Following NYSRPA Victory, Other Gun Laws in Jeopardy?

Why I Am Suing The Governor of Virginia, iStock-1055138108
Arguably one of the most egregiously restrictive states is New Jersey, where—according to the New Jersey Second Amendment Society—people must obtain a “firearms purchaser identification card” or “a permit to purchase a handgun.” IMG iStock-1055138108

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)-  When Justice Clarence Thomas observed in the final lines of his landmark majority opinion striking down New York State’s unconstitutional “just cause” requirement for obtaining a concealed carry permit that the right to bear arms is not a “second class right,” how many other state and local laws placing restrictions on gun owners could ultimately be affected?

Thomas’ words, say Second Amendment activists, should be carved in stone:

“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.’ We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.”

How far can that go? With a 6-3 conservative majority now on the high court, it is possible the country’s gun owners are on the verge of finding out.

Possibly one of the first targets for reform is the requirement in Illinois to have a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. “To legally possess firearms or ammunition, Illinois residents must have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police to any qualified applicant,” the state police say.

Arguably one of the most egregiously restrictive states is New Jersey, where—according to the New Jersey Second Amendment Society—people must obtain a “firearms purchaser identification card” or “a permit to purchase a handgun.” Applicants waive their right to confidentiality, the local police conduct a background check, consent to a mental health records search and then wait, possibly for a long time.

That’s why Carol Bowne was fatally stabbed by an ex-boyfriend in June 2015. Her application gathered dust on the desk of the Berlin Township police chief. Bowne’s case has become a textbook example of what can happen when bureaucracies hold sway over a civil right.

In North Carolina, “To purchase a handgun or pistol…either a non-expired North Carolina Pistol Purchase Permit or a copy of a non-expired North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit is required,” according to the Triangle Shooting Academy.

In Minnesota, according to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, a permit is required for handgun transfers  (possession of a valid Minnesota permit to carry constitutes a permit to purchase). If someone doesn’t have a carry permit, they must fill out a Minnesota Uniform Firearm Application/Receipt Permit to Purchase/Transfer. “Submit the application to your local police chief, or if your municipality does not have a police department, to your county’s sheriff. The law enforcement agency will conduct a series of background-related checks to assure you meet eligibility requirements established in state law.”

Nebraska “requires a prospective purchaser to first apply for and receive a handgun purchase certificate from the local chief of police or sheriff,” according to American Conceal and Carry.

“With some exceptions, individuals cannot purchase, lease, rent, or receive a transfer of a handgun in Nebraska without this certificate,” the group says.

Citizens in Hawaii are burdened with a complicated process, as explained by Hawaii Police.

“If you wish to acquire a handgun or wish to acquire a shotgun or rifle for the first time,” the department says, “you must be at least 21 years old and a United States citizen. You must apply for a permit to acquire a firearm. You must make an appointment at any police station island-wide in order to apply for a permit to acquire a firearm. See the list of police stations and phone numbers below. If you were not born in the United States, you would need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship.

Michigan is another state requiring citizens to take steps in order to exercise a constitutional right. In this state, according to Usgunclasses.com, “a person ‘shall not purchase, carry, or transport a pistol in this state without first having obtained a license for the pistol,’ as prescribed in MCL 28.422. These licenses shall be obtained by the local police agency. If the city, township, or village does not have an organized police agency, the license shall be obtained by the county sheriff’s department.” The exception is for people with concealed carry licenses. They have to obtain a “Pistol Sales Record… any time he or she purchases or otherwise acquires a pistol, pursuant to MCL 28.422a.”

Maryland is another state with Draconian restrictions that could be ripe for challenge. As noted on the Heritage Training Center website, “In order to purchase a handgun in Maryland as of October 1, 2013, the buyer must possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL), unless otherwise exempt.”

We consult with the Giffords Law Center for the lowdown on Connecticut. The Giffords website notes, “In Connecticut, a person may not purchase or receive a handgun unless he or she holds a valid permit to carry a handgun, a valid permit to sell a handgun, or a valid handgun eligibility certificate.”

Neighboring Massachusetts, according to the state government website, is also restrictive. “Massachusetts residents 15 years and older who wish to possess, carry, and transport firearms, ammunition, and feeding devices are required to have a firearms license. Firearms licenses are issued by municipal police departments.”

And in tiny Rhode Island, according to gunlaws101.com, “purchasing a long gun requires a ‘Purchase of a Shotgun or Rifle Application Form’, and has a 7-day waiting period for the firearm. Handguns also require a ‘Purchase of a Shotgun or Rifle Application Form’, but they also require a training course. The applicant needs to complete either a hunter safety course, a pistol safety course (given by the Department of Environmental Management (DEM)) and pass the DEM test, or they must pass the DEM’s handgun safety test.”

There are, by some estimates, 20,000 to 22,000 gun laws in this country. Whether the Thomas ruling is signaling it is time for local activists to start challenging those laws remains to be seen. But the Thomas opinion could put at least some of them in jeopardy, especially when they place burdens in the way of exercising Second Amendment rights.

Thomas did something else with his 63-page opinion. He signaled the possible outcome of future litigation regarding whether so-called “assault weapons” are protected. Quoting the 2008 Heller ruling, Thomas noted, “We have already recognized in Heller at least one way in which the Second Amendment’s historically fixed meaning applies to new circumstances: Its reference to ‘arms’ does not apply ‘only [to] those arms in existence in the 18th century.’ 554 U. S., at 582. ‘Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.” Ibid. (citations omitted). Thus, even though the Second Amendment’s definition of ‘arms’ is fixed according to its historical understanding, that general definition covers modern instruments that facilitate armed self-defense. Cf. Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U. S. 411, 411–412 (2016) (per curiam) (stun guns).”

