Gun Rights on the March

Reason asks Alan Gura about positive developments that have happened since Heller, and he names three. There are still people in our movement who think Heller was an abject failure, and I continue to be amazed that reasonable people can continue believing this. We saw suburb after suburb near Chicago give up their local bans under threat of lawsuit, and we saw a the San Francisco housing authority cave in on their gun ban in public housing under threat of lawsuit.

First off we have Massachusetts talking about easing their discretionary licensing scheme, a major paper editorializing in favor of it, and a very good chance this will actually pass. In Massachusetts, you need police permission to even own a handgun, and that permission can be impossible to obtain if you have an anti-gun police chief in your town. Police chiefs have full discretion in regards to handgun ownership. Even New Jersey is at least technically shall-issue when it comes to pistol purchase permits. This measure is being pushed, and has a good chance for passage specifically because lawmakers in Massachusetts know that their licensing scheme won’t pass constitutional muster even under the relatively ill-defined standard of review in Heller.

That brings us again to Delaware, which apparently has a public housing ban. This topic is being covered well by the Caesar Rodney Institute blog, which is reporting that NRA is threatening Delaware state authorities with a lawsuit if they don’t relent on the “no guns” policy. You can see the demand letter written by Robert Dowlut, NRA General Counsel here. Note the following:

Article I, § 20 of the Delaware Constitution guarantees that “A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use.” Furthermore, the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637 (2008), held that the right to keep an operable firearm in the home for self-defense is a core right guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Consequently, the court struck down a ban on the possession of handguns and a ban on the possession of operable firearms in the home.

Would we even be able to raise this if it wasn’t for Heller? Doubtful. I’d like to think we’re at a dawn of a pretty robust right to keep and bear arms, that will put the kibosh on the worst the states are able to do. I believe this will put our opponents in a pretty tough pickle, and while I’m not convinced gun control will ever really go away, we at least have an opportunity before us to deal its current incarnation a serious blow.

15 thoughts on “Gun Rights on the March”

  1. A quick correction. A mass LTC is for ownership of ANY firearms, not just handguns.

    Also post Heller many of the chiefs that routinly deny permits have switched to a shall-issue system.

    We also have suits against “safe storage”, the handgun “safety” roster. And th sky is the limit where we can go from here. Maybe overturn the state AWB?

    1. An LTC is valid for all guns (except full auto), but it’s not the only option. There’s nothing incorrect about his statements because non-large capacity rifles & shotguns can be possessed on the shall-issue FID.

  2. Good point, Bitter, I keep forgetting that the Class C FID is shall-issue.

    FYI I believe you do need an LTC-A to posses a Class III firearm, as well as the necessary federal paperwork and taxes.

    1. You do need a Class A, but you also need the additional state license, in addition to the federal paperwork. But since when was there a name change? The last time I cracked open the Massachusetts general laws, it was still just called an FID, no “Class C.”

  3. I’ll give you reason number 4 on your list of good things that have come out post heller…

    62% of the vote for Governor – GOP Primary went to pro gun canidates……

  4. The Pepper Spray Permit is the Class D FID.

    I’m not sure if the terms are 100% interchangeable or if there is just “FID” and “LTC” and grades of each.

    A- All Legal Guns
    B- Low Capacity pistols and Long Guns
    C- Low Cap Long guns only
    D- Chemical deterrents.

    First two are called “LTC” the 2nd two are called “FID”

  5. It’s a matter of perspective. If you live in Texas and are fighting for open carry or, say de-forbidding post offices, I can see how Heller’s language about “long-standing prohibitions” and “sensitive places” might make it seem useless to you, especially if you’ve long since written off people from NJ, MA, DE, and IL as deserving what they get from their elected officials.

    The combination of Heller and McDonald is freakin _tectonic_ for those of us behind enemy lines, and we know that’s very good news for everybody in the long run. But with a good-sized dollop of insularity, seeing Heller as useless from a Wyoming vantage is understandable.

  6. God I hope we can do something about post-offices! I hate having to go to all sorts of extra steps just so I can buy a book of Forever stamps, or mail a package.

    Especially since there is NO added security, nor a means of enforcement. I disarm ONLY because the law says I should…like that will stop somebody with intent to “Go Postal” (they have that term for a reason)

  7. I have no idea which way that’d go. If the government needs to demonstrate that a place is especially “sensitive”, it’s hard to see how PO restrictions could stand. But if we have to prove the ban is burdensome… It’s one of those things we’ll shake out of Heller in time.

    It’s not unthinkable that we could get quicker results with a guns-in-parks style bill.

  8. Getting rid of the post office ban takes federal action. The states have nothing to do with it.

    Especially since there is NO added security, nor a means of enforcement. I disarm ONLY because the law says I should

    True, the criminals won’t obey it, so why should you?

  9. Post office can ban guns on premises if they like (since they’re no longer exactly – I object to them making a federal case out of it; however.

  10. “True, the criminals won’t obey it, so why should you?”

    Because the Mayors have a point in their message on “Illegal Guns”. They aren’t against all guns….just FOR laws making all guns illegal, and being against THOSE guns.

    If I enter a PO with my heater, I suddenly become that criminal that doesn’t obey the law.

    We could get even more meta if we wanted to!

  11. I think the class C and class D thing is an artifact of the computer system that handles the licensing.

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