Supreme Court protest demonstration
Courtesy Kevin Hulbert
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In June, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association prevailed in its lawsuit against Bruen (named defendant and the Superintendent of New York State Police). In winning this case in front of SCOTUS, “may issue” laws — laws under which states and municipalities have entirely subjective rules under which they may or may not issue concealed carry permits — have been deemed unconstitutional. This opens up the door for going after unfair, subjective, and otherwise not equally-applied gun control laws all across the country.

From APNews.com, in a story titled “After Supreme Court ruling, it’s open season on US gun laws:”

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruling expanding gun rights threatens to upend firearms restrictions across the country as activists wage court battles over everything from bans on AR-15-style guns to age limits.

The decision handed down in June already has led one judge to temporarily block a Colorado town from enforcing a ban on the sale and possession of certain semi-automatic weapons.

The first major gun decision in more than a decade, the ruling could dramatically reshape gun laws in the U.S. even as a series of horrific mass shootings pushes the issue back into the headlines.

“The gun rights movement has been given a weapon of mass destruction, and it will annihilate approximately 75% of the gun laws eventually,” said Evan Nappen, a New Jersey gun rights attorney.

The court battles come as the Biden administration and police departments across the U.S. struggle to combat a surge in violent crime and mass shootings, including several high-profile killings carried out by suspects who purchased their guns legally.

And given the sheer number of cases now working through the courts, a lot more time will be spent in courtrooms no matter who wins.

“We will see a lot of tax dollars and government resources that should be used to stop gun crime being used to defend gun laws that are lifesaving and wildly popular,” said Jonathan Lowry, chief counsel and vice president at Brady, the gun control group.

Congress broke through years of deadlock to pass a modest gun violence prevention package weeks ago, and the House voted to renew a ban on high-powered semi-automatic weapons, though that effort is likely doomed in the Senate as Republicans push back on firearms restrictions and say recent spikes in gun violence should be met with a stepped-up police response.

The Supreme Court decision struck down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need to get a license to carry a concealed gun in public, saying it violates Second Amendment rights. Several other states including California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island have similar laws expected to be directly impacted by the ruling.

In Massachusetts, for example, police chiefs can no longer deny or impose restrictions on licenses just because the applicant doesn’t have a “good reason” to carry a gun. New York quickly passed a new concealed-weapon law, but Republicans there predict it will also end up being overturned.

In its New York ruling, the high court’s conservative majority also changed a test lower courts had used for evaluating challenges to gun laws.

Judges should no longer consider whether the law serves public interests like enhancing public safety, the opinion authored by Justice Clarence Thomas said. Instead, they should only weigh whether the law is “consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding.”

“Basically, the Supreme Court has given an invitation for the gun lobby to file lawsuits against virtually every gun law in America,” Lowry said.

The Supreme Court has ordered lower courts to take another look at several other cases under the court’s new test. Among them: laws in California and New Jersey that limit the amount of ammunition a gun magazine can hold and a 2013 ban on “assault weapons” in Maryland.

Gun rights groups are also challenging similar bans in California, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

“The rifles at issue in this case are the sorts of bearable arms in common use for lawful purposes that responsible and peaceable people across the United States possess by the millions. And they are, moreover, exactly what they would bring to service in militia duty, should such be necessary,” a New Jersey lawsuit brought in June by the Firearms Policy Coalition says, referencing the language of the Second Amendment.

The ruling also has come up in challenges to restrictions on gun possession for 18- to 20-year-olds in Texas and Pennsylvania. And it has been cited in a case challenging a federal ban on gun possession for people convicted of nonviolent crimes punishable by more than a year behind bars, as well as a prohibition on concealed guns on the subway in Washington, D.C.

In addition, a gun rights group is suing Colorado over the state’s 2013 ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, saying the high court ruling reinforces the group’s argument that it infringes on Second Amendment rights. And the ruling has public defenders in New York City asking judges to drop gun possession cases.

