Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Civil rights victory, I think a big one

In a quintuple victory for Second Amendment rights, a federal judge last week overturned a ban on carrying handguns in public, a ban on so-called assault weapons, caliber restrictions for long guns, a $1,000 tax on handguns, and a requirement that all guns be registered with the government. "The individual right to armed self-defense in case of confrontation...cannot be regulated into oblivion," declared Ramona Manglona, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands.
That bolded line is why I say 'a big one'.  That line is going to horrify and piss-off Schumer, and Obama, and Clinton and Bloomberg and a host of others.

Adopting the historical analysis and logic that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit applied when it overturned an Illinois ban on carrying guns in 2012, Manglona concludes that "the Second Amendment, based on its plain language, the history described in Heller I, and common sense, must protect a right to armed self-defense in public." While "the right of armed self-defense, including in public, is subject to traditional limitations," she says, "it is not subject to elimination." Since the law enforced by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) "completely destroys that right," Manglona writes, "it is unconstitutional regardless of the level of scrutiny applied, and the Court must strike it down."
Ooh la la, I think I need a smoke and a drink.

"The Commonwealth has not shown through any evidence that its means fit its end," Manglona writes. "In fact, the evidence suggests that the banned attachments actually tend to make rifles easier to control and more accurate—making them safer to use. Because the Commonwealth's ban does not match its legitimate and important interest, the ban fails intermediate scrutiny and will be struck down."
The exorbitant CNMI tax on handguns, which raises the cost of the cheapest pistol by almost 700 percent, is also unusual. "The power to tax is not just the power to fund the government," Manglona observes. "It is the power to destroy." Because a $1,000 tax "comes close to destroying the Second Amendment right to acquire 'the quintessential self-defense weapon,'" she writes, "the Court will strike it down."

It's not all good news, she went along with the background-check and magazine-size limits
By contrast, she upheld the commonwealth's licensing requirement for gun buyers, mainly because it goes beyond federal law by "requiring background checks for all aspiring gun owners," and not just those who purchase their firearms from federally licensed dealers. She also upheld the commonwealth's ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, saying it probably would not have much impact on self-defense and might reduce deaths in mass shootings. Manglona in any case had little choice but to uphold that restriction, since the 9th Circuit last year approved an "identical ban" imposed by Sunnyvale, California.
but overall, this is a ruling that's going to make the gun bigots and hoplophobes have kittens. Purple ones with chartreuse spots.

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