U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- A billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, has launched an all-out crusade to prevent confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, declaring in a hysteria-laden email blast the nominee has “confirmed her reckless and extreme Second Amendment views.”
Only a day earlier, anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety released its own email swipe at Judge Barrett, asserting “Over 37,000 people have told their U.S. Senators to oppose the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett… If our U.S. Senators make her a Supreme Court Justice, it’ll be a dream come true for the NRA, and hundreds of gun safety laws across the country will be at risk.” (Bold face in original.) And on Thursday, Everytown was claiming more than 48,000 “gun sense supporters” have contacted the Senate, demanding no confirmation vote before the inauguration.
Nothing more clearly exhibits the gun ban lobby’s vehemence toward the Second Amendment than these desperate messages, nor their fears about the dismantling of their gun prohibition agenda, while Judge Barrett has been scoring high marks for her performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Fox News has been keeping a running account of the hearings.
The Alliance message acknowledged, “We are working harder than ever to oppose Barrett’s nomination but we know that we must also focus on protecting our progress. That means fighting to elect leaders who have the courage to take bold action to stop gun violence and working to defeat the gun lobby’s bogus challenges to Initiative 1639.”
I-1639 is a gun control initiative passed by Washington State voters in 2018. It stripped young adults in the 18-20-year age group of the right to purchase any semi-automatic rifle, which the measure described as “semiautomatic assault rifles.” The definition applies to any self-loading rifle, including .22-caliber target and hunting rifles. It is being challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds by the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation, two firearm retailers and three individuals in the affected age group.
The Alliance is making the most of Judge Barrett’s dissent in the case of Kanter v. Barr, a Second Amendment case in which Rickey Kanter, a convicted felon in Wisconsin, contended his crime shouldn’t disqualify him from owning a firearm. Kanter pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud in 2011, a non-violent felony. He completed his prison sentence, paid restitution and applied to the attorney general for relief from disability in order to regain his Second Amendment rights.
The case may be read here, with Judge Barrett’s dissent beginning on Page 27. She maintained:
“18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and Wisconsin Statute § 941.29(1m) would stand on solid footing if their categorical bans were tailored to serve the governments’ undeniably compelling interest in protecting the public from gun violence. But their dispossession of all felons—both violent and nonviolent—is unconstitutional as applied to Kanter, who was convicted of mail fraud for falsely representing that his company’s therapeutic shoe inserts were Medicare-approved and billing Medicare accordingly. Neither Wisconsin nor the United States has introduced data sufficient to show that disarming all nonviolent felons substantially advances its interest in keeping the public safe. Nor have they otherwise demonstrated that Kanter himself shows a proclivity for violence. Absent evidence that he either belongs to a dangerous category or bears individual markers of risk, permanently disqualifying Kanter from possessing a gun violates the Second Amendment.”
The Alliance email argued, “This position goes against nearly every single federal appeals court decision on the issue. If it weren’t already clear…Judge Barrett confirmed that she is the gun lobby’s dream justice.”
Restoration of rights is not unheard of. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used to conduct “relief from disabilities” investigations for non-violent felonies until funding was cut for that program.
The full depth of the anti-gun lobby’s fears about a Barrett confirmation come in this sentence, which was also printed in bold face in their email: “If Judge Barrett is confirmed, virtually all of our progress on gun violence prevention is at stake.”
Translation: Decades of restrictive, perhaps even unconstitutional, gun control laws might be challenged successfully with a pro-Second Amendment majority on the high court, which could be made possible by Judge Barrett’s confirmation.
The strongest evidence that anti-gunners know these laws might fail constitutional muster came in the scramble to change New York City’s overbearing handgun transport ordinance when the high court accepted the challenge of that restriction by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association early last year. To avoid a Supreme Court review of that ordinance, it was hastily changed after the court accepted the case but before it could hold a full hearing.
The city’s awareness their gun law was in violation was revealed by the mad scramble to remove the restriction before the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, many gun rights activists maintain. That would have opened a door to challenges of other restrictive measures at the municipal, county or state level around the country, the very last thing gun prohibitionists want.
During questioning Wednesday, Judge Barrett’s dissent became a point of contention because Democrats tried to make it appear she wanted convicted felons to have guns more than wanted them to vote. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took Sen. Dick Durbin (D-OH) to task for his questioning here.
If Judge Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, her presence there could be a key part of Donald Trump’s legacy, whether he wins in November or is replaced by Democrat Joe Biden. If her presence does open the door to more high court consideration of Second Amendment cases, any decisions supporting and strengthening the individual right—especially carry outside the home or a ruling that semi-auto modern sporting rifles are protected—would be strong evidence for those arguing that gun control laws in general infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
About Dave Workman