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Westchester Not Backing Down

They appear to want to proceed with the lawsuit on their safe storage ordinance, and have proffered perhaps one of the most stupid quotes I’ve seen from a politician in a long time:

“When this legislature passed these laws, they were constitutional,” said Legislator Martin Rogowsky, D-Harrison, and chairman of the Committee on Public safety and Security. “If we were passing the laws today, we might pass the same laws.”

No. They were always unconstitutional, the Supreme Court just hadn’t told you yet. Now they have. The Supreme Court threw out safe storage laws that made a firearm unavailable for self-defense. All they are doing is wasting the tax dollars of the residents of Westchester County on a pointless lawsuit.

The safe storage law requires that unlocked guns be in the owner’s immediate possession. It does not make an exceptions for households without children. It’s just a hair less restrictive than DC’s “safe storage” law. It should be a pretty unambiguously unconstitutional.

6 Responses to “Westchester Not Backing Down”

  1. Ymal Brucker says:

    According to common law, legal theory, and judicial precedent, ALL laws passed by a legislative body are presumed constitutional on their face. Only a court of competent jurisdiction can declare a law unconstitutional.

    The courts, moreover, may change their minds. Common is the case where a district court says the law is unconstitutiona, the appellate court reverses, and the Supreme Court reverses again.

  2. Jake says:

    But also according to common law, legal theory, and judicial precedent, a law that is unconstitutional was always unconstitutional, from the moment of it’s enactment. That is why, when SCOTUS declares a law unconstitutional, convictions dating all the way back to the law’s enactment can be challenged and overturned.

    It’s also why idiots cry about “overwhelming the legal system with challenges” when it looks like a longstanding law might be overturned – as if that should be a legitimate reason not to overturn an unconstitutional law.

    If it’s unconstitutional now, it was unconstitutional when it was passed.

  3. Jeff says:

    I’ll be watching this one with interest. It sounds like the Westchester law is nearly identical to the one in MA. The crucial difference between these and DC though is that DC had no provision for the gun being unlocked while under control of the owner.

  4. Ymal Brucker says:

    Jake said: “…a law that is unconstitutional was always unconstitutional…” is almost always true.

    My point is that until a law is voided by the courts, the law is presumed constitutional.

    It is nonsense to say: “The Congress just passed a clearly unconstitutional law.” It is simply impossible for the Congress to do such a thing. The proper wording would be: “The Congress just passed a law that the courts will ultimately find unconstitutional.”

    To reiterate, no legislative body can pass an unconstitutional law per se.

  5. Ian Argent says:

    I dunno about that. Were Congress to pass a law that, for example, required ranchers in AZ to house drone operators who were running Predators on the Mexico-Arizona border; that would be an unconstitutional law, no?

  6. Jake says:

    It is nonsense to say: “The Congress just passed a clearly unconstitutional law.” It is simply impossible for the Congress to do such a thing. The proper wording would be: “The Congress just passed a law that the courts will ultimately find unconstitutional.”

    Er, no. A law can be clearly unconstitutional even if it is legally presumed to be constitutional. “Clearly unconstitutional” refers to logical obviousness, “presumed constitutional” is a legal fiction used to establish a starting point in the courts. Both can be true at the same time because they have limited meanings that do not necessarily overlap.

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