Has any of our legal brains thought about seeing if the sporting purposes language could be tossed out for vagueness? Or tossed essentially rendered meaningless? Could original public meaning originalism actually be a problem for us when it comes to interpreting such a clause? Tam’s gotten me thinking about this:
[B]ut [the Saigas] surging popularity in 3-gun competition has driven more large magazines to the market. Apparently 3-gun doesn’t qualify as a “sporting purpose”, since no clay pigeons, feathered critters, or stack-barrel Perazzis wielded by Vice Presidents are involved.
There’s already a case challenging the sporting purposes clause on Second Amendment grounds, but I’m wondering if anyone has ever challenged ATF’s authority under this clause? If we can demonstrate the gun is, indeed, used in shooting sports, can that overcome ATF’s authority to deny importation of it? Could this be thrown out on vagueness? Has it been tried? I don’t know the answer.
But it would seem an original public meaning originalist would suggest the term means what it was understood to mean in 1968, which wouldn’t include three gun competition, or any of the other defensive shooting oriented sports, since most of them came after GCA ’68. Thus ATF’s exercise of authority to keep out these kinds of firearms is within the scope of that term as understood by the public originally.
I suspect a vagueness argument would not work, and presumably ATF’s authority in this matter is fairly carte blanche. Otherwise, one could presume, that a sport could be created using 105mm howitzers, and then on what basis could ATF restrict their importation?