(Headline USA) The Supreme Court’s landmark Bruen decision is allowing freedom loving Americans to challenge decades old gun control laws while triggering gun grabbers.
The Supreme Court’s decision changed the test that lower courts had long used for evaluating challenges to gun laws. Judges should no longer consider whether the law serves public interests like enhancing public safety, the justices said.
Under the Supreme Court’s new test, the government that wants to uphold a gun restriction must look back into history to show it is consistent with the country’s “historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
Courts in recent months have declared unconstitutional federal laws purportedly designed to keep guns out of the hands of accused domestic abusers, felony defendants and people who use marijuana. Judges have shot down a federal ban on possessing guns with serial numbers removed and gun restrictions for young adults in Texas and have blocked the enforcement of Delaware’s ban on the possession of homemade “ghost guns.”
The legal questions raised by the first major gun ruling in a decade will likely force the Supreme Court to step in again soon to provide more guidance for judges.
Jacob Charles, a professor at Pepperdine University’s law school who focuses on firearms law, whined about the loss of long-standing gun control laws.
“What it means is that not only are new laws being struck down … but also laws that have been on the books for over 60 years, 40 years in some cases, those are being struck down — where prior to Bruen — courts were unanimous that those were constitutional,” he said.
The decision opened the door to a wave of legal challenges from people who respect the 2nd Amendment. These freedom-loving Americans saw an opportunity to undo laws restricting American’s freedom to “keep and bear arms.” For these Americans, the Bruen decision was a welcome development that removed what they see as unconstitutional restraints on 2nd Amendment rights.
“It’s a true reading of what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights tells us,” said Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “It absolutely does provide clarity to the lower courts on how the constitution should be applied when it comes to our fundamental rights.”
Gun grabbers are triggered after a federal appeals court this month said that under the Supreme Court’s new standards, the government can’t stop people who have domestic violence restraining orders (not convictions) against them from owning guns.
The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that the law “embodies salutary policy goals meant to protect vulnerable people in our society.” But the judges concluded that the government failed to point to a precursor from early American history that is comparable enough to the modern law.
Gun grabbers have decried the Supreme Court’s historical test, but say they remain confident that many gun restrictions will survive challenges. Since the decision, for example, judges have consistently upheld the federal ban on convicted felons from possessing guns.
Both gun grabbers and supporters of the 2nd Amendment are closely watching many pending cases, including several challenging state laws banning certain semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. Already, some gun laws passed in the wake of the Supreme Court decision have been shot down.
A judge declared multiple portions of New York’s new gun law unconstitutional, including rules that restrict carrying firearms in public parks and places of worship.
Some judges have upheld a law banning people under indictment for felonies from buying guns while others have declared it unconstitutional.
A federal judge issued an order barring Delaware from enforcing provisions of a new law outlawing the manufacture and possession of so-called “ghost guns” that don’t have serial numbers and can be nearly impossible for law enforcement officials to trace. But another judge rejected a challenge to California’s “ghost gun” regulations.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press