Not all those lawsuits will necessarily be successful. The Texas attorney general, for example, argues the Supreme Court ruling doesn’t affect the state’s age limit law, and more state and local governments can certainly defend their gun laws as being in line with U.S. history.

Adam Skaggs, chief counsel and policy director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, predicted that when the dust settles, only laws “along the margins” will eventually be struck down.

“Most judges are going to see these for what they are, which is overreaching and lacking in any merit,” he said.

Backers of gun restrictions can also look to a concurring opinion from Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Kavanaugh stressed that the Second Amendment does allow for a “variety” of gun regulations. He cited the use of background checks and mental health records as part of a licensing process to carry a gun and noted that states can forbid the carrying of firearms in “sensitive places” such as schools and government buildings.

But the Colorado decision handed down last month, while still early in the process, was a rosy sign for gun rights groups.

U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Moore, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, said he was sympathetic to the town’s goal of preventing mass shootings like the one that killed 10 people at a grocery store in nearby Boulder last year. But Moore said he didn’t know of “historical precedent” for a law banning “a type of weapon that is commonly used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” so the gun rights groups have a strong case against the ordinance.

Encouraged by that decision, Taylor D. Rhodes, the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, told The Associated Press that his group was considering going after other gun measures in Colorado, where Democrats hold the majority in the state legislature and the governor’s office.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Rhodes said: “The Bruen decision gave us a 4-ton wrecking ball.”

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60 COMMENTS

  1. If, and/or when, the Firearms acts of 1934 and 1968 are overturned I will believe that we have won.

        • Somewhat agree, btw if I remember correctly at that time the house & senate majority were ‘Dems’ since FDR, not sure if it was a veto proof majority. The house did not flip until Bill was in office with Newt as the speaker (he did seem a little squishy on the subject of 2A).

    • I am hoping that all gun control laws are eliminated. The only needed ones are keeping guns out of the hands of felons and those who are non-compos mentis. The only benefits of gun control laws are the gun elimination groups and control freaks in Congress.

  2. 21 IN UNDER CAN BUY ONLY 22 CALIBER .
    WANT ANY CALIBER LARGER THEY CAN JOIN THE MILITARY
    SERVE THE COUNTRY AND OATH TO PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTION .

    • @NTexas
      You mean like all of those members of Congress who voted for the recent firearms ban? They certainly upheld and honored their oath didn’t they?They know the legislation will never survive a constitutional challenge in front of the SCOTUS, but they voted for it anyway.

    • So if you’re 18 you can’t buy a deer rifle? If you’re 18, you can’t get a shotgun to shoot trap or small game? If you’re 18, you’re good enough to die for this country but don’t you dare buy a rifle to defend yourself with? Thank God rights aren’t tied to government service. Kinda would make them privileges, wouldn’t it?

    • Actually, it’s the government who’s supposed to serve the people, not the other way around. People are in charge. Founding principle of the country. Everyone except Democrats already knows this.

    • In all mass school shootings going back to Columbine, almost half involved killers under age 18. They weren’t allowed to possess a firearm, let alone buy one. But you keep thinking that more laws will stop those who never follow them in the first place.

    • Get real, stop sounding like a dummy. It’s legal for 13 year old children to hunt “big game”, which in most states means deer, in other states means elk, moose, bear, caribou, and more. It’s legal for 13 year old children to hunt wild boar. Are you suggesting that children should be in the outback, hunting any or all of these animals, with a dinky little .22?

      I’m not believing that anyone from Texas would suggest such a thing. Well, maybe. You’re really a Californian who moved to Texas?

        • Unaccompanied at 16 in many/most states. 12 unaccompanied on family property where I grew up. My dad grew up in the city and didn’t know anything about guns, but I sporterized a Spanish Mauser and did a glass-rod trigger job on an 1858 Remington Army while I was in high school.

    • I had an old 30-30 at 16. As well as an old 1898 Mauser. Bit of a let down when issued a crappy, centerfire .22 as a weapon in the Army.
      .22LR is a 5.5mm diameter bullet that depending on load, runs between 36gr. and 65gr.
      The 5.56NATO is .223 caliber. And depending on loading, runs between 45gr. and 85 gr. So how about the kids get whatever they can and use a .22 rifle in the military?

