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June 28th, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court ‘Incorporates’ Second Amendment to States in Challenge to Chicago Gun Ban

In McDonald v. City of Chicago, the most important Second Amendment legal case since D.C. v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies to States and local governments. This will allow plaintiffs to proceed with their legal challenge to a Chicago law banning handgun possession. Justice Alito wrote the High Court’s 5-4 decision.

In making this ruling, the High Court held that the Second Amendment applies to actions of State and local governments under the incorporation doctrine derived from the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Thomas offered a well-reasoned concurring opinion arguing that the “Privileges and Immunities” Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment also demands that State and municipal governments not abridge citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

CLICK HERE to Read FULL TEXT of McDonald v. City of Chicago Decision

Now State and Municipal Laws Can Be Challenged on Second Amendment Grounds
In a decision written by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court ruled the individual right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies to states and local governments. The court split along ideological lines in voting 5 to 4 to support the right of individuals to own handguns for self protection. The Second Amendment now carries “full sway” over state and municipal actions, as do most of the other protections enumerated in the Bill of Rights. In applying the Second Amendment to state action, the Court followed a familiar blueprint under which other rights have been applied to the states by virtue of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The case before the Court, McDonald v. City of Chicago, was filed in 2008 a day after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller — in which the high court reaffirmed that the Second Amendment protects an “individual” right to keep and bear arms. The Heller decision, however, did not reach the question of whether the Second Amendment also applied to the states.

Immediately after Heller, several Chicago residents, including retired maintenance worker Otis McDonald, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the city’s long-standing gun ban. The Chicago-based federal courts ruled that the Second Amendment did not apply to the states and local governments, setting the stage for the Supreme Court to decide the question it left unanswered in its Heller decision.

On hearing today’s decision, Plaintiff Otis McDonald thanked the Justices: “for having the courage to right a wrong, which has impacted many lives long ago and will protect lives for many years to come.”

Steve Sanetti, President of the NSSF, which filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of McDonald, added: “Today’s ruling is a victory for freedom and liberty. All law-abiding Americans, no matter whether they live in a big city like Chicago or in rural Wyoming, have the same Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Constitutional rights don’t stop at state or city borders. Cities like Chicago and New York and states like California must now respect the Second Amendment.”

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Credit: Thanks to German Salazar, Esq. for sourcing the text of the Supreme Court’s decision.

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June 28th, 2010

Amazing New MicroSight Technology Moves into Production

Microsight Rifle lens Zone PlateIn May, we reported on the new MicroSight invented by engineer (and shooter) David Crandall of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The MicroSight keeps both near and far objects in sharp focus, simultaneously imaging two distinct focal planes. This break-through technology allows the shooter to see a sharp image of the target and a sharp image of his iron sights at the same time.

The MicroSight is not a lens per se. Rather it is a phased Zone Plate that focuses light beams through diffraction. Zone Plates, first studied by Frenchman Augustin-Jean Fresnel in the 1800s, focus light via a set of concentric rings that alternate between transparent and opaque. The transparent sections let some light waves pass through unchanged, focusing objects that are far away (basically, at infinity). But light passing the edges of the opaque rings gets diffracted, which brings nearby objects into focus. This produces a seemingly impossible result — sharp images of distant and near objects, simultaneously.

Microsight Rifle lens Zone Plate

The MicroSight is not just a laboratory experiment. Prototype versions have been crafted and placed on test rifles. INL has licensed the technology to Apollo Optical Systems which is right now working with gunsight manufacturers to adapt the MicroSight design to a variety of products. In the future, some MicroSight-equipped products might add refractive power to the Zone Plate, allowing target magnification as well as focusing.

WATCH the VIDEO below to see the MicroSight in Use and to learn how it works…

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Microsight Rifle sight Zone Plate

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June 28th, 2010

Nightforce Takes Advance Orders for NXS Hi-Speed Scopes

At SHOT Show in January, Nightforce revealed a new Hi-Speed option for its NXS scope line-up. This nearly doubles the MOA range for each turn of the elevation knob, giving a full 20 MOA of elevation for a single rotation. For most long-range calibers that means you can hit targets from 50 yards out past 700 yards all within a single turret rotation. That makes it far less easy to get confused with your long-range zeros.

We’ve been waiting for the “Hi-Speed” option to arrive. Well the wait is almost over — Nightforce Optics has begun taking orders for the new “Hi-Speed” ZeroStop feature for the following 5 models:

NXS 3.5-15x50mm
NXS 3.5-15x56mm
NXS 5.5-22x50mm
NXS 5.5-22x56mm
NXS 3.5-15x50mm F1 (First focal plane reticle)

The above scope models (with hi-speed turret) will be offered with either 1/4-MOA adjustments and 20 MOA per rotation, or 1/10th Mil-Radian adjustments and 10 Mil-Radians per rotation.

Nightforce reports it “will begin shipping these new featured models -– in limited numbers –- by mid to late July, 2010. There will be a 3% price increase per respective model (excluding the NXS1550 F1).”

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