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The Second Amendment Foundation is the organization that bankrolled the court cases that did more to roll back American gun control than a hundred back room deals between the National Rifle Association and our elected representatives. So, when Soldier of Fortune’s Bob Brown asked the NRA for a room at the convention in which the Second Amendment Foundation could honor the reporters who broke the ATF Gunwalker scandal, you’d kinda hope the NRA would’ve obliged. No dice. Instead, in a small room at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, a tiny conclave of gun rights warriors gathered to eat the world’s worst pot stickers, savor a victory or two and listen to heavy hitters make light conversation . . .

I asked Alan Gura, the lawyer who argued both the Heller and McDonald cases in front of the highest court in the land, whether the Supremes’ caveat OKing “reasonable restrictions” on 2A rights was a setback. A condition that could turn the decision into a Trojan horse.

Apparently not. Unless, of course, it is. Which it shouldn’t be. But could. But won’t. And that’s why I’m not lawyer, and remain glad that Gura is.

Meanwhile, after a quick off-the-record conversation about Gura’s personal self-defense, I offered to do what I could to provide him with some free firearms training. If someone amongst TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia could help hook up gun owners’ foremost defender with some serious self-defense training gratis, I’d be much obliged.

Of all people, Alan Gura should be able to exercise his Second Amendment rights effectively. That kind of irony we don’t need, if you know what I mean.

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  1. You have my e-mail in the header of my reply. If he makes it to Texas I and the KR crew would be able to hook him up no problem.

  2. I’m sure you could arrange something at afs similar to the ruger shoot, with a meet n greet/training session with a donation to the instructors and pizza guy. Just a thought, but if he came up here I’m sure I would go.

    If there is one state that needs his help…

  3. Like you, I’m not a lawyer. But his assurances that he term ‘reasonable’ is not an “operative legal standard” doesn’t give me that warm and fuzzy feeling I want. He says it “implies rational basis which isn’t a part of the second amendment.”

    Maybe it’s my conspicuous lack of legal training, but this just seems like too big an opportunity for a judge to use that to ratify local gun restrictions. Sure, that can (and probably would be) appealed. But we’d be fighting the same battles over and over again.

    I hope this is just a product of my own non-lawyerness combined with a teaspoon of paranoia. We’ll see.

  4. Reasonable restriction means anything short of a complete ban on single shot firearms is acceptable.

  5. Great video interview. You should have asked him as a follow up question if the inclusion of that expression in the Supreme Court’s decision enables lower courts to do their more specific versions of that. In other words, The Supremes didn’t specify what reasonable restrictions could be added, only that they can be.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, were you throwing Alan a nice soft pitch there?

  6. You’ve been around long enough to know that RF gets right to the point no matter what, that’s why he named this site TTAG.

  7. I would enjoy hearing how the intelligentsia answers the perennial question of those who are either anti, or just sheeple that argue for “reasonable regulations,” when they ask, “So, are you OK with people owning ‘bazookas’ and machine guns? What about a tank?”

    How do you answer that?

    • With the truth. If you can find someone with one to sell and you can meet the legal requirements (background check, fingerprints, letter from your local chief LEO, allowed by Your State Laws and you have some major disposable income) You can have anything in the way of a firearm that you want.

      Now you have a chance to get stupid and ask “What about Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons, Nuclear Submarines and ICBM’s. Go right ahead, but it’s pretty childish.

      • Why do you need permission from your local sheriff to buy a weapon? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

        But, yes… I’ve actually had people escalate the question to missiles, bombs, chemical, nuclear, etc.

  8. Gura is the guru as far as I’m concerned. The Court left the standard of review open for further litigation, which was the correct thing to do. The degree of judicial scrutiny was not a matter that needed to be decided by the Court in order to resolve the issues at hand. That’s difference between this Court and some of the others that have afflicted the judicial system. A court, any court, that decides more than it needs to is acting like a legislature, which is not the court’s business.

  9. Alan’s response, as usual, is completely sensible.

    There is no such legal thing as a “reasonable restriction” on the exercise of a fundamental right. This will continue to remain true no matter how often the Brady Campaign and others suggest that it should exist.

    This, of course, doesn’t mean that the right to keep and bear arms is absolute and all-encompassing. There’s a large body of existing case law on fundamental rights. As Second Amendment jurisprudence evolves, it will borrow from these established forms of analysis – rather than adopting a new approach called “reasonable.”

  10. I need to correct the record. SAF did not ask NRA for a room at the convention for this award presentation. Bob Brown publisher of Soldier of Fortune Magazine and a member of the NRA Board of Directors did. When he was turned away he asked SAF if the awards could be presented at the SAF event. Since this event was meant to celebrate the work of gun rights bloggers we thought that it was a great place honor those in the new media arena that broke this important story.

    • Text amended. I apologize for any kerfuffle my misreporting may have caused. It was great meeting you and Alan. Please keep me in the loop on any and all SAF developments. Actually, send us a heads-up before the other guys. Much obliged.

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