Mike Sullivan on Heller


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Gunnerpalace
July 10, 2008, 11:30 PM
From the man himself.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/acting-director-michael-j-sullivan/story.aspx?guid=%7BC2BEB513-F805-4E10-84AC-70F2C64D16D8%7D&dist=hppr

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan Statement on Supreme Court's Decision in District of Columbia V. Heller:
"ATF is pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling recognizing that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms, including for private purposes unrelated to militia operations. The court's ruling is in accordance with the text of the Second Amendment, historical practice, and the Attorney General's 2001 guidance on the scope of the Second Amendment, and is consistent with the bureau's understanding of the scope of the Second Amendment. The Bureau also is pleased that the court appropriately made clear that nothing in yesterday's ruling casts doubt on the constitutionality of 'longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.' In addition, the court appropriately recognized that the 'carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons,' such as machineguns, is not protected by the amendment. The bureau is studying the decision, but expects that it will not affect its continued enforcement of all existing federal firearms laws."


Please try to refrain from getting this thread locked and look at Muller from the FBI.

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Jimmy Dean
July 10, 2008, 11:50 PM
I am still waiting on the follow up cases. From what Scalia said, the 2nd both protects and doesnt protect our right to machine guns, sawed off etc, seeing as how 'they are in common military usage' so we'll see. thats all that I have to say about that. :P

Hypnogator
July 11, 2008, 12:03 AM
dangerous and unusual weapons,' such as machineguns,

Uhhh, that's not what the court said. That's what you wish they'd said!

bogie
July 11, 2008, 12:11 AM
Thing is, Miller wanted the weapon to be in use in the military... We've got a contradiction here...

the Attorney General's 2001 guidance

Hey, if anyone here's thinking of voting against McCain, just consider how that Attorney General's guidance came into being...

Jimmy Dean
July 11, 2008, 12:39 AM
I dont think that they SCOTUS will have any problems with striking down the Miller ruling, seeing as how the defendant wasnt alive to go to court, and the defense attorneys never showed, so it was in a sense, not a fair trial.

Zoogster
July 11, 2008, 12:45 AM
I saw a lot of 'We have decided that the ruling means we must change no policies and will continue to do exactly the same thing exactly as we wish.'

That should be of no surprise.
One segment of government decided only some infringement is okay, and another interpreted that as whatever infringement they feel is necessary.

stevelyn
July 11, 2008, 01:08 AM
'We have decided that the ruling means we must change no policies and will continue to do exactly the same thing exactly as we wish.'

What else could you expect from the leader of the Waffen BATFEces? :barf:

Wes Janson
July 11, 2008, 01:47 AM
Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan Statement on Supreme Court's Decision in District of Columbia V. Heller:
"ATF is pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling...

And that right there, in my book, is sufficient evidence that we really shouldn't be celebrating our "victory". When ATF is "pleased" with a decision regarding gun control, there is no possible way we can benefit.

Gunnerpalace
July 11, 2008, 02:42 AM
ATF is pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling recognizing that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms,including for private purposes unrelated to militia operations

Need to finish the sentence.

LaEscopeta
July 11, 2008, 08:31 AM
From what Scalia said, the 2nd both protects and doesnt protect our right to machine guns, sawed off etc, seeing as how 'they are in common military usage' so we'll seeThe Heller decision says the 2cd amendment protects those types of weapons in common use by CIVILIANS, not weapons in common military usage.

Page 53 of the Heller decision: ”We therefore read Miller to say
only that the Second Amendment does not protect those
weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens
for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.”

Page 55: “But as we have said,
the conception of the militia at the time of the Second
Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens
capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of
lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia
duty.”


Page 51: ““weapons which are commonly
used by criminals,” such as sawed-off shotguns, are not
protected.”


dangerous and unusual weapons,' such as machineguns,
Uhhh, that's not what the court said. That's what you wish they'd said!
Well, this is what the court said:

Page 55: “We think
that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition
of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual
weapons.”

Page 52: “Read in isolation, Miller’s phrase “part of ordinary
military equipment” could mean that only those
weapons useful in warfare are protected. That would be a
startling reading of the opinion, since it would mean that
the National Firearms Act’s restrictions on machineguns
(not challenged in Miller) might be unconstitutional,
machineguns being useful in warfare in 1939.”

You can download a .PDF file of the decision here:

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/07-2901.pdf

--------------------------

Edited to add:

Thing is, Miller wanted the weapon to be in use in the military... We've got a contradiction here...

