Judge overturns federal interstate handgun sales ban

Another big legal win for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) in a federal district court in Texas. While some sections of the country seem dead-set on putting more restrictions on firearms owners - especially the legal ones, other parts of the nation - even in federal courts- see things somewhat differently.

In the case of Mance v. Holder (yes, that Holder- he's one of the defendants) U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor of the Northern District of Texas , Fort Worth Division, ruled that current law requiring residency for handgun transfers is unconstitutional, saying the "federal interstate transfer ban burdens conduct that falls within the scope of the Second Amendment."

The case involves residents of the District of Columbia and Texas - but CCRKBA and Second Amendment Foundation head Alan Gottlieb says it has "far reaching ramifications." The issue is a federal requirement under the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibited interstate handgun transfers to citizens who are not residents of the state in which the transfer occurs. Rifles and shotguns aren't included in that prohibition, and the plaintiffs argued -successfully at least to Judge O'Connor- that the prohibition makes no sense with the advent of the National Instant Crime Check (NICS) which went online in 1993.

So, the plaintiffs sued, arguing the law puts an undue burden on a citizen's right to exercise the Second Amendment. Judge O'Conner applied the "strict scrutiny" level of examination to the law and agreed, saying "The federal interstate handgun transfer ban is unique compared to other firearms restrictions because it does not target certain people (such as felons or the mentally ill), conduct (such as carrying firearms into government buildings or schools), or distinctions among certain classes of firearms (such as fully automatic weapons or magazine capacity)."

"By failing to provide specific information to demonstrate the reasonable fit between this ban and illegal sales and lack of notice in light of the Brady Act amendments to the 1968 Gun Control Act, the ban is not substantially related to address safety concerns. Thus, even under intermediate scrutiny, the federal interstate handgun transfer ban is unconstitutional on its face."

According to Gottlieb, the lawsuit isn't just a victory for gun owners, it's a validation of the NICS system's making a ban on the interstate transfer of handguns not just illegal, but unnecessary.

This is doubtless one case that will be appealed, but it's another of those cases where the "facts of the matter" should influence the decision more than the "feelings-based approach" of many who would, if they could, end all commerce in firearms.

Republished from The Outdoor Wire.

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