- May 2012
- Upper Bucks County, PA
True but the question is, which laws will pass constitutional muster? 69 years passed between significant SCOTUS determinations on the right to arms / 2nd Amendment (1939-2008) and in that time, starting in 1942, a mutated, perverted interpretation of the 2nd Amendment became prevalent in the lower federal and state courts. This worked to negate claims of citizens challenging gun control laws as violating the right to arms secured by the 2nd Amendment. In those years there have been hundreds of laws that have been directly sustained citing that now invalid reasoning. Those reasonings, termed the "collective right" theories, was invalidated by SCOTUS in 2008 (DC v Heller).Yet our government does exert control and influence over the possession and use of private citizen's personal arms.
So, the legal foundation for the legitimacy of many of those laws you mention has evaporated. There will soon be an avalanche of challenges to gun control laws working their way up through the federal courts and now that wishy-washy Kennedy is gone, the Supreme Court will be taking more appeals from the Circuits.
All well and good but that isn't a compelling argument in 2019 because the 2nd Amendment was not enforceable on state laws until 2010 (McDonald v Chicago) and California is among the states with no right to arms provision in their state constitution. The California legislature took those circumstances to mean any gun control they could dream up was allowable.Take California for example. The Mulford Act was passed and signed by Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1967 with NRA support.
We will see in the next few years how all these laws (including California's) stand up to the Supreme Court's determinations on the right to arms. The Court has established protection criteria to decide if the possession and use of a firearm by a citizen is protected by the 2nd Amendment. The arm must be of a type that is part of the ordinary military equipment, of a type that is usual in civilized warfare and/or if its use could contribute to the common defense or simply, of a type in common use by the citizens. Heller clarified also that the 2nd Amendment's protection "extends . . . to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding".
The NFA-34 is different from all other federal gun control in that it is written under the tax code. The remainder of federal gun law is written under the commerce clause because it is argued, since firearms are transported in interstate commerce, they are forever under the regulatory authority of Congress. I think in the next 5 years we will see that authority rolled back, especially for firearms that never cross state lines and we might see drug laws be what chinks the commerce clause armor.There is also the 1934 National Firearms Act which is chock-full of government exerting control over and influencing the possession and use of private citizen's personal arms.