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Heller related..."reasonable restrictions"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Big Calhoun, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Big Calhoun

    Big Calhoun Well-Known Member

    I was reading the thread from marinepilot about his situation in North Carolina where he's being asked to provide 'proof' of having a good moral character. Interesting to me because New Jersey has such a standard and I am so glad that I left. But I'm also thinking, what if the Heller decision comes down and affirms 2A as an individual right; do such standards requiring proof of having a good moral character continue to stand as being 'reasonable'? If it's a right, other than demonstrating that you're a US citizen and that you meet the legal (and objective) qualifications to own a firearm, is it still reasonable to have to prove that you should be afforded your rights?
  2. Fedaykin

    Fedaykin Well-Known Member

    Logic would say "no". Libs would say "yes"
  3. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    I don't think the Heller decision is going to make any difference at all anywhere other than D.C. I bet the court is merely going to rule that the Federal Government cannot impose any ban or control like D.C. has but the states are still going to have free reign to keep all there assanine controls in place.
  4. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    No way to give a remotely accurate answer to your question since you would not only have to accurately predict the exact wording of the Heller written opinion; but subsequent interpretation of lower courts of that opinion.
  5. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    I will guess, however, that after 10 years of court battles, the moral character item will be dropped, after Heller comes out favorably. Just a WA guess.
  6. Jax

    Jax Well-Known Member

    In my opinion the good moral character standard meets a "rational basis" scrutiny - as much as I disagree with it - and will stand even if the 2A is determined to be an individual right.

    We need more than an individual rights determination for these types of requirements to be overturned. The 2A would also need to be considered a fundamental right, subject to "strict" scrutiny, *and* fully incorporated against the states.

    I think SCOTUS has to decide whether it is an individual or a collective right in the DC v Heller decision. They may also decide the appropriate level of scrutiny - but don't have to. They will not rule on on incorporation as a result of this case.
  7. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Well-Known Member

    After incorporation, I think you could go after "good moral character" on vagueness. But a state could address the issue by defining "good moral character" - most likely as no felony convictions, and possibly no DUI convictions in the last year or so.
  8. GEM

    GEM Well-Known Member

    So that's why there are no guns in DC - good moral character takes care of most elected officials - now doesn't it?
  9. bumm

    bumm Well-Known Member

    It's my take on this thing, (for what that's worth,) that the major part of this decision will involve the level of scrutiny that gun regulations will have to meet. The question that the Supremes have to decide on has already been worded as recognizing an individual right, (which by itself is a GOOD thing,) and incorporation won't come under consideration. HOPEFULLY, we'll a "strict scrutiny" ruling. Anything less would pretty much make the second amendment worthless, and we'd be right back where we've been for the last 40 years, fighting each and every law and regulation politically.
  10. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

    I agree with Mike. "good moral character" is a bit vague. If they don't define it, it basically makes the local official decide turning into a "may issue" type law.
  11. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    I'd love to see liberals wrestle with the idea of 'good moral character,' not because I'm questioning anyone's character, but because of the position that liberals take about morality being relative. Then again I'm expecting consistancy which is asking too much.
  12. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Actually, it's obvious: only registered supporters of the Democratic (sic) party have good moral character.
  13. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Well-Known Member

    If, Heller comes down as the 2A being and individual right but with "reasonable restrictions" those 2 words will pay off the student loans of a lot of lawyers. State by state, city by city. What's "reasonable"?

  14. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    Moral character is separate from felony convictions and DUI. It's most likely a Jim Crow relic. The moral character does not come under review by any particular individual, nor is it (in NC counties where it is supposedly taken into account) specified, whatsoever, in detail.

    It's not just a matter of vague standards, it's vague execution of the vague standards.

    The problem is that moral character does not by definition have anything to do with a right to defend oneself...

    I could frequent strip clubs and cheat on my significant other and rip people off within the legal boundaries of doing so (I don't btw), but that does not negate my right to self-defense any more than it negates my right to free speech. Moral character, separate from adherence to laws, is NOT GERMANE TO 2A RIGHTS.

    And let me remind everyone for the sake of this point that just because something is legal does not mean it is moral or right, so don't tell me that immoral is always illegal or legal necessarily means "moral". Local, state, and federal gov'ts have no right to tell me what is moral or immoral, and they most certainly have no right to tell me that immoral actions in and of themselves deny me a basic human right.
  15. NC Dave

    NC Dave Well-Known Member

    Jim Crow relic is a correct assessment.

    Remember that in NC, there are 100 counties and 100 sheriff departments that can do pistol permits 100 different ways. Some counties hold people to the "good moral character" clause by making you get sworn statements. Others, like the county I live in, pretty much assume that if you pass the background check and have no legal issues in your history, you are good enough to go. Some counties only take applications on certain days of the week, other are manned to take application 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.
  16. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Well-Known Member

    "reasonable" is relative and I believe it has no place in the second amendment.
  17. Mazeman

    Mazeman Well-Known Member

    I live in NH, where the CCW permit requires 3 references. But NH law also states that they "shall issue the permit" within 14 days, provided I'm not a felon or insane. So if the state must issue the permit, what's the point of the references? Why should someone have to prove their innocence to exercise a constitutional right?

    If I have any guts, maybe next time I'm up for renewal, I just won't provide references, and see what happens.
  18. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    a) we're talking pistol permits, not CCW (an important distinction, because arguably pistol permits are completely unnecessary anyway, regardless of whether a CCW requirement sits well with you)

    b) if I am looking at this correctly, "nature of moral character" is not a requirement for obtaining a pistol permit but rather a basis for denial if necessary. Consider that if you are turned down on the basis of "insufficient moral character," there is a box that will get checked, but there is no actual requirement to prove one's moral character. It's completely discretionary and arbitrary. What I mean is that it is blatantly obvious that it is a last resort tactic to deny someone a permit that would not otherwise be ineligible. If it were a true requirement, there would be questions regarding moral character on the form and there would also be a check-box that said "Sufficient moral character" rather than one saying "Insufficient moral character."

    It's sickening how blatant this violation of our rights is.
  19. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    It isn't necessarily relative. All rights have reasonable restrictions. The problem is that this sounds like doublespeak (and, in the case of what the OP mentioned, it is!).

    Reasonable, AFAIK, is defined as not infringing upon the life, liberty, and happiness of others. That's why 2A does not cover irresponsible firearm ownership/handling. You can keep a gun...but you can't let your kid around it unsupervised. You can carry a gun...but not if you're drunk. You can say whatever you want, almost: no "Fire!" in a crowded theater, to use the perennial example.

    Reasonable restrictions are generally self-evident. Something is no longer a right if its primary intent is imminently to harm a law-abiding citizen. I just don't think that gun control laws constitute reasonable restrictions. But I do believe that there are, and should be, reasonable restrictions to every right. It's just that most gun owners hear "restriction" and misunderstand what's being said; the flip-side of the coin is that media outlets and lawyers/judges misunderstand the application and use of the phrase reasonable restriction.

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