U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Anti-gunners in two states are in anguish over the adoption of “constitutional carry” statutes—signed into law respectively by Gov. Kay Ivey in Alabama and then Gov. Mike DeWine in Ohio—with predictions from the far left that both states will become less safe, coincidentally reflecting a mindset expressed over the weekend in a quote from retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.
The outgoing high court jurist was quoted during the opening segment of Sunday’s “Full Measure” program, hosted by veteran award-winning broadcast journalist Sharyl Atkisson. Breyer, reflecting on the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling in a case challenging New York’s restrictive carry permit law, stated, “I think that people of good moral character who start drinking a lot and who may be there for a football game or some kind of soccer game can get pretty angry at each other, and if they each have a concealed weapon, who knows?”
Breyer’s liberal perspective envisions only a downside with expanded gun rights, same as like-minded gun prohibitionists are reacting to the new laws in Ohio and Alabama. Forecasts of doom appear to be all they have left.
After Gov. Ivey signed the Alabama law—which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023—Paula Wilson, a volunteer with the anti-gun Moms Demand Action group, issued a statement that seemed pure boilerplate.
“Governor Ivey and all of the lawmakers who voted yes on this reckless legislation have chosen the gun lobby over law enforcement and public safety,” said Wilson, quoted by the Alabama Reporter. “They want you to believe that they’re standing up for law-abiding gun owners, but don’t let them fool you. They’ve done the exact opposite — putting our families, communities, and first responders at greater risk. They’ve made us all less safe today, and they know it, because law enforcement has told them so. They’ve chosen not to listen.”
Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels told WKRG, “I remain very concerned about the increase in homicides and violent crime.”
And Democrat Sen. Bobby Singleton from Greensboro stated, “The conservative party wants to defund the police.”
Estimates ran as high as $5 million that might be lost in permit revenue, but critics of such laws have argued that permit systems should never have been considered a cash cow.
House Bill 272 passed 70-29 in the House and 24-6 in the Alabama Senate.
Short of predicting the end of the world, Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters issued a statement following Gov. DeWine’s signing of the Buckeye State’s bill.
“This bill will make all Ohioans less safe,” Walters said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Time and again, DeWine has promised to support law enforcement officers and ‘do something’ to combat gun violence in our state. Once again, he’s failed on both fronts, putting his own political interests over the safety and well-being of his constituents.”
Walters was also quoted by the Columbus Dispatch, asserting, “DeWine has sold out Ohioans and law enforcement officers to special interest groups and extremists in the legislature.”
According to the Ohio Capital Journal, Democrat House Minority Leader Allison Russo joined in the doom fest.
“Removing these responsible and reasonable precautions compromises the safety and security of our communities and law enforcement,” Russo insisted. “SB 215 completely betrays Ohioans who have called time after time for commonsense gun safety legislation, not extreme bills that endanger the lives of our children and families. Republicans have made it crystal clear that they value the approval of the gun lobby more than the lives of Ohioans and the police officers who protect our communities every day.”
The newspaper noted the new law “doesn’t change who can possess a gun, it removes an additional layer of scrutiny within the current system.”
On the other hand, it puts honest citizens on a level playing field with criminals, who already carry guns without permits.
The bill passed the Senate 24-9 with all Democrats voting against it. In the House, SB 215 passed 58-36, with two Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with the minority Democrats.
Now that Ohio and Alabama have passed “constitutional carry” laws, there are 23 states with such legislation on the books. Georgia might soon join the pack. Gov. Brian Kemp, running for re-election this fall, has indicated he would sign such legislation. He was quoted by the Full Measure segment observing, “In the face of rising violent crime across the country, law-abiding citizens should have their constitutional rights protected, not undermined.”
While all of this is causing consternation within the ranks of gun control groups, looming on the horizon is a Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the decision that could throw discretionary “just cause” requirements into the trash, not just in New York but in a handful of other states including neighboring New Jersey, California and Maryland. For the first time in decades, the Supreme Court has a solid conservative majority that could also tackle a Maryland case dealing with semi-auto rifles, and whether they have Second Amendment protection.
The New York case was argued last November. A decision from the court is expected in late June, since the court traditionally holds its most controversial rulings until the final day of the session.
In the Maryland case, plaintiffs—including the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms—are encouraged by the remarkable support they’ve received, especially an amicus brief signed by 25 state attorneys general, fully half of all top state law enforcement officials, all Republicans. That case is known as Bianchi v. Frosh.
There is no small irony in all of this. Joe Biden rode into the White House as a career anti-gunner, yet it now appears possible Second Amendment rights may be expanded on his watch, and if that happens, at least part of the credit must go to his predecessor, Donald Trump, who spent much of his presidency appointing conservatives to federal court vacancies, including three justices to the Supreme Court.
About Dave Workman