No Gov. Northam, Your Gun Ban is NOT Constitutional

Opinion

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam nra-Ila image
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam nra-Ila image

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- As Virginia gun owners have shown their displeasure with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed attack on their rights in city and county meetings across the Old Dominion, Northam has been forced to answer questions about he and gun control financier Michael Bloomberg’s gun ban agenda. In doing so, the governor has proclaimed that he supports the Second Amendment and that his gun ban does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

In truth, Northam’s proposed gun ban would violate the Second Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.

On Monday, Northam told reporters, “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment,” adding, “I hear people out there saying that they don’t want law enforcement to enforce unconstitutional laws. Well we’re not going to propose or pass any unconstitutional laws.”

In a Wednesday meeting with reporters, Northam offered a veiled threat to sanctuary jurisdictions that have promised to not enforce unconstitutional gun laws stating, “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books then there are going to be some consequences…” The governor went on to say “Any law that we pass in Richmond and the 8 pieces of legislation that I put on the table back in July – they’re constitutional, so that’s not going to be an issue.”

Northam’s allies in Richmond have proposed firearm confiscation legislation that would prohibit the sale and possession of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15. The governor has stated that he intends to push legislation that would ban such firearms but grandfather possession by gun owners who register their firearms with the government.

Banning commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms under either proposal is unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that governments cannot ban these firearms as they are “in common use” for lawful purposes.

Taken alone, Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in Heller is enough to dispose of Northam’s comments. In the decision, Justice Scalia made clear that the types of firearms protected by the Second Amendment include those “in common use at the time” for “lawful purposes like self-defense.”

The firearms industry has estimated that Americans own more than 17.5 million semi-automatic rifles. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the U.S. and therefore indisputably “in common use” and protected by the Second Amendment.

Further, in the 1994 case Staples v. United States, the Supreme Court determined that semi-automatic rifles were common. The case concerned the criminal intent requirement for a conviction for possession of an unregistered machine gun. The subject of the case had argued that he was unaware that the AR-15 in his possession had been modified for automatic fire and was not simply a legal semi-automatic AR-15. In the majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas made clear that the mere possession of a converted AR-15 is not enough to infer intent sufficient for conviction, as some firearms are “so commonplace and generally available that we would not consider them to alert individuals to the likelihood of strict regulation.” Justice Thomas went on to write that most categories of guns, including semi-automatic rifles, “traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful possessions.”

All doubt as to whether the Supreme Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald preclude bans on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms was settled in 2015. That year, Justice Scalia joined Justice Thomas in a dissent from the denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park, a case concerning a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

Justice Thomas explained,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

Northam’s attempt to portray his Bloomberg-sponsored gun ban as constitutional is an absurd and transparent attempt to forestall the surging Virginia grassroots gun rights movement. Virginia’s gun owners have every reason to take defensive action against Northam and Bloomberg’s unconstitutional gun control agenda.

All Virginia gun owners must organize to fight against unconstitutional Bloomberg-backed gun control in the Old Dominion. Please contact Gov. Northam and let him know you oppose his unconstitutional gun control measures. You can contact Northam using the Governor's Office contact form below or call his office at 804-786-2211​.

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Stay tuned to www.nraila.org for updates. And, in the meantime, please sign up to volunteer to help defeat Northam and Bloomberg’s gun control legislation.


National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

About:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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CourageousLion
CourageousLion
7 months ago

Seems to me that the commonly used, by the military, M16 or M4 should be available since they would allow the unorganized militia (hopefully soon to be revitalized into the ORGANIZED militia ) to be armed with weapons that the founding fathers would have approved of. They wanted the militas to be armed the way they are in Switzerland today, as the 13 words of the 2nd amendment where put there with the influence of the Swiss militias. They were DEAD SET against a standing army, that is why they are prohibited from continual existence by the Constitution that is… Read more »

Doszap
Doszap
7 months ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

I have proposed ALL the GCA Acts be deemed UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
None have ,or would pass muster under the CONSTITUTION or BOR’S, or the Amendments.

Arizona Don
Arizona Don
7 months ago

Every so called democrat running for the democrats nomination for president supports some kind of additional gun restrictive regulation. They all support more restrictive gun control regulations and that is not good nor is it very intelligent. Generally restrictive gun laws really only effect those who obey laws not those who do not obey laws? It effects those who obey laws to the point it actually makes them more vulnerable. The same can be said about law enforcement as well because taking guns away from law abiding citizens who carry concealed and actually assist law enforcement is not good for… Read more »

Doszap
Doszap
7 months ago
Reply to  Arizona Don

I have heard RESTRICT once too many, it’s time the crap or get off the pot.
I hate Democrats ideals, they are not AMERICAN.
They are Seditious.

donfranko
donfranko
7 months ago

“Scalia joined Justice Thomas in a dissent from the denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park, a case concerning a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.” And THIS is the problem. The SCOTUS would not hear the case of a ban on AR-15 rifles. So the ban is still in effect. Now someone in VA would have to violate any ban, get arrested, face prosecution and incarceration, and appeal the case all the way to the SCOTUS again, and it’s a crap shoot on whether they will even TAKE the case. One or two more conservative judges and maybe… Read more »

Doszap
Doszap
7 months ago
Reply to  donfranko

There is another SCOTUS GUN CASE coming up, Anton Scalia (before he was murdered) used the term ” IN COMMONLY USE” by the American people, well with pushing 20 million AR and AK clones are defintley IN COMMON USE. They are the most popular weapons IN USE by Americans besides handguns. Account for less that 1% of all homicides yet the LEFT is after them like idiots, WHY?. Because they know they are all that stand between them and taking over completely. Violent crime has dropped 49% since 1986,hand and feet homicides out number all long gun homicides by 2-1… Read more »

Mack
Mack
7 months ago

Just so you all know, Northam’s opponent, Ed Gillespie lost in part because he is not a true conservative, avoids any cultural issue as ‘divisive’ and is clueless, feckless, and just plain cowardly. He would rather be liked by the Press than by us.