    • Hey, NTexas, What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand? You and people like you are why our Constitution isn’t being followed these days. Hell, even free speech is under assault. You are either illiterate or just plain stupid.

  3. It’s pretty funny (sad) that they were saying you needed “good reason” to carry a gun before Bruen. Me thinks there are a good number of people that are six feet under that had “good reason”, but now it’s too late…

    • that used to be the standard in most places…then the sixties arrived and it began to go away..these days it’s nothing but ancient history

  4. While the U.S. Supreme Court Bruen decision provides a solid legal basis to strike down most laws which restrict firearm access, I will be utterly shocked if our courts actually apply the decision as they should.

    Instead, I foresee most lower courts refusing to apply the Bruen decision and forcing the litigants to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court again. And the lower courts will do that knowing that the U.S. Supreme will never review/rule-on something like 98% of those cases–and several years will pass before the U.S. Supreme Court does review/rule-on on those 2% of cases.

    • “Instead, I foresee most lower courts refusing to apply the Bruen decision and forcing the litigants to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court again.”

      How I hope they do just that.

      Thomas’s Bruen ruling was a *dare* to drop another 2A case in the High court’s in-basket.

      In ‘Bruen’, Thomas reminded the Leftist Scum ™ that they already ruled in ‘Heller’ what the 2A meant, and he had to make it even clearer to the dolts what he meant with Bruen.

      I really hope the district courts think long and hard about tempting St. Thomas (ever blessed be his name!) to drop another 2A hammer on their pointed heads… 🙂

      • In California, we have St. Benitez, a senior status trial judge who has issued several very strong opinions in favor of gun rights, at least two of which were upheld by the three judge appellate panel before being held or struck down by the Ninth Circuit en banc panel. Two of those cases have headed back to him, and it will be interesting to see how much leeway he allows the state in it vain attempts to establish history, tradition and text in favor of magazine restrictions and semiauto rifles.

        Then we have Young v. Hawaii, GVR’d and returned to the Ninth Circuit, which will likely send it back to the Hawaii trial court. The en banc panel in that case held that there was NO right to bear arms off one’s property. Hawaii will soon be forced to adopt a “shall issue” CCW scheme after having refused to issue a carry permit to anyone other than LEO or security guards for over 20 years. That should be fun.

        Meanwhile, and shades of things to come, the California AG has told all sheriffs and city chiefs to stop requiring a showing of good cause on the CCW permit application. However, in “suggestions” contained in a poorly drafted and considered letter, he doubled down on the requirements for a showing of “good moral character,” not too subtly replacing the former good cause requirement with the showing required for GMC. So many of the included factors are purely subjective evaluations by an issuing officer that the requirement cannot withstand judicial scrutiny.

        Interestingly enough, California was all set to adopt a concealed carry law very similar to the one enacted in New York, which included a very broad definition of “sensitive places.” [However, a legislative analyst (who clearly disagreed with Bruen) wrote that the definition is probably unconstitutional, and appears that the proposal may have been shelved for this session.] That law also appears to have eliminated good moral character, and the only requirements for issuance (other than the fingerprints and classroom/shooting requirements) were age 21 and legally entitled to possess firearms.

        • “Two of those cases have headed back to him,…”

          Saw that yesterday.

          Do you think it’s possible he already has a ruling drafted and ready to go or very close?

          Does he have the leeway to drop his hammer sooner than later, or does it have to wait in line before other decisions?

        • I also saw that they remanded the cases back to Benitez.

          My predictions: Judge Benitez will quickly issue a new orders finding against the state, and re-imposing the injunctions. Hopefully FPC will press hard for this.

          State will move for new trial, asking for the chance to reopen / adduce additional evidence in light of Bruen. That should be summarily denied (you don’t get a do-over to introduce additional evidence they could have accused the first time had they chosen to).

