This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. To read more, a deeper dive is available here at Firearms Policy Coalition.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Case Set for Oral Argument
This week, the Supreme Court set New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York for oral arguments. This comes after NYC begged the Court to stay out in every conceivable way. Even promising that should the case continue, the city would not argue anything beyond their assertion that the case is moot.
In this case, the plaintiffs argued that a city law banning transport of lawfully owned firearms anywhere but one of six licensed firing ranges inside of New York City was unconstitutional. The government argued that the case was moot because they had changed the law, eliminating the provisions the petitioners asserted as unconstitutional. The court rejected these attempts to derail the first gun case in a decade, instead stating the mootness argument could be addressed during oral arguments.
It will be interesting to see how the defendant, New York City, proceeds. Will it stick to its anti-gun guns and refuse to address the merits of the case, hoping it makes the justices uncomfortable? Will it cave and give a full-throated defense of its arbitrary and irrational laws? This will be one for the record books, that’s all that is clear.
Ohio Governor rejects “red flag” laws
In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine took a stand, if you can call it that, on new gun control legislation. DwWine rejected red flag laws, citing their inefficacy and dangerousness. He didn’t stop there, though, because that would be far too much to ask. DeWine continued by recommending expanding involuntary commitment statutes in the state and instituting “seller protection certificates.”
While it’s refreshing to see politicians recognize the various problems inherent in red flag laws, something we have covered in depth, involuntary commitment laws are no better as a “solution,” and pose even more serious problems.
DeWine’s proposed expansion would force people involuntarily committed to mental health facilities to turn in, sell or give away their firearms and do the same to people with drug addiction.
This is problematic because involuntary commitment often comes without proper due process, and it’s unclear whether the state would provide an effective means of restoring the rights of people subject to the law. Drug addiction poses its own course of problems: who defines “addiction?” What is the permanence of the rights revocation? Would this discourage addicts to seek treatment?
Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke continues to push a ban on “assault weapons” and a mandatory gun buyback
Presidential (not-so)hopeful Beto O’Rourke again pushed the dimly-lit torch for a gun “buyback” and ban on “assault weapons.” This comes after he has faced pushback at rallies because of statements he’d made at the third Democratic National Debate in September. Gun confiscation “mandatory buybacks” are his official stance on American gun control.
It’s a real shame aggressive contempt for the Constitution and the rights of Americans doesn’t disqualify people from political office. If only we made them swear an oath to uphold it….
California Governor signs ban on the purchase multiple long guns per month
Friday saw the Governor of California sign Senate Bill 61 into law. SB61 limits citizens to the purchase of one long gun per month. A similar restriction already applied to handguns in the state.
This restriction passed after many years of failed attempts. Perhaps that’s because the law is idiotic, as people generally can only competently operate one rifle at a time. The gun control crowd’s fascination with the number of weapons a person owns or buys will always escape me.
Challenge to California’s open carry restrictions argued in federal court
On Thursday, a challenge to California’s 2012 restrictions on open carry was heard in federal court. The petitioners argued that the state’s requiring applicants show “good cause” for an open carry permit amounts to a de facto ban.
The petitioners also argued that the state effectively bans open carry because it provides no realistic procedure to even start an application for an open carry permit-the state won’t even provide sheriffs with the necessary forms.
Young adult handgun purchase ban shot down in federal court
Western District Court of Virginia overruled a lower court decision that found an age restriction of 21 years old on handgun purchases unconstitutional. Two young adults from Virginia were denied the ability to purchase a handgun, one of whom had been the victim of an abusive relationship.
The pair announced their plan to appeal the decision this week. While the loss wasn’t a big surprise, it’s good to see these young people keeping up the fight. This is the only way we’re going to see change. People aged 18-21 are adults. There is no excuse for categorically denying the basic human rights of such a broad swath of people.