This is a quote from his concession speech:

“Governor-elect Northam is a good man and I appreciate his service to our country and our Commonwealth and I wish him nothing but the best success.”

Doszap
Doszap
7 months ago
Reply to  Mack

Any human that says a woman has the RIGHT to murder her child AFTER it’s born IS INSANE.
Sounds like a new car guarantee.

Circle8
Circle8
7 months ago

How about a recall or investigate his crooked dealings? He is as shady and ????? as hillary.

Boz
Boz
7 months ago

Nor†ham îs a Iîar.

Vern
Vern
7 months ago

The lefties are working very hard to become the most evil group of people on the planet, they believe everyone else is expendable if it will get them their way. I think the good people of Virginia should do a recall on every democrat who has bought into Bloombergs agenda. The recall should movement should start immediatly, the left didn’t give president Trump any space to start his presidency, so these democrats shouldn’t be given any space to start on their agendas. There should be no time lost to start petitions for recall, as every day these people are in… Read more »

joefoam
joefoam
7 months ago

Sounds like it’s time for a recall election to sweep the legislature clean.

jack mac
jack mac
7 months ago
Reply to  joefoam

Joefoam: Recall, yes. All democrats and like thinkers should be cleansed from all public service positions everywhere. Too many of our public servants are too uppity to remain in our service. It is best they be fired with extreme prejudice. This should have been done over 90 years ago and must be done before we become the servants of our servants.

JPM
JPM
7 months ago

Northam is either lying (typical Democrat) or doesn’t have a clue about the Constitution (typical Democrat). Either way, he’s worthless.

jack mac
jack mac
7 months ago
Reply to  JPM

JPM: Worthless? Northam and people like him are outright dangerous.

Arizona
Arizona
7 months ago

The Miller case made clear that military grade weapons were specifically protected by the 2nd. Any weapon suitable for military use is suitable and protected for United States citizens. The Heller case made clear the right to own and carry (keep and bear) firearms is a individual right not subject to participation in the militia (which all able bodied Americans belong to anyhow). It also stated classes of firearms could not be banned if they were in common lawful use by the public. This ruling forbids any ban on pistols, AR15’s, shotguns, bull pup rifles, etc. It likewise protects commonly… Read more »

jack mac
jack mac
7 months ago
Reply to  Arizona

Arizona: It would be fabulous if the court invalidated all existing anti firearm related laws as unconstitutional. But, regardless of their edicts, we as free people will always have the right to arms regardless of infringements. We must be prepared to defend rights with arms to death; preferably the death of those opposing rights.

buzzsaw
buzzsaw
7 months ago

Since we’re mentioning cases, the Miller Decision said that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to have arms that lack military utility. This implies that the Second Amendment does protect the right to have arms that do have military utility. The military buys and issues untold thousands of select-fire M-4s. This proves beyond any doubt that they have military utility. Why can I not buy a nice, new one at my local gun shop? Same reason they’re not common, I guess…

Arizona
Arizona
7 months ago
Reply to  buzzsaw

And the US attorneys in the Miller case argued that military grade weapons were specifically protected by the 2nd. That sawed off shotguns were not used by the military and thus they were not protected and could be taxed under the NFA. They were wrong, and ignorant of the fact that the military often used sawed off shotguns, especially in trench warfare.

So yes, per Miller, SAWs, M-4’s and M-16’s are all legal for us to own, carry and use.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
7 months ago
Reply to  Arizona

Except for the Hughes Amendment to FOPA passed by Charles Rangel (D) in 1986 after ignoring that the voice vote failed, and signed by President Reagan on May19. Of the rifles you mentioned, only M-16s made before that date are legal to own if registered in the NFA.

Arizona
Arizona
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

As you stated, it never passed Congress, since the voice vote failed. Aside which, it is unconstitutional on its face, as it violates the Miller precedent of the Supreme Court, The US attorneys argued and the judges agreed that weapons of use to the military are specifically protected by the 2nd. Had they been aware that sawed off shotguns were also commonly used by the military, they would have claimed those were also protected. But neither Miller nor his attorney were present, and no one voiced any arguments in favor of the claimant. He was in hiding from gangs.

Vern
Vern
7 months ago
Reply to  Arizona

Sawed off 12 gauge shotguns were used in Vietnam, they were good to uncover things in the bush that didn’t need to be there. A weed eater with double ought buck.

GunGuy
GunGuy
7 months ago

Just sound off loud and clear when the march to retake freedom begins -Im in WV and Im happy to stand with other 2nd Amendment supporters when the time to water the tree of liberty comes !! And I cant wait !!

jack mac
jack mac
7 months ago
Reply to  GunGuy

GunGuy: Patience with our overpowering public servants is wearing thin.

Baldwin
Baldwin
7 months ago

If it wasn’t for telling lies, gov. northam (diminutive d) wouldn’t have anything to say.

jack mac
jack mac
7 months ago
Reply to  Baldwin

Baldwin: The inability not to lie is a common trait of Northam’s kind.