Post-SCOTUS Ruling Temper Tantrums!
Tantrums - that is the only way I can describe the anti-gun liberal reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in NYSRPA vs. Bruen. They are doing everything they can think of to defy that decision and in the process they are just making things worse...for themselves. Let’s look at a few examples.
California and New York, two of the most anti-gun states in the United States, seem to be the most prominent leaders in the backlash against the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision. The governors of both states think they know more about what is “right” for their citizens and what the U.S. Constitution should and should not allow than both judges and members of Congress. In both cases, the legislatures in these states just basically “rubber stamp” whatever the governors’ want.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom had guidance issued to the state’s law enforcement agencies responsible for approving concealed carry license applications that replaced the “proper cause” requirement— which the Supreme Court had ruled was unconstitutional—with a “good moral character” requirement, doubled the initial training times (from 8 hours to 16 hours) and extended the renewal training time (from 4 hours to 8 hours), increased license fees, and that made private property “sensitive places” unless the owner of that property specifically posts signs at the entrance stating that the carrying of concealed firearms is permitted. As part of the “good moral character” requirement, applicants are required to provide statements from four other individuals attesting to their good moral character, have a personal interview conducted by the issuing sheriff, and provide authorities with access to the last 3 years of their social media posts, etc. All of these actions were designed to maintain California’s restrictive gun rights. Law suits are already working their way through the courts and California officials are doing everything possible to delay unfavorable rulings to their positions.
All of these new laws and some of California’s existing restrictions, such as their “assault weapons” and magazine capacity bans appear to be unconstitutional based on the Bruen decision that came out earlier this year. For the most part, the lower-level courts have ruled against California, but the state immediately appeals their rulings to higher-level courts for review. This process is just delaying when California’s citizens can begin to exercise their gun rights.
The losses in court are also costing the California millions of dollars in fines, legal fees, and awards to plaintiffs. However, they recently enacted a law that places the burden of paying for all legal costs on the plaintiffs unless the court rules that every part of the California law being challenged is unconstitutional. This is designed to discourage individuals and gun-advocacy groups from initiating lawsuits. This new law is also being challenged, but Governor Newsom believes it will stand because Texas successfully imposed such a law in dealing with that state’s abortion laws. What Newsom is “ignoring” is that the Constitution protects the rights to “keep and bear” arms but makes no mention of a person’s right to an abortion.
In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul, had the legislature enact a new “concealed carry improvement act” that significantly expands the definition of “sensitive places,” making it almost impossible for an individual to legally carry a firearm outside of their homes. This is something the Supreme Court directly addressed in the Bruen decision but New York has decided to ignore. This “improvement act” also includes many of the provisions that California has tried to implement as well. This new law will be declared unconstitutional, but Hochul will use the courts to delay things as long as possible.
One city in Colorado has outlawed the carrying of concealed firearms within the city limits. A court has ruled that this is unconstitutional, along with the state’s “assault weapons” and magazine capacity bans. Still, the governments there will be able to tie things up as long as possible in the courts, delaying the rights of citizens.
The ATF’s changes to the legal definition of what is a firearm, machinegun, etc., are being challenged in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of West Virginia v. the Environmental Protection Agency. But, as is the case in California, even though the Biden administration is likely to lose in court, it will take some time for the cases to work their way through the legal review process. The challenge to the ATF’s bump stock ban, was upheld. I suspect this was because Congress had pass a law banning them rather than just the ATF changing a definition.
The Biden administration is also acting defiantly by trying to get an “assault weapon” ban enacted by Congress while the Democrats still have a majority. The ban will be declared unconstitutional but the Democrats will use it as a campaign issue for the 2022 Congressional elections and the 2024 Presidential election, hoping to retain some of their voters that are very upset with their economic policies.
I think many of these liberal anti-gun politicians are continuing their unconstitutional actions so they can get more contributions from rich donors like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. They have no interest in doing what is right, only in enriching themselves in the process. Even when they ultimately lose the lawsuits that will be brought against the new laws, the politicians that are responsible for them will not have to pay the plantiffs as those funds will come from their state treasury (i.e., the taxpayers) and not from their personal bank accounts.
In addition to the anti-gun laws being enacted, violent attacks continue around the country. A few mass casualty events have been prevented or limited by armed citizens taking action to confront the assailants. The news media has downplayed such events because they do not support their anti-gun agenda. In one recent incident here in Ohio, the media wrote about a gunman, armed with an AR-15 rifle, attacking an FBI facility near Cincinnati. However, what the gunman fired during his attack was a nail gun, not an AR-15 rifle. (Some media reporting called it an “AR-15 nail gun.” The reporters and editors obviously know nothing about what they are writing about.) Most of the assailants in these attacks have had mental health issues and there were several indications of this prior to them carrying out their attacks, yet authorities failed to identify or take action ahead of time.
In addition, there have been a recent violent attack involving multiple casualties where the attacker used a knife rather than a gun, proving once again that mass violence is only a result of using guns. People have largely forgotten about the use of vehicles to run down people a few years ago and the continued use of improvised explosive devices to kill people.
When the anti-gun crowd cannot get things done through the legislative process, they will continue to pursue their agenda through executive actions. Gun control advocates will seek to have cases challenging the new restrictions heard by judges that share their viewpoints and thus render favorable decisions, causing further delays.
Perhaps more than anything, the liberal politicians in these and other states are using the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bruen, and their overturning of Roe v. Wade as issues they can use to their advantage in upcoming political campaigns. Only time will tell if this strategy works, but preliminary indications prior to the November elections are that it is not having the impact the liberals had hoped for.
Things are changing day to day, with the liberals trying to delay things for as long as possible. So, it is just more of the same for now.