Huge and historical win for gun owners today in the U.S. Supreme Court!

Reposted from the Virginia Citizens Defense League email!

Virginia Citizens Defense League

Defending Your Right to Defend Yourself


Huge and historical win for gun owners today in the U.S. Supreme Court!

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling which strikes down “May issue” licensing/permitting in New York, Maryland, DC, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Massachusetts as unconstitutional.

“Shall issue” licensing/permitting, such as we have here in Virginia, is left for possible future challenges, as it is not based on any need to show just cause to carry a gun. It also leaves open for now, background checks, training requirements, fingerprinting, and mental-health records check, amongst other things to get a CHP.

However, this part of the ruling doesn’t really affect us here, but it does prevent a future legislature from going back to a “May issue” paradigm. It also will affect all of us in the future as we visit Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, California, DC, and Massachusetts!

Other major things in the ruling that does affect Virginia and all other states:

1. Sets the bar for how gun laws are determined to be constitutional or unconstitutional by the courts.

This is a major win for gun owners.

The ruling says that the Two-Step approach, which generally uses “intermediate scrutiny”, used by many circuit courts to determine the constitutionality of various gun-control laws is not allowed.

A Two-Step approach was used by some courts to balance state interests with the interests of the People, if the courts found that a law is indeed covered by the Second Amendment.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment already has the balancing between Government’s interest vs the Peoples’ interest built in and the balance is resolved toward the People, not the Government.

So, courts must only determine if a law is covered by the Second Amendment. If so, the law is unconstitutional if it infringes.

Courts are allowed to look at historic precedent set on the Second Amendment in the 18th and 19th centuries to determine if a law being considered has precedent back then. If so, the law under consideration would be constitutional. However, such precedent needs to be relatively widespread in the various states at the time, and not some loner law that only one state, or a few cities, had. The courts also have to consider if such law was ultimately struck down as unconstitutional.

Bottom line: it is going to be much harder for a gun law to be considered constitutional, as there were very few widespread gun-laws in the 18th and 19th centuries and those laws have to line up substantially, or be analogous, with the law being considered.

2. There must be some way that citizens are allowed to carry. So, either open carry (possibly with a shall issue permit) or concealed carry (possibly with a shall issue permit) must be allowed.

3. Only locations that were considered “sensitive” in the 18th and 19th centuries, or any modern places that are directly analogous, can be considered “sensitive” for restricting carry today. New York and other states can’t ban carry merely because large groups of people are gathered somewhere, and police are patrolling the area. Carry cannot be banned on streets, in subways, parks, etc. unless such bans were in place back in the 18th and 19th centuries or there was an analogous location with such a ban. This should help VCDL with its lawsuit against the City of Winchester on their park ban and carry ban at permitted events. I’m also thinking that not all government buildings will fall in the “sensitive” category, perhaps DMV, for example.

4. Guns in common use cannot be prohibited. So, handguns, semi-automatic rifles, including AR-15s and AK-47s, and shotguns, for example, are all constitutionally protected.

5. Restrictions on firearm possession by certain persons, such as felons and the mentally ill, are permissible.

Overall this landmark ruling is a huge win for gun owners and VCDL plans on making maximum use of this ruling to protect our right to keep and bear arms, now and into the future!

Congratulations, VCDL!

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