What the Heller ruling did not change
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Thread: What the Heller ruling did not change

  1. #1
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    What the Heller ruling did not change

    All that today's Heller ruling changed was the acknowledement an individual right to keep and bear arms. While the handgun ban and the requirement that shotguns and rifles be either disassembled or fitted with trigger locks was overturned, the licensure and registration components were kept intact. In theory this means that if the city wants to keep things the way they were prior to the law being struck down, it could make the licensure and registration requirements so stringent (ie., a 10,000% increase in the registration fee), and there is nothing in this decision stopping it. Overall, I'm breathing a sigh of relief, but when all is said and done, Washington, D.C. will continue to have America's worst gun laws.

    Some of the draconian laws that were unaffected by the ruling include:

    The "machine gun" ban: In D.C., any gun that shoots 12 or more rounds without reloading is considered a "machine gun" and is illegal to possess there.

    The ban on "sawed off" shotguns: In D.C., any shotgun with a barrel under 20 inches in length is considered a sawed off shotgun and is illegal to possess there.

    Possession of unregistered ammunition: In D.C. you're only allowed to purchase or possess ammunition if you have a certificate of registration for a weapon of the same gauge or caliber. Furthermore, the ammo itself must be registered. You can go to jail for possession of unregistered ammo.

    Pepper spray: Pepper spray has to be registered in Washington, D.C.

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  3. #2
    It's a small step, and shows we are headed in the right direction.
    It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!-Emiliano Zapata

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tattedupboy View Post
    All that today's Heller ruling changed was the acknowledement an individual right to keep and bear arms. While the handgun ban and the requirement that shotguns and rifles be either disassembled or fitted with trigger locks was overturned, the licensure and registration components were kept intact. In theory this means that if the city wants to keep things the way they were prior to the law being struck down, it could make the licensure and registration requirements so stringent (ie., a 10,000% increase in the registration fee), and there is nothing in this decision stopping it. Overall, I'm breathing a sigh of relief, but when all is said and done, Washington, D.C. will continue to have America's worst gun laws.
    If they thought they could make any of those conditions stick, I'm sure they would get cracking on it tomorrow.

    However, this is really a strong statement that unreasonable restrictions won't be tolerated. Chances are, if they tried to impose a de facto prohibition such as a $1000 registration fee per gun, that would get smacked too.
    Silent Running, by Mike and the Mechanics

  5. #4

    It set a precedent

    The Supreme Court has finally stated that gun ownership is an individual right, or more precisely, a right protected by the Constitution.. While that may have seemed obvious to anyone with the intelligence of a rock, it set a precedent. And, at least in the past, the court very rarely overturned a previous decision.

  6. #5
    This is probably the most important part of the decision...

    Many current gun-control laws are likely to pass constitutional muster under the Heller doctrines, though further challenges to specific laws are likely. Roger Pilon, vice president for constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, pointed out to us that Justice Scalia's opinion included the stipulation that, in such cases, courts should not apply "rational basis," the lowest level of scrutiny, to such laws, since the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental enumerated constitutional right, requiring strict scrutiny when a legislative body seeks to limit it.

    "The core issue of "judicial scrutiny" is now established -- better than we had dreamed -- in what will be known as Famous Footnote #27 (p56). Laws impinging on the Second Amendment can receive no lower level of review than any other "specific enumerated right" such as free speech, the guarantee against double jeopardy or the right to counsel (the Court's list of examples).

    This is a tremendous win, and overlooked in all initial reviews I've seen. "Strict scrutiny," which many folks sought, is a term without formal definition that could prove problematic. I was hoping for a test of some sort and got more than I hoped for. By recognizing 2A as a "specific enumerated right" the majority ties 2A to the rigid standards and precedents of our most cherished rights. That's as strong as there is. Very clever indeed."
    It would appear that we got a better deal than many realize...

    Howard
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  7. Quote Originally Posted by tattedupboy View Post
    All that today's Heller ruling changed was the acknowledement an individual right to keep and bear arms. While the handgun ban and the requirement that shotguns and rifles be either disassembled or fitted with trigger locks was overturned, the licensure and registration components were kept intact. In theory this means that if the city wants to keep things the way they were prior to the law being struck down, it could make the licensure and registration requirements so stringent (ie., a 10,000% increase in the registration fee), and there is nothing in this decision stopping it. Overall, I'm breathing a sigh of relief, but when all is said and done, Washington, D.C. will continue to have America's worst gun laws.

    Some of the draconian laws that were unaffected by the ruling include:

    The "machine gun" ban: In D.C., any gun that shoots 12 or more rounds without reloading is considered a "machine gun" and is illegal to possess there.

    The ban on "sawed off" shotguns: In D.C., any shotgun with a barrel under 20 inches in length is considered a sawed off shotgun and is illegal to possess there.

    Possession of unregistered ammunition: In D.C. you're only allowed to purchase or possess ammunition if you have a certificate of registration for a weapon of the same gauge or caliber. Furthermore, the ammo itself must be registered. You can go to jail for possession of unregistered ammo.

    Pepper spray: Pepper spray has to be registered in Washington, D.C.
    Worst? California isn't all that great either. We have problems with the laws they are trying to pass here.

  8. #7
    tattedupboy -

    please read my post above re the level of scrutiny which must be applied to the laws... yes, DC (and several others) is going to try to sneak in anything they can, but they (most) won't hold up in court.

    Nobody said that Heller was the end - it's only the beginning. But we now have the best possible basis for eliminating crap like this that we ever have had. We will be fighting the DC mentality for a decade - unless O gets in, then we'll most probably lose the current edge at SCOTUS. To me, that is the only issue coming in Nov.

    Howard
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpj3 View Post
    tattedupboy -

    please read my post above re the level of scrutiny which must be applied to the laws... yes, DC (and several others) is going to try to sneak in anything they can, but they (most) won't hold up in court.

    Nobody said that Heller was the end - it's only the beginning. But we now have the best possible basis for eliminating crap like this that we ever have had. We will be fighting the DC mentality for a decade - unless O gets in, then we'll most probably lose the current edge at SCOTUS. To me, that is the only issue coming in Nov.

    Howard

    I suppose you're right. Does the Heller ruling mean now that D.C. is a place you would move to now? Probably not. No other place in America places such onerous restrictions on gun owners as D.C. does. The Heller ruling did not make D.C. any less unpleasant a place to live for law abiding gun owners than it already was, with the exception that revolvers and functional long guns (those that aren't "machine guns" or sawed off shotguns under city code) are now legal. That's all.

  10. #9
    Don't forget what started this whole thing off - the district appeals court upheld (very strongly) our 2A rights before it got to SCOTUS. We all expected DC to have to be drug, kicking and screaming, to our ultimate position. As I said, it won't happen overnight, and will, no doubt, take numerous court cases. However, given the level of scrutiny dictated in Heller, my guess is that few, if any,will end up at SCOTUS.

    You're right - I wouldn't live in DC - or NYC, Boston, Chicago, or California to name a few more. I put all my efforts in working on the problems we have here in SC...

    Howard
    NRA Life Member, NRA Firearms Instructor, Range Safety Officer
    SC CWP Instructor
    GrassRoots GunRights SC - the only choice for SC

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