Heller and McDonald effect on suppressors


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joeyl
April 3, 2011, 01:07 AM
Hi, I've searched and found info on the Hughes act, and full auto, but not much on what Heller might do for suppressors. First off the tax, is a tax to practice an individual fundamental right legal anymore since Heller? Kind of like a poll tax. Then the whole registration thing, should it be any more cumbersome than buying a common firearm. Suppressors have many lawful common uses. I know it would require a court case or two :mad: but any thoughts out there from someone with some legal grasp of the matter.

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AlexanderA
April 3, 2011, 02:15 AM
The Heller/McDonald cases didn't answer any of your questions. In fact, Justice Scalia, writing the majority opinion in Heller, made a point of saying that what specific weapons were allowed, who could possess them, when and where they could be carried, etc., could still be subject to "reasonable" regulation. (This part of the opinion was even cited approvingly, recently, by the Brady Campaign.) This, however, was "dictum," that is, material in the opinion that was not essential to the outcome of the specific case.

What the Heller case did establish was that possession of "commonly accepted" weapons (handguns) for self-defense, in the home, was an individual right, and not dependent in any way on "militia use." The McDonald case went on to further determine that this was a "fundamental" right that applied as against state governments, under the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment. Anyway, it would be hard to argue that suppressors are in "common use" and therefore protected under Heller.

The Heller and McDonald cases raised as many questions as they answered. The opinions in those cases, from a gun owner's point of view, were rather poorly written. But we need to understand that courts don't like to go beyond the actual issues as they are framed in the case before them, and will sometimes take "shortcuts" to arrive at a result. It's going to take a lot more litigation to determine the true parameters of the 2nd Amendment.

AlexanderA
April 3, 2011, 02:35 AM
I might add that regarding machine guns, artillery, and other military-style weapons, gun-rights people would be in a stronger position if the Heller decision (like the previous 1939 case of Miller v. U.S.) had tied the 2nd Amendment right in some way to the "militia." ("Militia," of course, being defined broadly as including most of the adult population.) But this is exactly what the Supreme Court declined to do.

Sebastian the Ibis
April 24, 2011, 01:14 AM
Zero, I'd write "0" if the site let me.

Sebastian the Ibis
April 24, 2011, 10:50 AM
Heller/McDonald, were aimed at re-establishing the 2A and incorporating it against the states. These are the fundamental building blocks of any future 2A litigation. Since without this there is no right to keep and bear arms, and the states are not bound by it.

Successful strategic civil rights lawsuits of the Heller/McDonald variety are fought on the most favorable ground you can find for the battle: common handguns in the home. To establish the Heller/McDonald beachhead, Gura wisely avoided the boogie-men the anti's always trot out - EBR's, MG's, DD's, NFA's etc. Those battles may be fought latter, but Heller/McDonald steered as far clear of them as possible.

Gura and SAF are using Heller/McDonald to set the floor across the country for 2A rights, i.e. they are going after ********** and NYC to force them to drop their draconian licensing requirements, banned gun lists and may issue concealed weapons permits. The NFA may come, but that is years if not decades down the road. Think back to the civil rights movement of 50-60 years ago, the key early battles were fought over integrating public schools, lunch counters and buses countering the largest inequities in the most oppressive areas, Thurgood Marshall didn't sue the Federal Government to require minority set asides in Federal contacts. It's the same thing here.

If and when suppressors are successfully challenged, Heller/McDonald will be the granddaddy of the cases cited, the really compelling precedent will be the opinions that have yet to be written.

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