Idea for fighting handgun bans...


February 8, 2004, 06:05 PM
Two cities that come to mind, both in Illinois, have bans against handguns; Morton Grove and Wilmette. Has anyone ever thought of fighting it with the Americans with Disabilities act? Either town will let you own rifles and shotguns but those are two handed weapons. A one armed man, person with a stroke, or an elderly person are all being discriminated against.

Does this have legs?

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February 8, 2004, 06:09 PM
Great idea! We'll get the ACLU in on this!

Oh wait.....

never mind....

February 8, 2004, 06:09 PM
Interesting idea. I don't live there so I can't answer your question, but

would LOVE to see it happen!

February 8, 2004, 06:21 PM
I was drinking a beer when I read that!
You owe me a knew keyboard

Call the ACLU, that's a good one!

February 8, 2004, 07:24 PM
Wilmette police wouldn't comment on the dropped charges, but village attorney Tim Frenzer said the village intends to proceed with a separate ordinance violation charge against DeMar. The North Shore suburb has a handgun ban that carries a possible $750 fine.

DeMar intends to fight that ticket. His lawyers filed a counterclaim Friday against Wilmette, alleging its ordinance is unconstitutional because it violates privacy rights. The claim is crafted in a manner intended to sidestep previous rulings supporting handgun bans. Attorney Robert Orman said he is trying to extend individual rights granted by the U.S. Supreme Court in a decades-old case involving pornography in the home.

"There's certain things the state cannot go into the home and do," Orman said. "Is this one of them? We'll find out."

Judge Thaddeus Stephen Machnik called the argument "an interesting issue" and scheduled court dates to begin reviewing it.

Wilmette is standing by its ban, Frenzer said. "We don't believe that has any merit at all," he said of DeMar's counterclaim.

February 8, 2004, 07:44 PM
You might have a long wait on the phone behind the KKK and Neo Nazis(they have rights, too!)......

I know! Call Sara Brady, Billary, DiFi and the Million Morons...uh, I mean, Mom's:cuss:

February 8, 2004, 07:44 PM
In a tyrannical state we are all disabled.

Do we need the ADA to argue our right to self-defense? No, I think this is the kind of issue that is best met head-on, not with cleverness. This is what the other side wants you to do, engage them in a debate in which they establish the rules of engagement.

February 8, 2004, 11:15 PM
I thought the ADA idea was weird, but the Wilmette lawyers are going to use the Porn precedent to defend the shooter????OMG :eek:

What about the right to self-defense? Do we really need to hide behind "porn in the home?"

February 9, 2004, 01:15 AM
As far as I'm concerned, anything we can do to make the antis look bad and show them up for homophobes, sexists, racists, anti-Semites and general bigots should be persued. Here is one of Oleg's great pics.

February 9, 2004, 11:18 AM
This is only slightly related, but I've often wondered why the equal protection clause does not apply to handgun ownership. In S. Carolina, it's illegal for a "minor" under age 21 to own a handgun. But a 19-20 year old is not a minor except for the purposes of drinking or owning handguns, as far as I'm aware. I'm sure there's some ridiculous legal mumbo-jumbo that justifies it, but it's ridiculous as far as I'm concerned.

The ADA thing does seem like a good incremental approach though, simply because it uses the governments own mandates against it. I love that.


February 10, 2004, 11:38 AM
I figure there are some more opinions out there on this.

February 10, 2004, 12:00 PM
The ADA to my knowledge does not apply to this situation. The right to privacy angle is better, and has been gaining support in legal circles. IIRC this was the theory Laurence Tribe found persuasive, and he's about as far left as you can get. Under this theory, it isn't about the firearm per se, it's about how far gov'ment can probe into personal life. And the gun safe is about as personal as you can get. See, an FFL holder may waive privacy concerns by going into business for profit, but a private citizen makes no such waiver by purchasing a firearm. The laws are all set up to, in theory, guarantee that government does not know what weapons any given citizen has.

So it isn't so much the ban as the question the local government asks through the ban--do you have handguns?

February 10, 2004, 07:17 PM
The ADA to my knowledge does not apply to this situation.

Seems like it could, unless the ADA has some exclusion about guns. Take a city like the recently in the news Wilmette IL.

They banned handguns but rifles and shotguns are still legal for self defense. But not everyone can handle a shotgun or rifle. And that would seem to be discrimination based on a disability.

February 10, 2004, 08:43 PM
The problem is the ADA is about making reasonable accomodations in facilities and job parameters for the disabled. I don't know of any instance where it was used to override a code provision in this way. A lot of municipal laws may impact the disabled more than others, but the ADA doesn't address those matters.

It impacts a city to the extent the city is an employer and a property owner/builder. It does not impact a city or state's ability to make laws. So if a city says all its officers must have 15 lb. nitro express rifles on them at all times, this employment rule could indeed be challenged under the ADA. But even then a public good exception might come into play--say if elephant gangs were roaming the streets.

But nothing in the ADA gives you the ability to overturn, say a driving ordinance that requires a certain level of eyesight. The ADA simply doesn't apply, even though the ordinance clearly discriminates against those who are blind or have really bad eyes.

February 10, 2004, 08:54 PM
They banned handguns but rifles and shotguns are still legal for self defense. But not everyone can handle a shotgun or rifle. And that would seem to be discrimination based on a disability.
Disparate impact alone doesn't prove discrimination in the courts, especially if they can make a public policy argument to overcome the heightened review. Generally, if the discimination is not on its face based on the race/gender/disability/some other protected classification, it is hard to prove otherwise (short of, say, a daffy councilman who makes a statement in public about happily disarming "all those damn cripples").

What it would probably come down to is if the government could make its case for public policy that removing handguns outweighs the effective complete disarming of the handicapped. A lot would depend on why they left rifles and shotguns untouched (did they recognize the need for self defense in doing so, etc.), which could undermine the government'sd position. But on the other hand, there is a predisposition that under due process a government is acting in public policy (of course, its again fact-dependent; if one could show that the city council or whomever didn't really debate the issue, such a predisposition would be unwarranted). Part of the reason that most discrimination cases win is because they can show there is no legitimate public policy being served; if the city can simply point to a few studies and say in their judgment those were correct, they can probably put forth a pretty convincing argument that they did act for the public's good (under "rational basis;" the courts are loathe to invade the judgment of the government, as long as there is something to base that judgment on other than whime.

So I think it would be an uphill battle, given the probable facially-neutral law (and the difficulties with assaulting such laws) and the court's distressing indifference to firearm issues in general.

e:fb a bit.

Double Naught Spy
February 10, 2004, 09:37 PM
Um, answerguy, the ADA only applies to those with disabilities. Chop off your own arm and give me a call. Then we will chat. I don't think your idea will float, but there isn't much use in chatting until you are disabled.

Try not to bleed on the carpet.

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