Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories, and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

IBD op-ed: Sotomayor, Chicago judges get it wrong:
... In a 5-4 decision written by [Supreme Court] Justice Antonin Scalia, the court ruled that the 2nd Amendment indeed protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

An individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the 2nd Amendment was adopted, Justice Scalia wrote.

Not so fast. On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected subsequent suits brought by the National Rifle Association against the city of Chicago and its suburb of Oak Park, both of which believe the Constitution prevents citizens from defending themselves.

The Circuit Court decision was written by Judge Frank Easterbrook and joined by Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer. Easterbrook's reasoning is fascinating. According to him, the Revolution was fought and independence won so that the Founding Fathers could write a Constitution with a Bill of Rights that applied only to the District of Columbia.

"Heller dealt with a law enacted under the authority of the national government," Easterbrook wrote, "while Chicago and Oak Park are subordinate bodies of a state." We're all for federalism, but the U.S. Constitution is the U.S. Constitution.

Surely he can't be serious. But he is, and agreeing with him is Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. ...

[Texas] WND: Fort Bliss soldiers told to register private guns:
Another major U.S. military base is requiring soldiers who live off the premises to provide descriptions, serial numbers, calibers, makes and models of any of the guns they own privately, and do not take onto the premises of the installation.

According to a copy of a "Weapons Registration Form" submitted to WND by a soldier from Fort Bliss in Texas, the soldiers have to provide their own information including Social Security number, a physical description and addresses and telephone numbers, along with the serial number, type, action, make, caliber, finish, location stored, model, overall length and barrel description of each weapon they own.

Base public information officer Jean Offutt told WND that registration of privately owned weapons is suggested and recommended, but there's no enforcement procedures available to the military if someone chooses not to submit that off-post information. ...

[New York] Yet another infringement may be on the way:
Albany, NY РSenator Jos̩ M. Serrano moved quickly to ensure safety at state parks, in the wake of a reckless pro-gun provision that moved through Congress last month.

The provision, tucked into a bill on credit card rules, allows park visitors to carry concealed weapons in national parks unless otherwise prohibited by state law.

The Serrano bill (S.4753) would expressly ban concealed weapons in state parks, and thus ban them in New York’s national parks as well. On Thursday, it passed the Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation Committee – chaired by the Senator – and will now proceed to the Codes Committee.

“State parks are safe havens for New York families, and we intend to keep them that way,” said Senator Serrano.

“The gun lobby cannot expect to ram guns into New York parks the very same way it rams language into federal legislation. My colleagues and I will work tirelessly to strengthen laws and close loopholes.” ...

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