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Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court will ever rule in favor of our "Assault Rifles"?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by coloradokevin, Nov 17, 2018.

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  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    The SCOTUS now has a conservative tilt, but they've avoided gun cases like the plague for a while now (with Heller being an obvious exception). During this time period the likelihood of another federal-level assault weapon ban has been pretty minimal, thanks in large part to the party that has been in power. But, this hasn't always been the case at state levels, and more and more states seem to be passing laws to ban modern sporting rifles (aka: "assault rifles"), which are arguably the most popular class of firearms sold today. So far these state-level laws have remained unchallenged by the SCOTUS, but even Justice Clarence Thomas has indicated that he thinks the court has been negligent in not taking on these cases.

    So, do you guys think the new, more conservative supreme court will finally tackle this issue, or do you think this is a can that will continue to be kicked down the road?

    For my part of it, I'm not holding my breath that they'll address the issue, but I sure hope they do. I live in Colorado, which has turned decidedly blue in the past decade and a half (thanks mostly to Denver/Boulder). During midterm elections the Dems took back the trifecta in our state legislature (house/senate/governorship), and some of these politicians have been outspoken proponents of restrictive gun laws.
     
  2. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    I think that the Constitution and law have become the way of the wind; law today is a function of power and numbers, not the law’s intent to control and enforce behavior. I view the wording of the Constitution as a constant, it always reads as it is written however, depending on what belief has the power/ numbers at that time, the “meaning” of the words can take the form of any belief. If conservative beliefs have the numbers, the 2A gives individuals possession and owner’s rights. If Liberal beliefs have the numbers, then the 2A grants those rights to a well regulated militia or the government. The wording of the Constitution has not changed, the power structure is what changes. Whomever has the power dictates the direction of the wind; the words can then mean anything that the power structure wants them to mean. It is sad to know that all of the stability we thought the Constitution granted us is subject to accomplished word smiths and powers that be. Voting is a civil substitute for fighting; fighting is what happens when you can no longer tolerate the results of the vote.
     
  3. jgiehl

    jgiehl Member

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    No
    Sorry for a short and terse answer but that's my opinion.
    They will be demonized an vilified by misinformation, ignorance, stupidity and deception.
    At least my reason is longer than my answer.
     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    That's my opinion because I don't think that there's a case that will meet the constitutional requirements for SCOTUS consideration.
     
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  5. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Maybe if they were given the choice of ruling in favor of the Constitution and "we the people"(who pay their salaries) - or going to Federal prison they would actually do their duty and their job. When they decree that an unalienable right that "shall not be infringed" leaves plenty of room for "limitations" then they're clearly not working for us anymore.
     
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  6. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

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    God, I have grown to hate the words "ASSUALT RILFE". Every time I hear those two words, it conjures up images of every ******* *** ***** L****** I hate with a passion. I would think that the Mighty Supreme Court would at least have to define "Assault Weapon",
    It then would be a decision to ban all weapons period. The Liberals have already pushed and pushed us too far. At some point they will cross the line and all hell is going to break loose. So, no I do not think the Supreme Court will ban firearms.
    But in reality, it will happen some day. And all America will be just like Baltimore, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC etc. Places where only the bad vermin have guns and the honest man does not have a chance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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  7. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Eventually, as laws become increasingly restrictive, there will be a case that the court will have to take. It's anyone's guess when it will happen but at some point the courts status as an equal branch of government will be challenged by legislation.
     
  8. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Personally I don't think they will. The lower courts have maintained that states have a right to restrict firearms and the people who carry them. Anytime the SC weighs in on something like this they start stepping on states rights which is clearly defined in the BOR. The BOR was written to limit the federal gov't, not the states. That's why they call it a Republic. The people should decide, not the courts.
     
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  9. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    I don't think it really matters.

    As we're seeing with many other issues states are doing what they want, ignoring the Constitution and federal law.

    I don't think that trend is going away.
     
