Defending The Second Amendment In Courts And Counties

I tend to stick to a single subject on each edition of Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co., but with the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in the first gun case in nearly a decade and more than half-dozen Virginia communities adopting resolutions in support of the Second Amendment on Monday, today’s show is a two-fer that covers both topics.


First, we take a look at the arguments made by New York City in yesterday’s SCOTUS hearing, and whether or not they’re likely to persuade five justices to throw out the entire case because of mootness. As I explain, if the Court does allow this to happen, expect gun control advocates to adopt a new strategy in future cases that the Supreme Court accepts; change the law being challenged just enough to moot the case, even if the new law comes with its own unconstitutional provisions.

Then we discuss the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement in Virginia, including the hostile reception the resolutions are receiving from press outlets across the state, including a new editorial from the Kingsport Times-News, which covers several southwestern Virginia counties. The paper’s editors are out with an emotion-driven and factually incorrect editorial chastising counties for adopting the resolutions and arguing in favor of a “red flag” firearms law.

Apparently, it doesn’t matter that they could arm a dangerous mentally ill citizen. They take the Second Amendment at face value, that every citizen has a right to walk around with a gun on their hip. But while the Second Amendment states citizens may bear arms as do militias, courts over the years have wisely put in place some limitations. State militias carry automatic weapons, but courts have ruled that the citizenry may not. Militias don’t undergo gun licensing, but courts have upheld states’ ability to conduct background checks.


First off, a dangerous mentally ill citizen isn’t going to be disarmed by a “red flag” law. They may have any legally owned firearms taken from them, but the law proposed in Virginia will leave them with their knives, their matches, their gasoline, their cars, chainsaws, and virtually everything they own but their guns. The red flag bill also does nothing to treat those who’ve been deemed a danger to themselves or others by a judge, and abuses due process by allowing firearms to be seized before the subject of the order can present any evidence of their own to a judge.

Secondly, the Second Amendment, along with every other amendment to our Constitution, absolutely should be taken at face value. After all, the amendment doesn’t state that citizens may bear arms as do militias, as the paper’s editors claim. It says the people have the right to keep and bear arms, and one reason for that right is because a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

But we should also recognize that people who are mentally ill shouldn’t have access to weapons. Extreme risk laws allow family members or law enforcement officers to petition courts to temporarily disarm individuals who are mentally ill to the point of being a danger to themselves or others or are in temporary crisis. These laws have been shown to be effective at preventing gun suicides, which make up two-thirds of all firearm deaths in the U.S. They also prevent such individuals from having access to weapons by which to commit heinous crimes such as mass murder.


There’s virtually no evidence that red flag laws reduce suicide, though one study of Connecticut’s red flag law estimated that for every twenty individuals subjected to a red flag order, one gun-related suicide was prevented. That does not mean, however, that suicides overall went down. In fact, in both Connecticut and Indiana, the states that have had red flag laws on the books for the longest period of time, overall suicide rates have increased since the law was put in place. That’s because red flag laws are gun control laws masquerading as mental health bills. They do nothing to help an individual in crisis.

Extreme risk laws make sense. They help prevent harsher measures that threaten our Second Amendment rights. Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions do just the opposite.

That’s the biggest lie in the entire editorial. On what basis do the editors claim that red flag laws help prevent even more onerous gun control laws? The red flag law proposed for Virginia is just one of many gun control bills expected to be signed into law, including a bill that would ban the continued possession of semi-automatic rifles, a “universal background check” bill that also strips parents of their authority to decide when their minor children can handle a firearm without direct adult supervision, a gun-rationing bill, and several other bills that would infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. The red flag proposal isn’t staving off even worse legislation, it’s part of an overall package of unconstitutional, unenforceable, and ineffective gun control laws.


Also on today’s program I respond to a few emails from viewers and listeners, and I’m planning on devoting the bulk of Friday’s show to doing the same. If you have any questions or comments, shoot me an email to [email protected] and I’ll try to respond on Friday’s program.

On tomorrow’s show, we’re going to take one more look back at the NYC gun case, as well as get into the Second Amendment cases that the Supreme Court could take up if it does decide the NYC case is moot. I’ll be joined by California Rifle & Pistol Association President Chuck Michel along with Amy Swearer of the Heritage Foundation, so be sure to check it out.

You can never miss an episode by subscribing to the show at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and’s podcast page. Thanks as always for watching, listening, and sharing the show!

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