Well, the Miller decisions said weapons protected by the second amendment need to “have some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”. That does not mean in use by the active profession military. The militia (private citizens banding together for the common defense) uses the weapons civilians commonly keep in their homes for legal purposes. That is the weapons people have that are efficient for militia service are the ones protected by the 2cd amendment.


Page 55of the Heller decision: “It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful
in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be
banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely
detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said,
the conception of the militia at the time of the Second
Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens
capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of
lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia
duty.”

everallm
July 11, 2008, 09:22 AM
The "Dangerous and Unusual" line was the WMD catch all line, "though shalt not CCW a backpack nuke" or take a canister of VX to show and tell"

The phrase wasn't categorized or delineated so expect a challenge to applying it to machine guns etc.

brickeyee
July 11, 2008, 11:10 AM
Reversed and remanded.

The closing lines of the US v Miller decision.
Miller was ordered to stand trial.

Scalia in Heller has added self defense as another purpose under the second amendment, and flatly stated it is an individual right.

The only thing Miller actually decided is that it MIGHT be a challange to the NFA if an arm could be used by the Militia.

The ruling has been twisted for many years to say all sorts of things that it did not actually conclude.

Under Scalia's ruling and Miller, showing an M-16 is a militia weapon might be a way to mount an attack on the 86 law, but NOT the NFA itself.
The NFA would likely pass muster as a 'reasonable' regulation since it is a registration scheme.
The 86 law IS a ban on militia type weapons.

If incorporation is obtained for the Second, states with bans on automatic weapons might also come under attack.

It is going to take MANY more court battles.

TallPine
July 11, 2008, 11:38 AM
So the govt bans a weapon (just a certain barrel length, actually) and then later says that the 2A doesn't protect it because it is no longer "common" :rolleyes:

unspellable
July 11, 2008, 11:57 AM
It never ceases to amze me that the courts and the bureaucracy can come up with such a convoluted mess when the original language was straightforward enough for the average fifth grader to comprehend.

Not to mention that a simple matter will be dragged through the system for years to come running up millions in legal expenses if you include the court's time.

But it does provide employemnt for lawyers.

novaDAK
July 11, 2008, 12:03 PM
Miller stated that the 2A only protects weapons suitable for military use.

Now Heller states that the 2A only protects weapons that are commonly possessed by civilians for legal purposes.

As already stated, first they ban them, then rule that you don't have the right to have them because they are 'uncommon'.... :rolleyes:

1911Tuner
July 11, 2008, 12:03 PM
"Dangerous weapons" is redundant...

brickeyee
July 11, 2008, 12:18 PM
Now Heller states that the 2A only protects weapons that are commonly possessed by civilians for legal purposes.

It EXTENDS the applicability, NOT limiting it to only the militia or only self defense.

Miller already decided that militia weapons are protected.

DoubleTapDrew
July 11, 2008, 12:35 PM
So the govt bans a weapon (just a certain barrel length, actually) and then later says that the 2A doesn't protect it because it is no longer "common"
It sucks! They'd be unbelievably common if people didn't have to jump through so many hoops to get permission to have them. :fire: Impossible to make MGs common because they capped the supply (I think there are somewhere around 100,000 of them in the registry).
Lift the 86 ban, move SBS/SBR/Suppressors to Title I, and we'll see if they are still uncommon in about 10 years :evil: The ATF would probably be pleased if they lifted the 86 ban (provided they are concerned with job security as opposed to just bullying and punishing innocent citizens). They'd have to hire dozens of new employees just to handle the storm of Form 1 and 4s that would come in.
FA stuff is very common in the military.

Matt304
July 11, 2008, 12:51 PM
deleted

bogie
July 11, 2008, 01:26 PM
Guys, keep in mind that we're seeing them -reacting- to stuff... Instead of the other way around.

Now, regarding NFA stuff... We're not going to see an "all at once" decision. IMHO, the best thing we could do is get someone to sponsor a "small arms development act" which would essentially open the registry again. I know I've had ideas... And after the first terrorist attack following the election, a lot of stuff is going to get voted in.

And actually, logic wise, I think Heller would support opening the registry. Not being allowed to register something is VERY akin to what was going on in DC...

Zoogster
July 11, 2008, 02:26 PM
law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes

People in the military are law abiding citizens, though not civilians.
The ruling clearly says citizens, not civilians. Most members of the armed forces are citizens of the United States, and they can even vote in elections as citizens!