          Benitez will almost certainly deny any motions for a stay of the injunctions. So it’ll then be back to CTA9. If they grant anything more than a short administrative stay, immediate mandamus petition to SCOTUS to vacate. Very strong odds SCOTUS vacates any substantial stay.

          Pass the popcorn. This will be interesting.

        • LKB,
          Not trying to start an abortion debate at all, but the NY mayor / pastor article made me think: What’s the difference between this and Roe vs. Wade?

          Roe was a little before my time, but my (limited) understanding was that it made abortion laws go away. Abortionists in all the ban states didn’t have to get themselves arrested and litigate away every law – or did they?

          I understand that other states’ laws that aren’t exactly the same as NY’s may require their own fights, but why is NY’s still an issue?

        • Confused:

          I’d have to go back and see the extent to which there were recalcitrant efforts to resist Roe in the early 1970’s. I don’t think there were any/many, because Roe made it very clear that contrary laws were straight up invalid.

          Now, so does Bruen (as least as to “may issue” laws), but that’s not stopping NY, Cali, etc. Better analogue would be the post-Brown v. Board of Education efforts by some states to resist/get around that decision . . . which ultimately led to federal troop being used to enforce Brown and follow-on cases in some instances (Little Rock), but it took years of litigation to fully implement Brown.

          What in my opinion is needed here are some targeted 42 USC 1983 suits against the governmental officials involved, in both their official and individual capacities. That statute provides:

          Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

          So:
          (1) Acting under color of state law? Check.
          (2) Causing a citizen or person to be deprived of his constitutional rights as articulated in Bruen? Check; indeed, they admit that’s what they are doing and intending to do.
          (3) Qualified immunity for claims against them individually? Nope, Bruen made this “clearly settled” law, and they openly state that they are acting in defiance of / resistance to it, so no QE.

          Hopefully, FPC, SAF, etc., will pick out a particularly obnoxious politician and add the 1983 claim against them individually in one of their test cases. Would love to see one against the Cali AG being added in a test case pending before Benitez.

        • LKB,
          Thanks so much for the amazingly comprehensive (and prompt) response! I feel like I owe you a retainer.

  5. Hee hee hee. “And to hear the lamentation of da wimmen.”

    If memory serves, Lowery was right behind me in the Members Line for the SCOTUS argument in NYSR&PA #1, along with a Maryland Assistant AG. Nice enough guy. But if now he’s worried about all the tax dollars being spent on losing efforts to defend gun laws that are almost certainly doomed under Bruen, there’s a simple answer: throw in the towel and save the money.

    • Well, it doesn’t cost them much to fling sh!t at the wall and see what sticks, so I think they will ‘test the waters’ to see what they can get away with.

      And what district wants to be the one to rile Thomas with a granting of cert.?

      • Some folks are so “morally” offended by other people having guns that they are constitutionally unable to throw in the towel. I would think that Gavin Newsom is one of them, and Nancy Pelosi another.

        • Drag their feet long enough, and nail them on a deprivation of civil rights lawsuit… 🙂

          EDIT – what really needs to happen is streamlining the process and eliminate the expensive ‘fees’ involved.

          Folks like calguns can probably whip up a training program of their own costing far less that 600 bucks…

  6. Amendment II gives them clear warning, it is absolute on the matter of government restriction of the right of the people to keep and bear Arms. It states emphatically… 𝗦𝗛𝗔𝗟𝗟 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗕𝗘 𝗜𝗡𝗙𝗥𝗜𝗡𝗚𝗘𝗗.

  7. “lifesaving and wildly popular,” said Jonathan Lowry Only problem Jon honey, its unconstitutional. It’s entirely inconsequential if people like it and it saves lives. Lower speed limits saves lives and it’s popular with someone, I’m sure of that. Lot’s of things save lives along with being popular, but as I mentioned, that doesn’t matter. Also not mattering is if that you, Gabby, Hogg boy, Bloombag, Ms Ugly Shoes Shannon Watts or any other anti-gunner doesn’t like it. As that goes, I’m gleefully happy you scum-bag wannabe gun-grabbers don’t like it. I hope you lose sleep over it.

