The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the importance of the right to keep and bear arms, which is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This right has been threatened since 1976 when the National Council to Control Handguns, later known as the Brady Campaign, activated their three-part plan to make handguns illegal. Part one of the plans was to slow down the number of handguns produced and purchased in our nation. The Brady Campaign has worked diligently for the past thirty-eight years to stop Americans from owning handguns. The fight against those who desire to take our guns continues, and the NRA continues to stand in their way. The following information comes from their legislative activity report.
In 2007, then-Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed a bill that restricted the sale of semi-automatic handguns. The bill was passed and signed even though there is evidence that “microstamping” is ineffective in solving or reducing crime. “In January, America’s two largest handgun manufacturers – Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. – announced that they will stop selling new semi-automatic handguns in California, rather than comply with the state’s `microstamping’ law. The law applies not only to entirely new models of handguns, but also to any current production handgun approved by the state’s Roster Board, if such handguns are modified with any new feature or characteristic, however minor.” (See “California’s Most Ambitious Handgun Ban Now Underway,” America’s First Freedom, April 2014, p. 58.)
All is not lost – yet – because we have some judges who actually know what the Constitution says and rules by it. New York recently enacted a gun control law known as “SAFE Act.” The Act was taken to court by plaintiffs who were led by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) and backed by the NRA. The case “launched a focused attack on the highest-priority targets. Three provisions were challenged as violating the Second Amendment. These included the Act’s expanded bans on what it termed `assault weapons’ and `large capacity ammunition feeding devices,’ and its requirement that magazines contain no more than seven rounds, whatever their capacity. Various aspects of the law were also challenged as being so vague as to violate constitutional due process. Finally, the Act’s ban on direct Internet sales of ammunition was said to violate Congress’ preeminent role under the Constitution in regulating interstate commerce.”
U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, Western District of New York, issued his decision in the case in the “closing hours of 2013.” “Several aspects of Judge Skretny’s decision represent victories for the Second Amendment. Yet the decision let stand other offending aspects of the law, ensuring the fight will continue to vindicate the rights of competent, peaceable New Yorkers to own and use some of America’s most common and popular arms. The story contains important lessons for gun owners in every state.” (See Chris W. Cox, “Neither `SAFE’ Nor Sorry,” First Freedom, p. 52.)
Chicago instituted “a ban on firearm sales and transfers within the city.” The law went to court, courtesy of the “Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers and three individuals, with the backing of the NRA.” On January 6, U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang of the Northern District of Illinois invalidated the ban. (See “Chicago’s Firearm Transfer Ban Falls to Second Amendment Ruling,” First Freedom, p. 59.)
Detroit, long under Democrat control, has seen more than its share of crime. In fact, it had the” highest murder rate of any major U.S. city” in 2012. “In early January, the Detroit News reported that the city’s police chief, James Craig, offered a solution by suggesting that law-abiding citizens obtain concealed carry permits. That’s not a position typically espoused by big-city police chiefs. And Chief Craig didn’t always think that way either.
“According to the article, Craig had worked for nearly 30 years in the Los Angeles Police Department, before moving east to become the police chief in Portland, Maine. It was there that he started believing that law-abiding gun owners could deter crime.” (See “Detroit Police Chief Agrees: More Guns, Less Crime,” First Freedom, p. 59.)
The importance of defending the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms cannot be stressed too much. It is this right that protects all other rights. History has proven time and time again that when citizens lose this right, their own governments kill them. It happened in Germany, Russia, and numerous other places. We do not want it to happen here!