SCOTUS giveth as Congress taketh away with firearms and public safety


Is the entire US a “sensitive place” that could forbid concealed carry of firearms. SCOTUS, in a 6-3 ruling now has ruled that the government must demonstrate some consonance with the “historical tradition” of gun regulation and public safety in states attempting to impose such regulations. There will be legal refinements ahead but the attempt to advance a conservative position has come with the rightward swing of the court.

America is a country that thinks bulletproof blankets for classrooms are as necessary as buckets of rocks for active shooters. Unmentioned aside from Justice Alito are the legislative compromises being made to mitigate gun access in light of recent events in Buffalo and Uvalde.

x

To determine whether a firearm regulation is consistent with the
Second Amendment, Heller and McDonald point toward at least two relevant metrics: first, whether modern and historical regulations impose a comparable burden on the right of armed self-defense, and second, whether that regulatory burden is comparably justified. Because “individual self-defense is ‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment right,” these two metrics are “ ‘central’ ” considerations when engaging in an analogical inquiry. McDonald, 561 U. S., at 767 (quoting Heller, 554 U. S., at 599).
To be clear, even if a modern-day regulation is not a dead ringer for historical precursors, it still may be analogous enough to pass constitutional muster. For example, courts can use analogies to “longstanding” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings” to determine whether modern regulations are constitutionally permissible. Id., at 626. That said, respondents’ attempt to characterize New York’s proper-cause requirement as a “sensitive-place” law lacks merit because there is no historical basis for New York to effectively declare the island of Manhattan a “sensitive place” simply because it is crowded and protected generally by the New York City Police Department. Pp. 17–22.

https://t.co/jA2Gl7lTiG

x

Justice Breyer did address the “historical tradition” claim when he wrote the dissent:

First, the Court decides this case on the basis of the pleadings, without the benefit of discovery or an evidentiary record. As a result, it may well rest its decision on a mistaken understanding of how New York’s law operates in practice. Second, the Court wrongly limits its analysis to focus nearly exclusively on history. It refuses to consider the government interests that justify a challenged gun regulation, regardless of how compelling those interests may be. The Constitution contains no such limitation, and neither do our precedents. Third, the Court itself demonstrates the practical problems with its history-only approach. In applying that approach to New York’s law, the Court fails to correctly identify and analyze the relevant historical facts. Only by ignoring an abundance of historical evidence supporting regulations restricting the public carriage of firearms can the Court conclude that New York’s law is not “consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” See ante, at 15.

In my view, when courts interpret the Second Amendment, it is constitutionally proper, indeed often necessary, for them to consider the serious dangers and consequences of gun violence that lead States to regulate firearms. The Second Circuit has done so and has held that New York’s law does not violate the Second Amendment.  See Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, 701 F. 3d 81, 97–99, 101
(2012). I would affirm that holding. At a minimum, I would not strike down the law based only on the pleadings, as the Court does today—without first allowing for the development of an evidentiary record and without considering the State’s compelling interest in preventing gun violence. I respectfully dissent.

https://t.co/jA2Gl7lTiG

x

Before today, about 83 million people—about one in every four Americans—lived in a state that strictly limited concealed carry to those who had a heightened need for self-defense. Now, zero people live in such a state. 

Thomas’ opinion for the court suggests that judges may NOT consider empirical evidence about the dangers posed by firearms when evaluating gun control laws. They may only ask whether a modern regulation has some analogue that is rooted in American history. supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf…
Thomas overrules the “two-step approach” used by many courts of appeals when assessing gun control laws, instead placing an incredibly heavy burden on the government to prove that every regulation of firearms “is part of the historical tradition.”
supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf…

It’s difficult to overstate how devastating Thomas’ opinion is for gun control laws. This goes so, so far beyond concealed carry. The Supreme Court has effectively rendered gun restrictions presumptively unconstitutional. This is a revolution in Second Amendment law. 

• • •

x

x

x

x

x

x

Liked it? Take a second to support Community on Patreon!

This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.





Source link

CongressfirearmsgivethpublicsafetySCOTUStaketh
Comments (0)
Add Comment