California/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When we discussed how the political landscape could change on Second Amendment issues, one of the things we mentioned that could do that are court decisions. One of those that could be decisive is Duncan v. Becerra, which is now on appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The initial ruling shot down California’s ban on possession of magazines holding more than ten rounds. What was extremely important in that decision was the rationale for the ruling. Judge Roger T. Benitez ruled that because standard capacity magazines were in common use for lawful purposes, he applied a test that knocks out many of the gun bans that are being called for by the likes of Joe Biden, Eric Swalwell, Andrew Cuomo, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Jerrold Nadler.
But he also struck down the magazine ban under any other standard, including the “reasonable fit” standard. What is true of those standard-capacity magazines also becomes true of semi-automatics, including the modern multi-purpose semiautomatic firearms that are being targeted for confiscation by some.
What would that mean if this were to be upheld by the Supreme Court?
For one thing, it would be a devastating blow to the anti-Second Amendment groups. A Supreme Court ruling along the lines of Judge Benitez’s would probably make it virtually impossible for groups like Moms Demand Action to get anywhere with gun bans.
Granted, they will still have their hard core, but in a very real sense, those who are on the fence on Second Amendment issues will largely accept the Supreme Court’s ruling. Some of the not-so-hardcore anti-Second Amendment, like Tulsi Gabbard, might even cross over in the wake of the ruling.
That’s the good news of the Duncan ruling being upheld. Now for the effects that will be a mixed bag: In corporate America, we will see a massive push to have gun control imposed via corporate boardrooms – from Citi to Google. Here, we will likely see a number of initial setbacks, especially as firearms manufacturers and FFLs cut off from the financial network will be pushed to – or beyond – the edge of survival.
But it will also go beyond the financial and internet markets. Advertising and PR agencies will likely shut them out as well. In addition, even as the right is won, there will be a concerted effort to blacklist anything connected to the NRA. Laws like the one passed by Los Angeles will spread.
By the same token, though, the affirmation of the Second Amendment through a ruling like Duncan could also cause a public backlash against such efforts. One way to ensure this would be to use emotional stories centered around FFLs and those in the firearms industry. This could be a campaign for Ackerman-MacQueen to take on – as one of the few PR firms out there that is explicitly Second Amendment, it could be a valuable resource for companies and FFLs to fight back against corporate gun control.
There would be one other effect, one that would probably be the biggest downside of a win for Second Amendment supporters in the Duncan case: Complacency could set in among some Second Amendment supporters. When the Supreme Court struck down handgun bans, far too many thought there had been a decisive win and let up their efforts to a degree.
The result was eight years of Barack Obama, and when Newtown happened, the fight was back on. It got worse as Obama and Clinton appointees upheld gun bans and claimed it was in accordance with the Heller and McDonald rulings. The good news, Second Amendment supporters fought back, and turned it around, but not without some losses.
After a SCOTUS victory in the Duncan case, you can bet anti-Second Amendment extremists will redouble their efforts to take power and pack the courts. It may sound odd to say this, but Second Amendment supporters will have to fight even harder should SCOTUS uphold the District Court’s ruling.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.