Gun Owners Win!

On Thursday, June 23, 2022, the United States Supreme Court, handed down its decision by a 6-3 vote which was looooong overdue on the constitutionality of gun control laws. Justice Clarence Thomas gave the majority opinion. This decision blows gun control laws out of the water. He basically said that individuals have the right to defend themselves…which is the core tenet of the Second Amendment.

The Court’s decision will now change the test that lower courts will have to use when analyzing the constitutionality of recent existing regulations or pending new gun regulations. Only firearm regulations that are “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition” comply with Second Amendment’s protections, he wrote, in an assertion that puts in jeopardy any restriction that does not have a historical parallel to the nation’s founding.

So what does this mean in layman’s terms? It means for a gun control law to be constitutional, the law will have to be consistent with how firearms were historically regulated. This decision will spell trouble for those states which enact new controlling laws, because, by its nature, the new law does not have any historical tradition. In other words, if a new law has no bearing on the country’s previous history of gun traditions, it will be ruled unconstitutional.

Here is an example. Let’s suppose that in the early days of our country, say 1840, adults between 18 and 21 were not prohibited from owning guns. So, based on this decision, newer gun laws prohibiting 18 to 21 year olds from owning guns will now be challenged as unconstitutional, because these new “age” restricting gun laws are not how this country historically regulated guns. The only way a new “age” restriction control can be constitutional is if a state had an age restriction law on its books and that the state historically operated based on that regulation of restricting young adults from owning guns.

This new ruling may challenge high profile gun cases, such as Commiefornia’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds, Maryland’s ban on “assault weapons” (hic), and the ATF’s ban on bump stocks. The high court may hear these cases or it may send them back to the lower courts with instructions these laws are reexamined under Thursday’s ruling.

The other impact this decision may have is to reduce these knee-jerk, thoughtless reactions of attempting to stop violent massacres, particularly this new massive gun control bill currently making its way through Congress. Because, up until the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, we did not have any high profile massacres. And as such, the country historically did not have laws on the books to deal with mentally unstable madmen.

Personally, I expect gun advocacy groups to challenge existing gun laws on the basis of this new ruling. I expect a flood of emails from gun advocacy groups pitching for donations to challenge these laws in court.

Gun Owners Win!