I don’t even know why Democrats are bothering to pretend that their anti-gun bills are no violation of the Second Amendment, unless it’s merely to avoid giving gun owners more legal ammunition when they inevitably sue over the latest infringements to our right to keep and bear arms. Most of the bills we’ve seen introduced in statehouses around the country this year are patently unconstitutional, whether we’re talking about bans on commonly-owned firearms or more esoteric restrictions like mandating gun owners purchase liability insurance policies before exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Talk show host Jason Rantz highlighted an egregious example of this duplicitous talking point that was unleashed this week during debate over a Washington State bill requiring lawful gun owners to carry $300,000 worth of liability insurance. State Sen. Patty Kuderer not only managed to come up with a completely fictitious reading of the Bruen blatantly lieddecision, she about the impact that the bill would have on the Second Amendment rights of gun owners in the state.
“By setting this requirement Washington intends to reduce the risk and subsequent cost of hardships of gun accidents,” Kuderer said. “This bill achieves these goals and reallocates costs without compromising any Second Amendment rights. This is true because this requirement does not regulate, limit or control the manner or method in which people may keep or bear arms. Instead, it simply says you must have liability insurance.”
As Rantz noted, Kuderer’s bill “literally regulates and controls both the manner and method in which we may keep and bear arms”. If you don’t have a valid insurance policy, you wouldn’t be allowed to do either, at least if the Democrat gets her way.
Kuderer went on to erroneously claim that the Supreme Court emphasized “the importance of considering public safety concerns in regulating firearms” in the Bruen decision, while boasting that her bill “strikes a good balance between allowing individuals to exercise their Second Amendment rights and imposing a reasonable regulation that serves the broader public interest.”
In reality, the Court has repeatedly stated that an interest-balancing test is not appropriate when looking at the constitutionality of a gun control measure. Instead, if the text of the Second Amendment is implicated in any way by a particular statute, it’s up to the government to prove that the modern-day regulation comports with the history and tradition of the right to keep and bear arms in the United States by pointing to historical analogues to the gun control law in question. If the government cannot meet that burden, then the law cannot stand.
As you might have guessed, there are no such laws or ordinances around the time the Second Amendment was adopted, nor when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868. The closest analogue to an insurance mandate would probably be 19th-century surety laws that required some individuals to post a surety bond before they could carry a firearm based on their perceived dangerousness, but there’s a substantial difference between those statutes and a law that treats all legal gun owners as if they’re a dangerous criminal. Surety laws were also primarily directed at the bearing of arms, not merely possession in the home like Kuderer’s bill, so they can’t serve as an analogue to insurance mandates.. at least not without twisting the “text, history, and tradition” test beyond recognition.
Rantz says that Washington State Democrats are intent on “taking away gun rights and they’re relying on uncurious or like-minded media to help shape the issue favorable to their position”, as well as activist judges that will twist the Bruen decision to uphold almost every restriction imaginable, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. They’re hoping that by the time the inevitable legal challenges get to the Supreme Court their Democratic cohorts in Congress will have packed the Court full of anti-gun justices that will overturn Heller, McDonald, and Bruen and give them free reign to adopt the most tyrannical gun laws of all; obliterating the Second Amendment and outlawing lawful gun possession altogether.