Police and all LEO are definately 100% civilians and citizens (If they are not then it is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act), any weapons commonly employed by those citizens would definately be included.
How many departments and LEO agencies now have SWAT type teams standard (going by many different names), and what type of weapons do they employ?
Seems to be in common use by law abiding citizens and civilians.

DoubleTapDrew
July 11, 2008, 02:42 PM
Hmm... Very good point Zoogster!
There are MP5s, M4s, and SBS in most tactical units.

grimjaw
July 11, 2008, 02:48 PM
'carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons,' such as machineguns

Machineguns are more unusual following the ban of their sale and manufacture to civvies. Certain legislators would like to have semi-automatic firearms fall into the same category.

jm

Happiness Is A Warm Gun
July 11, 2008, 03:06 PM
Looking at historical perspective:

Militia consisted of all able bodied men and they were armed with muskets. Were there any weapons in the early United States that were NOT used by the militia? Only weapon I can think of is cannon.
If so then I could see restrictions on MG
Canon (not used by milita) ------> MG (not used by citizens today)
Muskets (used by Milita) ---------> Rifles & Pistols (used by citizens today)

On the other hand if informal militias DID have Canon they I think any legal argument for ban of MG is baseless.

Zoogster
July 11, 2008, 03:21 PM
Militia consisted of all able bodied men and they were armed with muskets. Were there any weapons in the early United States that were NOT used by the militia? Only weapon I can think of is cannon.
If so then I could see restrictions on MG
Canon (not used by milita) ------> MG (not used by citizens today)
Muskets (used by Milita) ---------> Rifles & Pistols (used by citizens today)

Cannon are artillery.

In the military sense a crew served machinegun is usualy what the word "machinegun" refers to.

However the legal definition of machinegun is just a select fire weapon, which is the worldwide standard for combat suitable rifles.
Just like the muskets were the worldwide small arms standard of the day. A select fire rifle is not a valid comparison to traditional cannon (which also has a different modern definition).
The modern cannon comparison would instead be personal howitzers.

LaEscopeta
July 11, 2008, 03:21 PM
Just because the Supreme Court finds a particular type of firearm is not protected by the 2cd Amendment does not means it is automatically banned. The court found in Miller and reaffirmed in Heller that short barreled shotguns are not protected by the 2cd, and yet they are not banned by the Federal Law (registered, taxed and restricted to only certain owners yes but not banned outright.) I think the wording in Heller is going to make it hard to overturn existing anti-machine gun laws on the basis of the 2cd alone. It is going to be hard to argue for machine guns kept in the home for the lawful uses listed in Heller (hunting, target shooting and self defense.) Iím sure many members of this board will argue machine guns are useful for these 3 purposes but I donít think these argument will sway anyone who does not want to own a machine gun themselves. And those are the people we are going to have to convice to get any legal movement our way.

I think we need additional arguments if we want improved rights to own machines guns, etc. Like arguing lawfully owned machine guns have been used in basically ZERO crimes nationwide in the 30+ years since the DC gun ban was passed.

ilbob
July 11, 2008, 03:33 PM
In addition, the court appropriately recognized that the 'carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons,' such as machineguns, is not protected by the amendment. The bureau is studying the decision, but expects that it will not affect its continued enforcement of all existing federal firearms laws.
The decision did say something about "carrying dangerous and unusual weapons", and that prohibition goes back long ago in English common law. I don't recall that the decision stated that MGs qualified as "dangerous and unusual". That was an editorial comment added by Sullivan. Note the court did not say anything about keeping such weapons.

El Tejon
July 11, 2008, 03:35 PM
:banghead:

Again and always with NFA and Heller?:banghead:

Heller is a base. It did not limit the right to the listed categories. The issue presented in Heller was a pistol for self-defense, not machine guns.

You guys are doing this to make me crawl under my desk and assume the fetal position, right?:D

ilbob
July 11, 2008, 04:02 PM
El Tejon vs. BATFE will be the case where the SC decides we can have MGs subject to reasonable restrictions such as a $200 tax, fingerprinting, and a background check. One other minor issue, only MGs made before 1986 are covered. Its in the 2A somewhere, something about where the comma is means 1986. And the MG decision is not incorporated against the states, even though all the other decisions are. It will be decided 10 years after El Tejon dies of old age at 135.

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