Friday, February 7, 2014

Second Amendment News

Here's a few select tidbits from the wonderful world of the Second Amendment. Let's start with that bastion of logic, clear-headed thinking, and gun rights - Chicago.

School officials deeply troubled over guns appearing ON SIGNS BANNING GUNS

Here in Texas the outcry is over the banning of guns from schools. In Chitown, however, there is much angst over the fact that the sign announcing the gun ban has a picture of a gun on it.
Administrators at a school in the South Suburbs of Chicago are up in arms over a state law (House Bill 0183) that requires schools to post small signs announcing that guns cannot be carried in schools.
A new Illinois law requires places where guns are not allowed, such as schools, churches, government agencies, liquor stores, and certain other places, to post 4-by-6-inch stickers as visible reminders that guns are forbidden on the premises.
Some school officials aren’t happy about the stickers because they contain a very basic image of a gun.

New Illinois "No Guns Allowed" Sign

“It is bothersome to have to post a sticker of a gun that says, ‘Hey, folks, leave your guns at home,’” Theresa Nolan, principal of Tinley Park High School, told the SouthtownStar.

Nolan stressed that she is very concerned with “safety and security” and concerned that, somehow, someone could wrongly interpret an image of a gun emblazoned with the universal sign for prohibiting something.

“I think the general public will be alarmed by it...” Nolan also fretted.
And this woman is educating children. No wonder Chicago schools are a joke.

In other 2A news, the recent move of gun parts manufacturer Magpul from Colorado to the more gun-friendly climes of Wyoming and Texas highlighted what is becoming a nationwide trend.
The exodus of firearms manufacturers from states that enact more restrictive gun-control laws is turning into a stampede. Beretta announced last week it was becoming the latest gun maker to expand beyond the borders of its home state following passage of tougher gun laws. Instead of building in Maryland, which adopted stiff new regulations last year, Beretta is putting up a new manufacturing and research facility in the Nashville, Tenn., suburb of Gallatin.

The company had telegraphed its decision, noting last year that while it wouldn't leave its primary digs anytime soon, any expansion would occur someplace that has "shown consistent, strong support for Second Amendment rights." New York-based Remington Arms is also looking at expanding into Tennessee, and from Texas to Wyoming, pro-gun states are seeing an influx of gun makers who feel they're unwanted in places they've operated in for decades.

Sturm, Ruger, for example, was founded in Connecticut in 1949 but announced last summer that North Carolina would be home to its first major expansion in 25 years. Meanwhile, Colt Manufacturing, which has also called Connecticut home since Samuel Colt began making breech-loading revolvers in Hartford in the 1840s, is angling to set up shop in the friendlier climes of Florida.

...sporting rifle maker PTR Industries moved out of Connecticut to South Carolina. Stag Arms will also expand outside of Connecticut, and Kahr Firearms Group crossed the Delaware River to Pennsylvania from its previous home in New York.
As the old saying goes, "Act in haste, repent in leisure." States that pass knee-jerk feel-good legislation reap the consequences in terms of lost tax revenue and lost jobs. Not to mention the fact that studies consistently show restrictive gun laws do little to prevent violence (links here and here).

Speaking of gun laws, there are a couple of cases pending potential Supreme Court review that could have significant repercussions for the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment, at its core, spells out not one, but two, rights when it protects “the right of the people.”  There is a right to “keep” a gun, there is a right, to “bear” a gun.  There is an “and” between the two in the text, so that might well be taken as a significant indication that these are separate rights.

The Supreme Court in 2008 made it clear that the right to “keep” a gun is a personal right, and that it means one has a right to keep a functioning firearm for self-defense within the home.   But it has refused repeatedly since then to take on the question of whether that right exists also outside the home.  If there is a separate right to “bear” a gun (and the Court, in fact, did say in 2008 that the two rights were separate), it has not said what that means.

The National Rifle Association, and some of its members, are now pressing the Supreme Court to answer that question.  They are doing so in two cases testing whether the federal government and the states can restrict the rights of minors to possess a gun outside the home.   The Court is expected to take its first look at those cases later this month, to decide whether it will hear either or both of them...

In a case from Texas, the NRA’s lawyers have reduced to elementary constitutional logic the question of what a right to “bear” guns means: “The explicit guarantee of the right to ‘bear’ arms would mean nothing,” the NRA’s filing argued, “if it did not protect the right to ‘bear’ arms outside of the home, where the Amendment already guarantees that they may be ‘kept.’   The most fundamental canons of construction forbid any interpretation that would discard this language as meaningless surplus.”

In the new NRA cases now awaiting the Justices’ attention, separate groups of judges on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, rejected NRA challenges to the federal and state laws restricting minors’ access to guns.   The case involving the Texas law is explicitly about a right to carry a handgun in public, at least for minors.   In that state, they may own a handgun, but without a license to carry it in public – for which they are ineligible because of their age – they may have such a weapon only at home.

One of the reasons why the Justices might find the NRA challenges more appealing cases to review is that, in both, the federal appeals court came very close to creating an entirely new category of individuals ineligible to “bear” arms, merely because of their age.   In both of the decisions at issue, the appeals court said it was “likely” that they were not protected at all under the Second Amendment, or under the separate parts of the Constitution that guarantee all individuals equal legal rights.

If the Justices do agree to return to the ongoing controversy over the reach of the Second Amendment, it is probably too late in the current term to add that to the docket.  If granted review, it would very likely go over to the next term, starting in October.
I'm undecided on the issue of minors and firearms. After all, I used to be a minor, and my judgement at that time was less than stellar. (My wife says it still is, but that's beside the point.) In any event, it seems like the NRA is using the 'minors' issue to press for a more far-ranging decision. The Court, however, has been historically reluctant to issue broad decisions, instead preferring to rule on a case-by-case basis.

At this point in time, given the media's bias and the ruling administration's anti-2A stance, I'll be happy if we can just maintain the staus quo.


Bag Blog said...

I guess they have to have a picture of a gun since public school kids can't read.

Old NFO said...

Yep, I just 'hope' we can... but the left is bound and determined to put us in our place (disarmed)...

CenTexTim said...

BB - that's the sad truth, especially when it comes to Chicago schools.

NFO - I worry about obama packing the federal courts with judges that reflect his political views. Those judges are appointed for life, and will continue to drag down this country long after barry is gone. I just hope the conservatives on the Supreme Court stay healthy...

Toejam said...

I've been having trouble logging in to this site lately, but this article is so disturbing I have to try again.

Maybe they should make a sign banning signs that ban guns.

Any suggestions on how it should look?

If my proper "nom de plume" doesn't appear I'm: Toejam

CenTexTim said...

Toejam - I wondered why you'd been so quiet lately. I have no idea why there's a problem. Hopefully whatever it was has fixed itself.

Toejam said...

It's my doing, CTT,

I've got so many places I sign into I'm losing track of my Tweet, Google, Wordpress, linkin, Yahoo, etc, etc, etc, user I.D.'s & passwords my brain goes into a spin.

CenTexTim said...

Ah well, we can't expect your brain to fix itself... :-)