March 2nd, 2010

After the Argument — Supreme Court Appears to Favor Extension of Second Amendment

SCOTUSLyle Denniston, reporter for the Scotus (Supreme Court of the United States) Blog, attended the oral argument in McDonald v. Chicago (Docket 08-1521) this morning. Analyzing the comments and questions of the Justices, Denniston concluded that the High Court is very likely to extend the Second Amendment to state and municipal actions, on the basis of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. However, the Justices were skeptical of the argument that “incorporation” of the Second Amendment was likewise mandated by the “privileges and immunities” section of the 14th Amendment.

CLICK HERE for transcript of Oral Argument
(PDF file, 77 pages, 342kb).

Denniston writes: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed poised to require state and local governments to obey the Second Amendment guarantee of a personal right to a gun, but with perhaps considerable authority to regulate that right. The dominant sentiment on the Court was to extend the Amendment beyond the federal level, based on the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “due process,” since doing so through another part of the 14th Amendment would raise too many questions about what other rights might emerge.”

During the course of the oral argument, the Justices disagreed as to the scope of the Second Amendment — whether it should be limited to a “core right” of self-defense or whether it could be applied much more broadly in future cases. The Scotus Blog explained: “The liberal wing of the Court appeared to be making a determined effort to hold the expanded Amendment in check, but even the conservatives open to applying the Second Amendment to states, counties and cities seemed ready to concede some — but perhaps fewer — limitations. The eagerly awaited oral argument in McDonald, et al., v. Chicago, et al. found all members of the Court actively involved except the usually silent Justice Clarence Thomas. And, while no one said that the issue of “incorporating” the Second Amendment into the 14th Amendment had already been decided before the argument had even begun, the clear impression was that the Court majority was at least sentimentally in favor of that, with only the dimensions of the expansion to be worked out in this case and in a strong of likely precedents coming as time went on.”

We recommend that those interested in Second Amendment issues read the full Scotus Blog Entry, which includes detailed explanations of the key arguments, and analyses of how individual justices stand on the question of how the Second Amendment should be applied to the States — i.e. whether broadly or narrowly.

CLICK HERE to read SCOTUS BLOG re McDonald v. Chicago.

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March 2nd, 2010

High Court Hears "McDonald v. Chicago" Today

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in McDonald v. City of Chicago, a major Second Amendment case that will determine whether cities and states must honor the Constitutional Right to keep and bear arms, set forth in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It will be argued that the protections of the Second Amendment should extend to state and local government activity, based on the provisions of the 14th Amendment.

The key words from the 14th Amendment are “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . . ”

McDonald v. Chicago

You can consider McDonald v. City of Chicago as the sequel to the 2008 landmark case — the District of Columbia v. Heller — in which the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the Second Amendment is an “individual” right to keep and bear arms. The Court’s decision, however, applied only to areas regulated by the federal government, such as the District of Columbia. As a result the Heller decision inspired further legal attempts to clarify how the right to keep and bear arms applies to citizens nationwide.

After Heller, many lawsuits were filed to overturn municipal and state laws that prevented individuals from owning handguns. In Chicago, several residents brought suit challenging the city’s long-standing gun ban. These residents, among them 76-year-old Otis McDonald, wanted a handgun to protect themselves and their families. McDonald, interviewed by ABC News, lives in a crime-ridden neighborhood and wants a gun to defend himself in his home: “If I’ve got a gun, and if others have guns in their homes to protect themselves, then that’s one thing that police would have to worry about less.”

How broadly or narrowly the Second Amendment will be applied to state regulations is the key question in today’s hearing in McDonald v Chicago. Today, one hour has been set for oral arguments. Attorney Alan Gura, who won the Heller case, will argue for the petitioners Otis McDonald, et al. Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement will argue for the NRA, which is also a party to the case. Chicago’s defense will take up the remainder of the time.

Final Decision is Months Away
Legal experts will attempt to predict how McDonald v. Chicago will be decided, based on the questions/comments of the Justices during oral argument. However, we will have to wait many months before the Supreme Court’s actual written ruling. In a case of this significance, we can expect a lengthy written opinion (with dissents), that may not be issued until summer 2010.

Report and Photo Courtesy NSSF

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March 2nd, 2010

Brownells Expands Warehouse to Stock More Inventory

Brownells has commenced a 37,000 square foot expansion of its Montezuma, Iowa, warehouse. Along with the new space, plans call for the addition of several new warehouse employees, plus more technology to assist order-picking, packing, and shipping.

According to company President, Pete Brownell, “The extra space makes room for the additional inventory needed to maintain our industry-leading in-stock position and to also help us get our orders out even more efficiently.”

CEO Frank Brownell told us, “I remember working for Dad in the basement of the old movie theatre on the town square. We couldn’t imagine filling the current building when we moved in back in the 1970s and we’ve had to add on every five years.”

Brownells gun parts

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