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Premium Member
1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a gun owner and urban gun violence prevention activist I'm pleased with the recent historic Supreme Court decision on the Second Amendment. For more than 10 years I've been advocating for responsible national gun policies that effectively reduce gun access by kids, criminals and terrorists WITHOUT BANNING GUNS. With this decision the Supreme Court has put an end to the counterproductive debate pitting proponents of banning guns against champions of providing unlimited access to guns while 30,000 or more mostly urban Americans die every year from largely preventable gun violence. The opinion states that the Constitution protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms while leaving room for the government to regulate gun ownership. Justice Scalia, writing for the 5-4 majority, states;
"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."
He further noted that:
"nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on the longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms".
Extremist arguments on both sides of the polarized debate are now moot. The NRA's smoke screen that responsible gun ownership laws and policy will take away an individual's right to bear arms or the "slippery slope" argument that any gun law will lead to banning guns is now without merit. Although I'm not aware of any legitimate gun violence prevention group or legislator calling for a gun ban -- that too is finally off the table.
Further Congress and State Legislatures can no longer use the argument that the Second Amendment precludes them from enacting responsible laws that place reasonable (and limited) restrictions on firearms, including criminal background checks for all gun sales that are not currently required for private gun sales in 32 states and at thousands of annual Gun Shows.
By finding that reasonable restrictions are constitutionally sound, the Supreme Court has shown its support both for rural gun owners rights where only limited restrictions are necessary and for uniform State and National gun laws that help protect the safety of law-abiding citizens especially in urban America where gun violence has reached epidemic proportions. Statistics show that states such as Massachusetts that have enacted comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation, including safe storage and safety training, minimum manufacturing standards and background checks for all gun sales, have significantly lower firearm fatality rates than do states with lax gun laws. In fact, Massachusetts is an urban industrialized state and has the second lowest firearm fatality rate in the nation only behind rural and isolated Hawaii.
In a concluding paragraph to the 64-page Supreme Court opinion, Scalia said the justices in the majority ''are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country'' and believe the Constitution ''leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns.'' The Court simply deemed the outright ban to be unconstitutional and as a gun owner and recreational trap shooter who splits his time between rural and urban America, I am hopeful that we can now begin a productive national debate about how to prevent easy gun access to those that don't deserve the Second Amendment protection while protecting the right of law abiding gun owners who do.
Unfortunately the Court did not determine a standard of review or clearly define what are reasonable restrictions and as a result the decision will be argued in the Court system for years to come. In the meantime hopefully the NRA and other gun rights extremists will have a much harder time using the fear of gun confiscation to raise political funds in order to intimidate members of Congress. Hopefully Congress can now focus on the passage of legislation requiring responsible gun use and public safety initiatives that have proven to save lives and reduce gun violence in both rural and urban America. Massachusetts has done so without banning guns and it is now time for Congress to follow it's lead. A reasonable first step would be for Congress to enact pending legislation, supported by both Presidential candidates, requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales at the 5,000 annual Gun Shows where international terrorists and domestic criminals have been able to buy weapons undetected.
John Rosenthal is the Co-Founder of Stop Handgun Violence, Common Sense About Kids and Guns and American Hunters and Shooters Association


Harley Dude
14,651 Posts
A perfect example of the anti-gun groups taking a "Kick Azz Loss" and attempting to twist it and spin it into something that its not. They will lie, distort facts, make up stories, anything to continue pushing their agenda and keeping their non-jobs.

This is an example of how liberalism infects the country like a virus spreading out of control.

Pro Gun Advocate
10,940 Posts
Here's Massachusetts' laws:

Rifles and Shotguns
Permit to Purchase: FID Required
Registration of Firearm*: No, but police keep a 'record'
Licensing of Owner: Yes
Permit to Carry: FID Required

Permit to Purchase: Yes
Registration of Firearm*: No, but police keep 'records'
Licensing of Owner: Yes
Permit to Carry: Yes

A complex procedure is set out for the purchase of rifles, shotguns, handguns, their related feeding devices, ammunition, "large capacity firearms" and "large capacity feeding devices." Care must be taken to have the correct card or license for a particular purchase.

A private individual is permitted to sell not more than four firearms (rifles, shotguns, or handguns) per year unless sold directly to a licensed gun dealer. He must be properly licensed to possess these firearms and the purchaser must be properly licensed to buy them.

The seller must file a report of the sale with the Executive Director of the Criminal History Systems Board within seven days of the sale. This report must be on the proper forms provided by the Executive Director and give all required details regarding the seller, purchaser and the firearm being transferred, including the caliber, make and serial number, and the FID, license or permit number of the buyer. [but there's no registration]

Class A Carry License
Class A carry license is required to possess, purchase, or carry any large capacity firearm (handgun, rifle, or shotgun), large capacity ammunition feeding devices therefor, and ammunition therefor.
The license "may" be issued by the same issuing authority as for a card to a person at least 21 who is eligible for a card and demonstrates he is a "suitable person" and "has good reason to fear injury to his person or property, or for any other reason, or target practice only." Restrictions may be placed on the license.

Class B Carry License
Class B carry license entitles the licensee to possess, purchase or carry any non-large capacity handgun, and any large or non-large capacity rifle or shotgun, and feeding devices and ammunition therefor.
A class B carry license also entitles the licensee to possess a large-capacity handgun under a class A club license or the direct supervision of a class A license holder at an incorporated shooting club or licensed shooting range.

The requirements for the license are the same as for a class A license. Restrictions may be placed on the license. As in a class A license, the class B license shall be issued or denied within 40 days of application.

A Class A license authorizes carrying of handguns, including large capacity handguns, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of handguns as the licensing authority deems proper, and carrying of rifles and shotguns, including large capacity rifles and shotguns, for all lawful purposes, subject to restrictions imposed by the licensing authority.
(Politicians in Massachusetts have cited the State's tough gun control laws as the reason for its low murder rates. However, the adjacent states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have some of the least stringent gun control laws in the US, yet the first two have lower murder rates than Massachusetts and the murder rates in Vermont are comparable to those in Massachusetts. Murder rates in Boston increased 50% in 2004 over the previous year, while murder rates in Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and many other major cites saw murder rates decline.)

402 Posts
You know, I honestly don't have a problem with background checks. In fact, I think background checks are a good thing. They help to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, yet at the same time, allow law-abiding citizens to get them (as long as the BG check is instantaneous).

Here's the part that I have a problem with: why does the form I have to fill out in order to buy a firearm need to have information regarding the weapon(s) on it? In order to perform a background check, all the government needs is my information, so they can see if I've been convicted of a felony or found to be mentally incompetent, and the simple fact that I intend to purchase one or more firearms. They do NOT need to know how many I'm buying, what types, makes and models they are, and they CERTAINLY don't need to know the serial numbers.

If the laws were changed to remove giving the government information about the guns I'm buying, then I would support background checks for private sales.

Think the gungrabbers would go for that? No, and I'll tell you why: because the fact that background checks keep guns out of the hands of criminals is not why they want them. They want them so that the government can keep a list of every gun owner in America, and a list of exactly what guns they own. Remember that their real goal is to remove every gun from every law-abiding citizen in America, and they know that the first requirement for that to happen is that they know exactly where all the guns are.
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