair or democratic. Democratic and fair has nothing to do with it.

    3. avatar Hush says:

      Bribe or Threat, you decide! Either one or both should get the authors in big trouble.

  8. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    quote——————The Philadelphia Mayor and chief of police were “frustrated” with the fact that the criminal — a felon — was able to have “so much firepower,” despite the fact that it was already illegal for the suspect to have a firearm or ammunition. The clear answer, according to our anointed politicians, is to make it super-duper-double-dog illegal.———————-quote

    Exactly why there is absolute need for a Federal Law mandating universal background checks and a Federal Law dealing with the legality of assault rifles. When one state with lax laws allows maniacs to buy firepower legally or illegally then simply bring them to another state with tough laws to commit crimes with them only a uniform Federal Law works.

    Quote ————————-Of course, no politicians pointed out the fact that the “war on drugs” (which drugs have been winning for 48 years straight) is the root cause of an unknowably large number of incidences of street violence, driven the militarization of police, or that it accomplishes nothing but ruining countless disproportionately poor and minority lives. That would be too hard to think about.——————-quote

    The failure of the war on drugs is the result of the criminalization of drug addiction. Many places in Europe give drugs for free to addicts with accompanying free treatment that has proven to drive large numbers of drug dealers out of business as well as cost millions less in tax dollars but when you are dealing with the mentality of the warped Conservative Republicans their philosophy is never give a dollar for free to someone who genuinely needs help when you can speed 1,000 dollars and waist it on law enforcement and incarceration and accomplish absolutely nothing but make the situation far worse and millions more expensive because you can then “save face” amongst your ignorant constituency.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      “…Many places in Europe give drugs for free to addicts with accompanying free treatment that has proven to drive large numbers of drug dealers out of business as well as cost millions less ..””

      Shocked! First thing you have posted that was near the truth. Portugal was/is the leader in treatment vs punishment. They have had great success….but their demographics are very different from other countries so should not be used as an example of what to do. I’ve been to Portugal and Spain..beautiful landscapes.

      99% of what you post is non-sense but ya know even a blind squirrel and all.

      1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

        Even a broken clock is right, twice each day. With enough time at a keyboard, even a monkey will make words once in a while….

  9. avatar Jeff says:

    If your car breaks down or your lost in the forest or somebody is getting ready to attack you it would be very wise to have a gun.

    1. avatar Derringer Dave says:

      I envy you folks living in “free states” who can defend your gun rights, as you still have rights left to defend. Here in the People’s Republic of New Jersey, we’ve already lost all our gun rights and all our self-defense rights. As my own lawyer advised me, “In New Jersey, there is no legal right to self-defense outside the home,” so you can’t legally carry ANYTHING for self-defense in NJ (no, not even a two-inch pocket knife), and if you do defend yourself against a mugger or carjacker with anything other than your fists, police treat you as the “criminal” and the mugger or carjacker who attacked you as the “victim”!
      I’m not exaggerating. I wish I were. Stay out of New Jersey, or enter at your own risk.

      And our current governor, Phil Murphy, is chipping away at what few rights we have left. (He wants to increase the fee for a “‘permit to purchase a handgun” by 6000%, six THOUSAND percent!)
      I voted against Murphy, but those of us who voted against him were greatly outnumbered.

      Jeff said, “If your car breaks down or your lost in the forest or somebody is getting ready to attack you it would be very wise to have a gun.”

      Unless you’re stuck behind the iron curtain in a state (like my People’s Republic of New Jersey) which makes it ILLEGAL to carry a gun in your car, and ultra-plus-double illegal to carry a gun on your person. Here behind the iron curtain, it is very unwise to have a gun in your car or on your person, because it makes you a criminal — because, our state criminalized the carrying of guns anywhere outside the home.*

      (*except while traveling to and from a legally-chartered gun club, with no stops in between, not even for gas or bathrooms, and with the guns unloaded, cased, and stored in the trunk, separate from the ammo)

  10. avatar Alan says:

    When if ever are these Oh So Concerned Individuals going to face facts, and address the actions of criminals, rather than foolishly attacking the rights of he Law Abiding, which appears to be their chosen course of action. I repeat the above posed question. When will these Oh So Concerned types wake up, smell the coffee and properly direct their angst
    against criminals, as opposed to their ongoing attacks on the law abiding, who choose to exercise their constitutional, and civil rights. When if ever?

  11. avatar Reno1947 says:

    When they do move on the guns i think they’ll be outnumbered

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      manipulating the “forces” would be their only option. Seizure of assets before, obviously… but yes, they are outnumbered, especially if the military and majority of police agencies chose not to support tyranny because it will be nothing short of a civil war which means Americans killing Americans. I suspect the supreme court won’t let it get to that… but as said in previous comments on here… the supreme court is basically operating on a gentleman’s agreement. You know… just having a court called the Supreme Court, is pretty fucken scary.

      1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

        The Elite that control the US are losing badly. They issued a seizure order for the Grace 1 too, just a couple of days ago. What did it get them? Other than egg on their faces, I mean? Other than making themselves look foolish, they got exactly nothing.
        They just hope against hope that the citizens of the US don’t notice how impotent and foolish they are, because the day we wake up to that, is the day their scam ends, and they have to either work for living (GASPPP……..) or figure out a new scam that they don’t have the brainpower to comprehend.
        Both extremely unattractive options for the rulers. They have no practical skills, and no brain cells left to fit skills into, so they regard it as simply the end of their existence.
        “When all is in place, the reality we will have created for them will own them. This reality will be their prison. They will live in self-delusion. When our goal is accomplished a new era of domination will begin. Their minds will be bound by their beliefs, the beliefs we have established…” – The Secret Covenant

        But, like the Grace 1, it isn’t working out. Their plan is failing, and they’ve no idea what to do about that, other than double down. They don’t understand the back side of the power curve, so they cannot comprehend that NOW, every action they take just makes their position weaker.
        Welcome to the back side of the power curve, where all actions now have the opposite effect. Where every propaganda piece they blast at maximum volume just wakes a bunch more of the sleeping sheeple up.

  12. avatar B.D. says:

    If the Supreme Court rules against the 2A… there will be nothing short of a war. A civil war.

    Good luck all. See you in the trenches.

    1. avatar Aaron Walker says:

      Careful! You may get served a “Weaponized Red Flag/Extreme Risk Protection Order” for being politically incorrect! Google already proved what these “Special orders” will be used for…To target U.S. Citizens deemed “problems”. Set up to be punished by vindictive employers, ex’s, government agents, rogue LEOs, etc…” Your name it, if it passes “Nationwide”. It will open a “Pandoras box 📦” of “Authoritarianism, Corporate Fascism, and Governmental Paternalism!” All of course, sidestepping the U.S. Constitutional-Bill of Rights…Inorder to take away YOUR rights….

  13. avatar Aaron Walker says:

    Remember! Its ALL about the “Authoritarianism, Corporate Fascism, and Governmental Paternalism!” All we can how for is the DemoCRAPPic Party Self-Destructing! And get the GOP and Libertarians in line to uphold our Bill of Rights!

    1. avatar Aaron Walker says:

      Auto-correct/Edit Button : “Hope.”

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