Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Heller II

This is really fascinating.

Gun owners in Washington told a federal appeals court that the city’s firearm registration process and a ban on some assault rifles violate their constitutional rights. 

The lawyer for Dick Heller, the plaintiff in a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2008 that expanded Second Amendment rights, argued to the three-judge panel today that the District of Columbia’s regulations are so burdensome that gun owners are deprived of their constitutional rights. The rules are inconsistent with high court rulings, including Heller’s earlier case, he said.
One fascinating part is that the case being argued now was originally raised just 12 days after the big victory in Heller vs. D.C. That would have been before they even know how restrictive the registration practice would be.

Washington requires residents who want to keep a gun at home to be fingerprinted and photographed by police, provide a five-year work history, and note their intended use of the weapon. Residents must register every firearm they own every three years. Applicants must allow police to run ballistic tests on each gun they register. Firearms defined by the city as assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 bullets are banned. 
I was wondering when does the restrictive part come in. To me there's nothing objectionable about this. All these measures will contribute towards minimizing the gun flow to criminals.

Once again the pro-gun crowd refuses to be inconvenienced, even for the greater good.

What's your opinion?  Was filing this lawsuit immediately after the first case was decided an indication of planned incrementalism?  Isn't that what they always accuse the gun control folks of doing?

Please leave a comment. 


  1. A quick question: how does limiting magazine capacity to ten rounds reduce gun violence? Seriously. I can't fathom that one.

  2. My carry mags hold 12 rounds. Those extra two rounds are far more dangerous than the other 10.

  3. It doesn't, but then the restrictions MikeB and his ilk wan't arent about reducing gun violence, they're about infringing upon my rights.

    It's never been about anything else to bigots like him.

  4. I have an SKS that has a fixed 10 round magazine, so I am good from that standpoint. Unfortunately, it also has an attached bayonet. Because of the scourge that is drive-by bayonetings, gun control activists seek to non-arbitrarily make this a prohibited feature.

  5. Of course Mike doesn’t see it an onerous. One problem is DC calls whatever they want an “assault weapon”. This points to the fundamental flaw of “assault weapons” in that they are not unique from other semiautomatics- which opens the door for a place like DC to call a model 1911 an “assault weapon”.

    Re-registration is of course another blatant example. Why on earth would any one who truly wants to keep guns out of criminal hands want to write the law that creates a “re-registration gap loophole” that allows someone to keep their gun for up to three years after committing a crime? Why not take it away immediately upon conviction?

    As far as the timing of the suit, I believe DC rejected Heller’s 1911 registration immediately after the SCOTUS decision, thus kicking off this suit.

  6. RuffRidr: “I have an SKS that has a fixed 10 round magazine, so I am good from that standpoint.”

    Careful. Some SKS magazine springs are soft enough to allow an eleventh round, which would make you a felon.

  7. "One problem is DC calls whatever they want an “assault weapon”. This points to the fundamental flaw of “assault weapons” in that they are not unique from other semiautomatics- which opens the door for a place like DC to call a model 1911 an “assault weapon”."

    Of course, TS neglects to mention gunloons call whatever they want "assault weapons" as well. The difference, of course, being that few, if any, weapons are "assault weapons" according to them.

    We can argue about magazine size but the fact is that if you're talking mag capacities over 10 rounds--you're not talking about a self-defense, hunting, or sport shooting weapon. You're talking about what is purely an offensive weapon.

    In the military, unless you're being trained as a sniper, you don't get a whole lot of time on the range. Know why? Because marksmanship is largely a defensive capability. And the military isn't big into defensive postures. Instead, they're about getting a bunch of troops to deliver massive amounts of firepower to bear on a target quickly. It ain't about one round, one kill. It's about literally overwhelming a foe under a wall of lead.

    So, if you tell me you "need" a large cap magazine for self-defense--you're blowing smoke.

  8. Of course Jadegold neglects to mention that DC calls the seven shot 1911 an “assault weapon” –sorry- “machine gun”. Explain to us why a 100 year old semiautomatic handgun design with a seven round capacity is only good for going to war with?

    By the way, I could care less who calls something “assault weapon”, “assault rifle”, or “assault whatever”, so long as there aren’t any “assault bans”.

    Regarding hi-cap magazines, it is the only “assault weapon” argument from the gun control side with any kind of cohesion (granted it is completely separate from the firearm itself). That doesn’t mean I agree with it, but at least there is a basic premise of more ammo=more deadly. The other arguments against “assault weapons” like grips, flash suppressors, and shoulder things that go up, are completely nonsensical.

    I see magazine capacity like a factor of safety in engineering. If I am in a self-defense situation with my life on the line, the VERY LAST thing I want to be thinking about is how much ammo I have left. Basically, I want three times as much ammo as I’ll ever need. Kind of how when we build a bridge we figure out the absolute most weight it will ever need to hold, and then we build it three times stronger than that. Why? Because lives are on the line. You’ll call that paranoia, I guess. As a counter argument, you’ll have to show me a correlation between magazine capacity and death. You’ll also have to convince police officers that 10rds is enough, since any more than that is only good for offensively killing lots of people. Once all the police agree with Jade, I might come around.

  9. “Firearms defined by the city as assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 bullets are banned.”

    Mike, you’ll be sure to contact Michael Bloomberg and tell him that his news site is misusing the word “ban”, right?

  10. Why is the only thing you guys commented on the limit on rounds to 10 per magazine?

    I agree totally that the difference between a 10-round and a 12-round magazine is negligible. I suppose what they want to eliminate are those really high-capacity big ones and they debated over where to draw the line. Ten was the decision. For you to focus on that to the exclusion of all else is nothing but obfuscation on your part.

    The real issues, which I'm sure you'll oppose as well, but are less easily ridiculed, are the registration of every gun every three years, and the ballistic tests on each gun, the fingerprinting and photograph requirements, too.

    As a whole package, this is pretty good gun control.

  11. But why should they be needed to reregister every three years? There's no need for it.

    If registration is to be fair and legitimately sensible, it *must* be for life or until disqualified. That's the only sensible way.

  12. Wrong, Guy. The reason for re-registering the guns is to ensure they are still in the possession of the rightful owners. It's reassuringly similar to my ideas for combatting straw purchasing.