  8. Meanwhile, the Puppet plans to hire 87,000 new IRS agents. Is that how many agents we need to go after the 1%? Nope, they need that many people to come after the middle class. If the DOJ is any indicator of how corrupt federal agencies are, then expect to be audited if you’re seen advocating for something they despise. Like say…the right to keep and bear arms.

    Upper management will be highly motivated. Why, you ask? You know that new spending plan that Manchin is now pushing for? Well…

    “The secretary of the Treasury would be permitted to set the base pay and compensation for as many as 300 positions at the IRS, up to the equivalent levels set by statute for the vice president of the United States”

    • Yes sir.
      You are correct.
      The King’s revenuers were at least marginally involved in the first American Revolution, and I have little doubt history will either repeat, or at least rhyme.

      • Remember how Obama’s IRS went after people based on their politics? Now imagine 90,000 more of them led by people that just got a big raise.

    • dems have always been for expanding government…and more control…they may go back to a “kinder, friendlier IRS”…which we have seen in the past…but I wouldn’t count on it…

      • Taxing the rich is what they always say to sell their plans to the sheep. It’s never the rich who get screwed over unless they have wrong thoughts. Ramping up to this degree means extreme enforcement.

  9. This is a partial restoration of a right, not an expansion into unfamiliar waters of this country’s past history.

    The push must be that the federal constitution limits government, not restricts peaceable citizens. Throw I the 14th amendment and tge supremacy clause and keep hammering on laws that easily restrict citizens and empower government.

    NFA 34 and GCA 68 must go. The idea that the right to arms allows restrictions on peaceable citizens for acting peaceably or in self defense must become another piece trash on the ash heap of history.

    We are too accustomed to blaming a right exercised reasonably by ordinary citizens for the deeds of tyrants and street thugs.

    Of course with maximum freedom comes maximum responsibility. We must create a culture of continual practice and responsibility until it becomes the social norm.

  10. Soooooo…. the AP’s take is that this was an expansion of our 2A rights?
    And the media tries to tell us they are unbiased.

    Roe was adding rights that do not exist yet somehow that was not “expanding”

    Tyrants…I mean politicians… and their little media minions, love the “You can’t shout fire in a crowded theater” line. My answer is always Yes you absolutely can. If however you do so and that causes a panic, you can be charged, but you are not charged with exercising “free speech”

    They always seem to forget that neither the US Constitution, nor any Politician has given to me ANY rights what so ever. The Constitution listed the rights I already possess, regardless of anyone.

    They will say you need car insurance and a license to drive. Yet they cannot show me how a car is a Right. I do not need a license to speak, or protest, or worship, or carry.

    We should however think about licenses to be a politician, and make it easy to revoke them, once done they merely go away. 😉

  11. My humble opinion–the Bruen decision will enable court rulings overturning the following major firearm ownership laws:

    National Firearms Act of 1934–the part requiring $200 tax stamp to purchase “short-barreled” shotguns and rifles as well as firearm “mufflers”.

    Law/s which prohibit out-of-state residents from purchasing handguns or long guns.

    Concealed carry licensing which does not honor non-resident licenses.

    And…that’s about it.

    • According to some articles i’ve read it seems like it also affect magazine bans and semi auto bans. But we shall indeed see.

    • ATF was well on its way to eliminating the restrictions on suppressors and SBR’s…witness the classification of the “Shockwave”…but then there was an administration change…and a whole new set of rules…being highly dependent on funding,..they do what their told…

    • reciprocity was working pretty well until the imposition of a “residency requirement”…making the acquisition of an out of state permit less popular…

  12. I put a rubber band on the bolt knob of my Savage Steven’s Single shot bolt action .22, it closes automatically now.

  13. these current field checks on recent purchases is an attempt to curtail straw purchases…but they have handled it clumsily and often heavy-handed which is often their style…instead of respectfully and with the cooperation of local LE….arrogance has often been their downfall…

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