Translation: People who insist the Second Amendment only applies to muskets are delusional.

There is a case challenging the Maryland ban on so-called “assault weapons” now awaiting a high court decision on whether to review that case. Twenty-five state attorneys general have submitted an amicus brief supporting the case, filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

As officials in New York and California are demonstrating with their machinations to get around the New York right-to-carry decision, this victory hasn’t closed doors on anti-gunners. They are a determined lot, and their efforts virtually assure the fight over Second Amendment rights is far from over.


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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musicman44mag

Oh, what a feel good article especially the translation. Love it. This is a new tool in my box to make the left look stupid when they choose to challenge me regarding that no one needs and AR and that the rule applies to muskets only. Gotta love it. Made my 4th of July weekend. Thanks Dave.

Pa John

Coming soon: “Pack the court!!!” When court packing goes wrong: Venezuela and other Latin American countries offer sobering reality Experts warn that adding court seats has been attempted in other countries, often with disastrous results https://www.foxnews.com/politics/court-packing-venezuela-latin-america-reality The greatest danger we seem to be most immediately heading towards is nothing less than the effective elimination of the U.S. Constitution, and all of our rights as enumerated therein. For those who will not bother to click the above link because it contains a Fox News address: Venezuela’s constitution follows the same basic structure invented by the Founding Fathers of the United States… Read more »

MICHAEL J

California has it’s own version of a permission card under the guise of a safety test, initially it was for handguns only. The state decided it could make more money by extending it to long guns as well. This test is made up of questions much like a drivers license test although much simpler with less scrutiny. A fee of $20 when I took it goes to CADOJ. You cannot buy a gun without it.

Bruce

The test is so simple it is ridiculous to anyone with common sense. There a versions of it on the internet to practice. I took it in 20 minutes and got 100%.

If anyone can’t pass this test they SHOULD NOT have any type of gun.

I am extremely pro 2A but there are a lot total morons out there! Commiefornia has more than it’s share. We don’t need them dragging the rest of us down with bad publicity.

Russn8r

Harold?

incorrigible

Harold who???? Ha,ha!

Ope

Just where in the 2A does it say people should be required to take some stupid assed revenue generating test before they can own a firearm in Kali ? (Or any other state that requires similar bullshit) What does “…shall not be infringed” mean to you ?

swmft

i think it is just under where it says you have a right to kill an unborn child

john

Enjoy Independence Day as it this might be one of our last. Our country is in the hands of the elite who now are moving their agenda forward. “Not one person committing here should claim ownership to any personal objects.” Our elected have now slipped our country into a socialist communist run dictatorship that is no longer abiding by the constitution. There attacks on the supreme court justices are only the beginning there is torrent of disinformation headed our way. Time to remember why we call this holiday “Independence Day” No matter how many laws they pass or legislation they… Read more »

swmft

may have a red February if they keep up this bs

Vince

You can add Delaware to the list of idiot states who yesterday, after SCOTUS sent restrictive gun laws back to lower courts for review, passed similar restrictive gun laws upon law abiding citizens.

Sarge

Citizens are required to have a valid Drivers License in order to operate any motor vehicle and a Voters Identification Card in order to vote. Fishing and Hunting Licenses and stickers for specific types of hunting and the list goes on and on…. Why? Because money hungry politicians use the fees to further their political agenda and status. This is not why I fought and was brought back to life on the battlefield.

udomann

That’s exactly what you fought for, for the Oligarchs and their families and they are so grateful for your patriotism.

swmft

waiting for them to figure out rpgs are modern defensive weapons, giffords will have kittens

Green Mtn. Boy

Read the decision damned near every gun control law is in jeopardy and un Constitutional,always have been, always will be.

TheFoe

Michigan pistol purchase permits are filled out after NICS. After NICS, you complete the sale, and provide 1 of the 3 copies of the PPP to you local police authority. That’s all. Whole process takes less than an hour unless you’re dragging any kind of record. Open carry is legal without any permit, and CPL is shall issue. Handguns are required to be registered, but no kind of long gun. It’s not horrible, but it could be better.

Reason

If poll taxes were struck down as unconstitutional because they infringe on poor peoples right to vote how can any fee to own, purchase or carry a firearm be constitutional? Even taxes on firearms and ammo would seem to be un unconstitutional burden.

Reason

States even give out free state issued ID so anyone can vote.

swmft

the tax on guns and ammo would seem to be jim crow ,make it more expensive than it already is

incorrigible

My government school education seems sadly lacking, as I can’t comprehend the correct meaning of “Shall Not be Infringed”!

Russn8r

LOL Perfect

swmft

i bet they told you a right is only a psychical turn opposite of a left

musicman44mag

Just like you do not need to have a license to purchase, own and insure a motor vehicle. The only license you need is an operator license to drive it.

Finnky

Sounds like you’ve experienced resetting of the norm. As someone living where I can buy or sell a firearm with only NICS if buying from an FFL (and precertified for that as well) – your situation sounds quite intrusive. Registration is an insidious evil which must be undone. I’d bet they are counting on most long gun owners also having a pistol – so they’ve basically got a list of most gun owners, including almost all with skills. Not 100%, but a great start on being able to go door to door in disarmament effort. Now that you and everyone… Read more »