At the moment, no firearm is as demonized as the AR-15. It’s been painted as a weapon meant for nothing but murder and mayhem, yet the reality is that it’s a tool. It has no volition of its own. It only does what a human tells it to do. That doesn’t matter for far too many people.
Then, to make matter worse, we have a Federal District Court argue that the AR-15 isn’t really protected by the Second Amendment.
More concerning is the Court’s determination with regard to the Plaintiffs’ first claim that the law infringes upon their Second Amendment rights. The Court immediately declared that “Assault weapons and LCMs [large capacity magazines] — the types banned by the Act — are not within the scope of the personal right to ‘bear Arms’ under the Second Amendment.” While the law bans a slew of firearms, the Plaintiffs and the Court focused their analysis on the AR-15.
The Court found that the undisputed facts in the record “convincingly demonstrate that the AR-15 and LCMs banned by the Act are ‘weapons that are most useful for military service.’ In reviewing case law, the Court found that Heller had rejected the proposition that “only those weapons useful in warfare are protected.” It went on to state that “weapons that are most useful in military service…fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment and may be banned.” After engaging in a rather lengthy recap of the AR-15’s history, the Court declared that “the AR-15’s present day popularity is not constitutionally material.” The opinion then quotes the late Justice Scalia in order to further its purported point.
The opinion concludes with something rather rare and what can only be described as a judge’s commentary.
The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to “bear Arms.”
Both their general acceptance and their regulation, if any, are policy matters not for courts, but left to the people directly through their elected representatives. In the absence of federal legislation, Massachusetts is free to ban these weapons and large capacity magazines. Other states are equally free to leave them unregulated and available to their law-abiding citizens. These policy matters are simply not of constitutional moment. Americans are not afraid of bumptious, raucous, and robust debate about these matters. We call it democracy.
Justice Scalia would be proud.
I suspect we will see this appealed to the First Circuit.
Now, let’s start with taking a look at this little bit:
In reviewing case law, the Court found that Heller had rejected the proposition that “only those weapons useful in warfare are protected.” It went on to state that “weapons that are most useful in military service…fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment and may be banned.”
I’m going to be frank here, I can’t see how anyone of even an average level of intelligence can take this position. One has no bearing on the other, and I suspect that such an argument will be soundly rejected at some point.
Seriously, it’s that stupid.
Next, look at the last line of the opinion. If ever there was evidence of an activist court, this is it. Yes, in this case, it upheld the law rather than most other actions of an activist court, but the swipe at Justice Scalia makes their intentions obvious.
The fact that this is based on what looks like a willful misinterpretation of the Court’s decision in Heller means this court needs a serious overhaul.