  10. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    Here's the danger -- that the Supreme Court will grant a writ of certiorari in an AWB case (it only takes 4 justices to grant a writ), but then uphold the AWB after consideration by the full Court. It all boils down to Chief Justice Roberts. He's considered a "conservative" but he's also primarily concerned with the institutional standing of the Court. He doesn't want the Court to be embroiled in political controversies, or to get too far ahead of public opinion. (Ergo, his vote to uphold Obamacare.) I would bet that Roberts would side with the 4 liberal justices to uphold an AWB. This would be a worse outcome than no decision at all, since it would set a precedent. We need to wait until there is at least one more pro-2A justice.
     
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  11. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Not as long as we ourselves refer to them as "assault rifles"...quotes or not. Just proves we all know what the term is referring to.

    Do I believe the U.S. Supreme Court will ever rule in favor of our SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles? Unlikely. They'll avoid it as long as they have to.
     
  12. jamesjames

    jamesjames Member

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    As these bans wind their way through the legislative process and the courts, much discussion and clarification will have to evolve about the false distinctions and fallacious reasoning about firearms. The false distinction of the "assault rifle" being somehow different than other rifles in origin, purpose or type must be dismantled and demolished. Every firearm platform is developed for a market, usually a government/military use first, and then eventually makes its way into the private sector. All rifles can trace their origin to a military design or pedigree. Grandpa's venerable muzzle loader, or single shot rifle, or lever-action rifle, or bolt action rifle, or semi-auto rifle came to us through a design-build-market process that creates a product and a manufacturing base for it and then seeks markets to sell that product. Its not an evil process, its just an economic reality.

    The vast majority of rifles are purchased by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes. Our system of laws has outlawed murder and assault since time immemorial. We have a society and a structure where citizens know and respect the laws of civil society and are bound by the many social ties of conscience, community, faith, and culture to honor those laws. Civil society works for the civilized and enfranchised. The bonds of civil society only break down in the case of violet criminal behavior. The civil ownership of firearms is not a social evil, it is just social reality.

    There is no such thing as an assault rifle. There are only rifles of modern design and rifles of historic or earlier design. The modern rifle is modular, can be chambered in multiple calibers, is designed to be lightweight so that it can be used for multiple purposes and not just as a long range, infantry, battlefield rifle. 250 years ago there was no distinction between hunting rifles and military rifles. 100 years ago, battlefield rifles (shotguns and sub-machine guns) found an aftermarket into hunting, law-enforcement, home defense, competition, and other legitimate purposes. The fact that firearms can be misused by criminals to commit mayhem does not make the firearm evil. The psychopathy of the criminal behavior is the evil and the unlawful part of the equation. Modern rifles are not evil or intrinsically different than other firearms. They are a tool that the vast majority of civil society has no problem using in a safe and lawful manner.

    There is no such thing as an "epidemiology" of "gun violence". There is gang-related criminal use of guns. There is mental-health related use of firearms in suicide. These two unrelated phenomena account for 70-90% of gun related deaths in this country. Far fewer in number are crimes of passion and accidental death by firearm. These various phenomena are unrelated by social, geographic, economic or other criteria. To combine them into a single categorical count through correlation is a fallacious, unscientific, and intellectually dishonest way of linking phenomena to a tool that you don't like. Guns are not in and of themselves evil. "Gunviolence" is not genuine, single, all-encompassing phenomenon in this country. It is not a disease that uses biological pathways of transmission. The several different types of gun-related death may be "symptoms" of other social and economic ills in the culture, but they are not an epidemic in and of themselves. To label them as such is using hyperbole for political purposes that do not respect law, custom, or social norms.

    Bad legislation will occur, driven by well-meaning, ignorant politicians. The bad laws will be challenged in court. Some will be struck down and some will stand.
     
  13. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    The term "assault weapon" is a public relations ploy by the antis. (One in which the pro-gun side is complicit, BTW.)

    The antis have learned from the experience of the 1994-2004 AWB. This time they are after all semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines (for starters). Doesn't matter if it's a Remington Model 742, they still want to ban it. Just read the bills that are being introduced in Congress.

    The debate has moved far beyond arguing over cosmetic features.

    But look at the bright side. A flat ban on all semiautomatics will be much easier to challenge in court. Also, if their beloved Remington 742's are under threat, more Fudds will become active on the pro-gun side.
     
  14. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    Just look at I-639 that the VOTERS in Washington state passed. Semiauto = Assault Rifle.
     
  15. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    I do not think the Supreme Court will void the state bans on various types of guns and magazines. They will not take a case and they will allow states to do what they want. No lower court will void a ban either.

    The distinctions over the word 'assault' is meaningless as a defense for keeping the guns. It is a internal choir talking point and has no force in the real decision making. The issue is higher capacity semi auto weapons. Call them whatever you wish.

    That's my opinion.

    There will not be a federal ban on semi autos and magazines due to the nature of the Senate for the foreseeable future UNLESS there is a moral panic such that the GOP goes along with it. A president from either party will go along with the moral panic if the bill gets to the President.
     
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  16. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    State are not granted the right to supersede the rights enumerated in the constitution. This is why I believe the issue should go to the SCOTUS, even if I doubt it will. Also, the SCOTUS has already ruled that firearms in "common use" are protected under the constitution.

    But, I agree with your assertion that they probably won't take a case of this variety.

    Of course, collective sentiment among those of us in the gun-owning community has been wrong before:

    1) Most of us thought they'd never let the 1994 AWB expire, and it's gone.
    2) Most of us didn't think Heller would make it to the SCOTUS with a favorable ruling for gun owners.
     
  17. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    How could it be any other way? Isn't your own reading just another example of the situation you are complaining about? There is no such thing as TRUE meaning or ORIGINAL INTENT. All written words are subject to the understanding of the reader. Always have been, always will be. Just because you don't like one of the interpretation options, don't think you can rule it out of legitimacy. Your interpretation (sans militia I'm guessing) is no more legitimate than any other. All the BS about Scalia being an originalist doesn't mean a thing. The correct interpretation of the written word is the one that the most people accept at any given time. That is just the way of the world.
     
  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Terminology:
    "Assault Rifle" is a specific military term for a selective fire, intermediate cartridge shoulder weapon.
    "Assault Weapon" is a propaganda term used by the antis to demonize whatever gun you have left after the previous repressive restriction.

    But my answer to the OQ is no. The second amendment is not "incorporated" to cover state law and I doubt it will be. Most likely the other way 'round; anything that wends its way through the court system will be upheld. Apart from the Washington state Scare Initiative, the next likely target will be state preemption. A patchwork of contradictory laws would serve the antis very well; you probably could not cross the state without committing a crime.
     
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  19. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    I agree that the originalist, whatever rhetoric is just cover for what is seen as the current political correct view of conservatives.

    I've read that on social issues, SCOTUS justices go with their politics and social views and then look for supporting precedents. This view drives some lawyers wild as it violates their self image as neutral and god like dispensers of the legal truth and to be driven by gut emotional and social values is a no-no.

    That being said, I don't think there is 'fire in the belly' of the current SCOTUS to render decisions that would be happy times for what some of us think should be the RKBA.

    When I see a set of Justices at a carbine match blazing away with ARs and Glocks (haha), then I think there will be some hope. But even then reasonable restrictions and 'common usage' may come back to bite us. Rachel Maddow is all for gun restrictions but is a shooter and loves ARs and 1911s. However, they should be controlled strictly.
     
  20. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    No one cares when it comes to bans. If you listen, you are hearing the term 'military style' semi automatic rifles now common in news reports. Those should be banned.

    I saw a Guns and Ammo video doing the Modern Sporting Rifle blather. Said 'experts' fired a fully auto AR and then a semi. They pontificated that first was an Assault Bang Bang as it was fully auto. The second was a Modern Sports Bang Bang as it wasn't. So watch a video of folks at a carbine match firing a semi. They are fast but not fully auto but really fast. Do you think that distinction will mean much when the two guns look identical and later is still blazingly fast?

    That incredibly horrible massacres take place but with a Modern Sports Bang Bang rather than an Assault Bang Bang will make any difference to someone who sees tens of dead kids and wants to ban them?

