4th Circuit Court of Appeals Makes Supreme Court Their Bitch, Over Guns


Take It Like A Bitch
4th Circuit Court of Appeals Makes Supreme Court Their Bitch, Over Guns  IMG: someecards.com

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- On November 27 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States once again refused to stand up to protect the Second Amendment, by turning down two cases challenging infringing state gun laws.

One was a Florida case, where the state courts have, on the one hand, declared that there is a state constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense outside the home, but on the other hand have declared that carrying concealed is a privilege, not a right.

That means that the right may only be exercised if you have been granted the privilege of doing so by the state…?

So Floridians have a right to carry firearms for personal defense, they just can’t exercise that right unless they jump through hoops, pay a fee, and are granted the privilege to carry concealed by the state.

The specific case, Norman v. Florida, is particularly troubling because Mr. Norman jumped through the hoops, paid the fee, and was granted the privilege to exercise his right. Unfortunately the first time he exercised that privilege, he failed to conceal the firearm to the satisfaction of local police, who swarmed him and put him face-down on the sidewalk in handcuffs. He was subsequently found guilty of openly carrying a firearm, and fined $300 plus court costs.

It’s difficult to avoid speculation that, had Mr. Norman been white and wearing Dockers and a polo, the stop and the results might have been significantly different than they were. A polite conversation with a stern warning about not allowing the gun to be easily observed would likely have been as far as things would have gone. But Mr. Norman is not a white man, and he wasn’t dressed in “business casual” that day. He is a black man, and was peacefully going about his business in a tank top and cargo shorts.

By refusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court allows the decision of the Florida Supreme Court to stand. Leaving the right to carry in Florida subject to gaining the privilege to do so from the state, and requiring that the exercise of that right be in accordance with the terms of the privilege: concealed only.

As troubling as that case is, the other case turned away by SCOTUS is even more troubling.

The case of Kolbe v. Hogan was a challenge to Maryland’s draconian ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines. In this case, while the 4th Circuit deciding that the ban is not unconstitutional is a serious concern, the Circuit Court’s rationale for that decision is an even bigger problem.

I wrote about this case earlier this year, and was convinced that SCOTUS would have no choice but to address the Circuit’s decision, because it took the SCOTUS decision in Heller, and stood it on its head.

The judges of the 4th Circuit actually claimed that the Supreme Court ruled in Heller that guns like the AR15 are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are of a type that would be particularly useful in a military application.

To reach this conclusion, the 4th Circuit judges took a minor comment from Justice Scalia’s decision in Heller, and completely changed the very obvious meaning and intent of the comment and the Heller decision itself. This is very similar to what happened in the Miller case, leading to decades of misinterpretation of the Second Amendment, and bad rulings.

In reaching the Heller decision, it is clear that there were some on the court who were worried that the decision would open up the possibility of challenges to the National Firearms Act and the Hughes Amendment which banned the sale of full-auto firearms manufactured after 1986. Justice Scalia provided some groundwork for defense of the NFA and Hughes, by focusing on the idea that the protected arms of the Second Amendment are those that are “in common use” among the people at a given time.

Scalia posited; “It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service – M-16 rifles and the like – may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause.”

He was suggesting that the argument should boil down to the issue of whether the particular arms in question are of a type that is currently “in common use.” The idea being that since full-auto, military arms like the M-16 are not in common use among the people, they would not be protected by the Second Amendment.

That’s a pretty thin argument, since the only reason M-16s and other true military-style arms are not in common use, is that they have been tightly restricted and prohibitively expensive for the past 80 years. But that is the argument Scalia was making. It should be noted that this argument was made as part of a broader explanation of some of the rationale leading to the Court’s decision in Heller, and was not part of the official holding in the case.

So what the 4th Circuit did, was take this commentary, known as “dicta” in the courts, and claim that what it means is that guns that “look like M-16s,” are not protected by the Second Amendment because they would be useful in military service.

That is clearly not at all what Scalia was suggesting.

Usually the Supreme Court is very protective of their past decisions, and they are quick to slap down a lower court that tries to distort and abuse them – especially in a landmark case like Heller. So for the Court to let stand such a flagrant assault on a recent decision, is just astonishing.

We’ve been saying for a long time that the Second Amendment will not be safe until we get at least one, but preferably two more, solid, pro-Constitution justices on the Court. The loss of Justice Scalia was a serious blow, but even before that, the Second Amendment wasn’t safe, and there was little chance of seeing rights advance.

Justice Kennedy has hinted that he might retire next year, and expectations of Justice Ginsburg’s long-awaited departure have begun to feel like a bad Saturday Night Live sketch, but Justice Thomas isn’t getting any younger – or fitter – either, and bad precedents are piling up in the lower courts. Replacing Ginsburg and Kennedy, while Thomas is still on the Court, could pull us back from the brink, but it’s all just guessing and wishful thinking at this point. One thing is pretty certain, Justice Ginsburg would keep serving after her death to avoid having Donald Trump name her replacement. If Democrats gain control of the Senate, all of this would be moot though, because Schumer and the Democrats will block any and all Trump appointments to the Court, even if he is reelected for another four years.

The strongest argument for a Donald Trump presidency was the judges he would appoint to the Court. Unless the Senate will confirm those judges, last year’s victory will be moot. If there is a competitive Senate race in your state, you need to be involved.

