Imagine if we were all mute and the only way you could exercise your First Amendment rights was with a picket sign. If the government wanted to infringe upon your First Amendment rights, they could make it prohibitively difficult to access that picket. They could make sure the stores to buy those pickets were really far from you. They could add excessive tax to those pickets to make it much more expensive for you to exercise that right. They could limit how many markers were available to you to write on those pickets.
Lucky for us, we don’t need picket signs to exercise our First Amendment rights, isn’t it? Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is uniquely vulnerable to marketplace politics. Therefore, we can’t only defend it in the halls of government. We must also defend it in the market. Let me be clear, I’m not saying the Second Amendment is the only constitutionally protected right that can involve immaterial good.
The Second Amendment is unique because access to a material good is necessary for someone to enact it. Without access to arms and ammunition, one cannot keep and bear arms. This makes the Second Amendment really susceptible to market restrictions and marketplace politics.
These marketplace threats to the Second Amendment tend to manifest in two ways. First, the market itself is heavily regulated. The rules governing the sale and transfer of firearms are vast. Secondly, manufacturers and producers of ammunition and firearms pay an 11 percent excise tax that gets wrapped into the cost that is passed onto the end consumer.
Watch Billy Johnson break it down: