CA Newspaper: Our State's Gun Control Laws Are In Jeopardy

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Posted: Feb 10, 2019 3:25 PM
CA Newspaper: Our State's Gun Control Laws Are In Jeopardy

Source: AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File

A couple weeks ago the Supreme Court made a shocking (but welcomed) announcement: the high court would be hearing the first gun case in a decade. The last time the Supreme Court heard a gun-related case was back in 2010 when they ruled in the McDonald case that Chicago's handgun ban violated an individual's right to keep and bear arms. That decision reaffirmed the Court's 2008 Heller decision that said "the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

What's interesting is the San Francisco Chronicle, a rather liberal newspaper in California, published an editorial admitting that the state's gun control laws may be in danger. While the Supreme Court was reluctant to hear Second Amendment-related cases, the Court now has more conservative justices. Now that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh are on the Court, gun rights activists are expecting landslide victories that can and will protect the right to keep and bear arms for years to come.

California may be the toughest gun control state in the country with a political lineup ready to go even further. The high court, which sensed it didn’t have the votes for a change-making decision until the arrival of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, is ready to go the other way.

When newspapers like The Chronicle recognizes gun control advocates' legislative progress can be undone by the Court, you know there's real danger to the anti-gun agenda, which is great for Constitution-loving folks.

Newsom campaigned for governor partly on his record as a prime supporter of Proposition 63, a measure that limited gun magazines, required background checks to buy ammunition, and fined owners who failed to report lost or stolen weapons. Though part of it is tied up in lawsuits, its passage has encouraged control-minded lawmakers to press other changes.

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, a shooting victim, presided at a recent gathering of legislators backing a batch of stricter measures. They include a one-gun-a-month purchasing limit, rules on parts that can be used to make homemade guns, a 10-year ban on firearm possession for a repeat drug or alcohol offender, a lockup requirement for guns stored at home when the owner is away, and a gun sales tax to pay for violence prevention.

Anti-gun advocates have long used states like California and New York as prime examples of their gun control efforts being put into practice. 

The Court plans to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, which will examine New York City's ban on carrying a licensed and unloaded gun outside of city limits. If licensed to carry, residents can only do so within city limits. The problem is gun ranges are located outside of city limits and some want to be able to carry their firearm throughout the state. 

Should SCOTUS overturn this law, we could see constitutional carry across the country, meaning people don't have to ask the government for permission in order to carry a firearm. 

We know that whatever the Supreme Court rules will impact every state and every American. California included.

Control groups are worried, predicting a possible ruling to allow open and concealed carrying of weapons without restrictions. The last major high court case in 2010 guaranteed the right to “possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense.’’ It left in place some gun restrictions, though.

The pending New York case could widen this stance, saying New York gun owners are free to take their guns anywhere, a ruling that would please pistol-packing gun rights groups. Or it could take a wider whack at gun restrictions, an outcome that would diminish California’s rightful concern for safety.

Let's hope the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Constitution and smashes a giant hammer through their gun control agenda.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story indicated that the last gun-related case the Supreme Court heard was the 2008 Heller case. It was actually the 2010 McDonald case.