Neal Knox - The Gun Rights War
Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

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Your article about Florida’s concealed Carry law is very misleading Our concealed carry permit is “shall issue” Even though is irritating and against the Constitution, as long as you fill out the application and pay the fee they will give you the concealed carry permit We also have a law protecting accidental display of a firearm while carrying concealed You cannot be arrested if someone inadvertently sees your firearm while you reach over to the top shelf at Walmart or if it prints through your clothing Florida is extremely gun friendly and while we do not have open carry it… Read more »

Jim Macklin

Scalia’s HELLER words are misquoted, lied about and generally twisted. Justice Scalia did not say that ARs or any other military arm was not protected. He followed the MILLER case which said that militar arms were definitely protected.


“The judges of the 4th Circuit actually claimed that the Supreme Court ruled in Heller that guns like the AR15 are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are of a type that would be particularly useful in a military application”.???? i do believe that my ancestors had just defeated the kings military when they wrote the constitution of the United States of America!!! so even an idiot with the brain of a 10 year old would understand that the “right to keep and bear arms” was the right to keep and bear MILITARY weapons!! the “bitch ass” (you… Read more »

Bob Bodi

If that was a holster on his right hip, that was open carry. The gentleman had a CCW I believe. Didn’t he have to take a class on proper concealment to get the CCW? Is he an idiot then? He should not be allowed a CCW if he cannot follow the law ? Yes. CCW holders like this guy give the rest of us a bad name.

Jim Macklin

Oh my God, a black man carrying a GUN. And he was cooperative and wasn’t shot. Florida law is stupid in not allowing open carry. Eventually the law will be fixed. Anybody wearing clothes MUST be assumed to be armed and dangerous. Maybe public nudity should be required, a license to wear clothes after a background check. Public safety demands that everybody wearing clothes could be hiding an “illegal gun” so a License to Wear should be required. Children under the age of 16 would be allowed to wear clothes without a license. The license should require that unmarried couples… Read more »


Until we the people demand the court to uphold the Constitution as it was clearly written and defined by the founders all of our rights or whats left are in jeopardy. We must stand in defense of the constitution and call out the traitors that try to change it to there liking or the times and political agendas it’s our Constitutional right and duty to defy the tyrants by force if necessary. A supreme court ruling is not law unless it abides by Constitutional Law Period. Below are just two examples of their countless abuse of power Gay marriage =… Read more »


It’s interesting that all the other ‘rights’ do not need stste approval, or pay a fee, to be exercised by the individual!
This is how the government creates another injustice to the citizens!

Wild Bill

@Mort, Yep, and those very practices have been found unconstitutional. Corrupt S. Ct; corrupt Congress members; corrupt bureaucrats; and corrupt states. There is no profit in letting us be free men.
RKBA, Spot on comment. And that catch 22 is intentional by the corrupt elitist judiciary, too!


The common use standard is insane! NFA are not in coomin use BECAUSE of NFA 1934! The $200 tax made the items unaffordable, instantly removing them from common use!

Jim Macklin

By 1918 every type of firearm had been invented and were in production.. The Thompson trench sweeper had not made it into combat in WWI, but the military shotgun was used by the Marines in France to great effect. In 1939 the Supreme Court was asked to decide a case with the question, did a short barreled shotgun have any military purpose the Court did not have any evidence from a previous trial or transcript that they could reliably consult. Thus the Court remanded the MILLER case for a trial which the government never conducted, preferring to enforce the 1934… Read more »

Bruce B.

Frank, We the veterans are more knowledgeable of weapons that we use or have used in our time of being in the service. I myself spent 21+yrs in the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. Can You strip down an AR15/M16 or any other military weapon?


Why just honorably discharged veterans? What is it that makes you think veterans are the only people that can “handle” an M-16 or any other ” military type weapon”? Take for example the .45 auto handgun; over 28 million made both for military and civilian use!


Why do you have to throw race into the issue? Because he is Black. I’m so fucking tired to the race card getting thrown around. I want facts not personal opinion….. sounds like mainstream media..

Marc Disabled Vet

They were just pointing out the facts .
fact he was black
fact he had a carry permit
fact he was dressed very casual
fact someone seen his gun
fact the law is BS.


because the coppers did. That’s why.

Bruce Braun

Something has to be done about the people in higher offices that are anti gun! They need to look at the person that has a gun and shoots to kill!! I think and veteran that has been Honorably Discharged should be able to buy and have an AR 15/M16 in their home..We’ve been trained in the use of them as well as any other weapon similar to the AR 15..


They forget, or refuse to admit, that the term “arms” as used in the Constitution, means weapons of MILITARY USEFULNESS suitable for the use of a single individual. BATaade a huge deal some years back about “sawed off shotguns”, clainimg that not even military had nay use for such a weapon…. CONVENIENTLY refusing to recall that during both of the German wars in the last century short barrelled shotguns were in common use as trench weapons. Condistions in the trenches of Europe were quite similar to conditions in a home, where narrow halls and doorways make wielding a goose gun… Read more »

Wild Bill

The ultimate goal is control of people. Deny the people their Civil Rights, a little here, a little there.Poof gone. The elites want a docile population, just like all tyrants. Why President Trump has not purged the bureaucracy is a mystery. He could fire them all down to the GS 14 level with as little as two weeks notice.
It is up to us to fire the politicians, and demand new controls over politicians.
Then there is the corrupt, elitist judiciary, who are appointed for … life. That is a problem.