I have noticed a disturbing trend in the Supreme Court, considering that many people believe it to be a majority-conservative court with the appointments of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
The Supreme Court unanimously rejected an appeal for a temporary stay of enforcement of the bump-stock-type device ban. That means Trump’s we’re sure they’ll be pro-2A appointees went along with an unconstitutional, uncompensated taking.
They did agree to hear the NYSR&PA challege to New York City’s limits on transporting firearms, but specifically told both sides to argue why it is or is not already moot. A bad sign.
And now SCOTUS has denied certiorari in Remington Arms v. Soto, the case in which Sandy Hook parents and one survivor are suing Remington for “negligent marketing” under Connecticut’s unfair trade practices law, in direct violation of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
The PLCAA was passed to prevent unscrupulous attempts at bankrupting firearms companies — preemptive gun control, cutting off the lawful supply at the source — by blaming them for the criminal use of their products by other people; frivolous lawsuits.
It does not get much more frivolous than suing suing Remington for “negligently marketing” the rifle to a middle-aged woman who compounded the so-called crime by “negligently” getting murdered in her bed by the chumbucket who went on to kill 26 more children and adults.
And the Supreme Court — including those wonderful pro-2A Trump appointees — is allowing that case to proceed.
As bad as that sounds, it is actually worse than you might think, unless you follow court cases like some folks follow the NFL. I mentioned the Court’s inaction on bump stocks above, not simply because it illustrated the lack of faith on the Second Amendment, but because of another lawsuit.
Those parents are not alleging anything as silly as “negligent marketing.” They have noted that PLCAA protections do not apply if the firearm company has broken the law. They are claiming that, since the Trump administration determined that bump stocks are machineguns, then all semi-automatic rifles are “easily converted” to machineguns just by changing out the stock.
That makes them machineguns even without the actual bump stock, under ATF interpretation. Therefore, semi-automatic rifle companies are unlawfully manufacturing machineguns for civilians. And that loses them PLCAA immunity. Allegedly.
We now have a Supreme Court that has allowed that bump stocks are machineguns subject to the National Firearms Act. That Court has also effectively killed the PLCAA.
Combine the two and look at the Nevada challenge. We have a semi-auto problem.