    Patton said the 8 shot Garand was:

    “In my opinion, the M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised”
    “I consider the M1 the greatest weapon ever made"

    so the 30 round AR is a sporting toy?

    If you want to defend the guns for the RKBA, you need to defend them as lethal weapons and why we have the right for such.

    That being said, the lethality of such weapons has and will continue to cause moral panic in states. As more go purple, the bans will continue. The SCOTUS will not act or produce some ineffective waffle as Heller. Heller protected the right but (reasons debatable) had rhetoric which supported the state bans. Sidebar - Scalia lovers now state that those state decisions quoting him are evil and misinterpreted. However, even if true, if the decision had the potentiality to be used for such misinterpretation it wasn't so brilliant. Common usage will be twisted to say that lethality of the guns overwhelms limited usage in sports and most self-defense can be handled by an double barrel shotgun or SW Model 10 (Hey, kids on the Internet - IS FIVE ENOUGH? IF YOU CARRY MORE YOU ARE A COMMANDO NUT JOB!).
     
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  21. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I think the Constitution and B. O. R.s governs the fed and the states. The phrase "congress shall pass no law" with regards establishing religion in the first amendment clearly attaches to the fedgov. All others apply everywhere (IMHO). If a southern state tried to reinstitute slavery, it would be quickly struck on 13th amendment growns, and rightfully so.
    The above theory might be questionable, it is OPINION, not legal advice.
    Now various laws dictating how guns can be carried may or may not pass muster. For example, conceal carry may be ok, other states might decide open carry is ok. As long as some type of carry is permissible it might be argued that the 2A is intact.

    The 10th amendment reserves powers not delegated to the federal government to the states or to the people. But that doesn't mean the states can ban any type of gun, as that is governed by the 2A, just as slavery is governed by the 13th amendment.

    The above is just my opinion. It's worth what you paid for it. What did you pay for to join this site? o_O Oh, THAT much!

    You're not out much, are you?:D
     
  22. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    Are you forgetting McDonald v. Chicago?

    The 2nd Amendment does cover states. The question is the scope of the 2nd Amendment. In that regard, the same principles apply to the states as they do to the federal government.
     
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  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Must be, I am not a lawyer and the 2nd is not on the wiki list of officially incorporated amendments.
    I will therefore amend my position that it will be parsed, redefined, and sharp penciled into oblivion.
     
  24. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    IMO, a challenge to a federal AWB before the Supreme Court will be based primarily on the 5th Amendment, rather than the 2nd Amendment -- specifically on these words: ".....nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." If something is made illegal, that was previously legal, that's a "taking" and needs to be compensated at fair market value. (A state-level AWB is not subject to this challenge because it can be argued that the offending guns can always be taken out of state.)

    That's why I don't think that Congress, in considering an AWB, will structure it as a flat prohibition. This is exactly the dilemma that faced Congress in 1934, and is why the NFA was structured as a tax law. They can ban future sales, but existing guns can only be taxed and regulated, without running afoul of the 5th Amendment.

    A very plausible route for an AWB, if they want to touch existing guns, would be to broaden the NFA to cover them. (That would also mean that the ATF manpower would probably have to be increased by a factor of ten.) And in rewriting the NFA, anything is possible -- removing suppressors and SBR's, opening the Registry -- so hang onto your hats. This is going to be a messy process in which some judicious lobbying could pay dividends.

    (I might add that since the NFA is a tax law, amendments to it could pass the Senate with 51 votes under the budget reconciliation procedure. This could become a real possibility after the 2020 election.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  25. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Well, they have for a very long time and continue to do it. To now say that they can't is going to take a mighty powerful argument and a reversal of the status quo for about 200 years in this country.

    I'm not saying you are wrong, just saying it isn't likely to come from a SC ruling.

    I follow AA's line of reasoning here. Congress is going to do something to our RKBA soon. Probably in the form of changing NFA and requiring a stamp for semi-auto rifles. It happened once before with machine guns, it could easily happen again with semi-auto rifles. Not banned, just heavily restricted. If you own one you will have to register it and pay for a stamp. Otherwise you will be in possession of contraband.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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