Thursday, October 22, 2015
Dave Workman: 2nd Circuit Ruling
Yesterday’s ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding most of the gun control laws passed in New York and Connecticut after the Newtown tragedy may not be getting the rave reviews one might expect because of a couple of key tenets of Circuit Judge Jose A. Cabranes’ decision.
“This much is clear,” Judge Cabranes wrote, “Americans own millions of the firearms that the challenged legislation prohibits.
“The same is true of large‐capacity magazines, as defined by the New York and Connecticut statutes,” he continued on page 24 of the ruling. “Though fewer statistics are available for magazines, those statistics suggest that about 25 million large‐capacity magazines were available in 1995, shortly after the federal assault weapons ban was enacted, and nearly 50 million such magazines—or nearly two large‐capacity magazines for each gun capable of accepting one—were approved for import by 2000.
“Even accepting the most conservative estimates cited by the parties and by amici,” he observed, “the assault weapons and large‐capacity magazines at issue are ‘in common use’ as that term was used in Heller.”
“Common use” is a term used in the 2008 Heller ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that cemented the role of the handgun in self-defense, not to mention its protection under the Second Amendment. It’s an observation from the judge that may seem like a bread crumb right now, but it could have the weight of a wrecking ball somewhere over the legal horizon.