Wednesday, May 29, 2019

From Now On, The Gun Rights Battle Will Be Primarily In The Courts

Could It Be That The Loss Of The NRA Would Not Matter Much?

Increasingly, anti-2A efforts have been centered in the states.  Organizations owned and operated by Michael Bloomberg have focused on passing oppressive laws in blue and purple states.  One need only consider the draconian laws passed in New York, New Jersey, California and Washington state, as well as those passed in purple states such as Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico to see that the federal battle has been placed on the back burner (for now).  With basically unlimited funds, the other side can buy the votes of lawmakers or push initiatives buy purchasing all available media time and simply lying about what is in the measure.  This has now happened twice in Washington state.  There is no sign that he will stop anytime soon.

In contrast, exactly the opposite is happening in the red states (which is majority of states).  Constitutional carry is expanding and other pro-gun measures are common.  This could lead 2A activists in these states to be lulled into a false sense of security.  We need to understand the plan our opposition is pursuing.  They know that, even if they can get a majority in the House, and gain back the White House, the Senate is going to be nearly impossible for the foreseeable future.  So, they have shifted their efforts to the states.  Know this: They are already in your deep red state, and eventually they will push their horrible laws in your state.

This makes the NRA (the national organization) less critical.  Clearly, the state affiliates will have a role to play, as will the state affiliates of GOA and independent state organizations.  In some states, mostly purple state like Maine, we can stop their bills at the political level.  In some states, we can effectively nullify the law in many counties by getting sheriff to refuse to enforce what we (and they) believe is an unconstitutional law.

In addition to moving the battle to the states, our opponents are attempting to push the constitutional limits of firearms restrictions.  The know that outright bans are now of the table, but they are attempting to get as close as possible to an outright ban.  One need only look to California to see a huge number of varied restrictions, most of which definitely push constitutional limits.  There was little to no chance of stopping these laws politically.  After all, one of the worst passed as an initiative by a nearly two to one margin.  The only hope for California gun owners is the courts.

The best chance for stopping Bloomberg is the Supreme Court.  While it would be wonderful to get a sweeping decision, striking down most gun laws, this is unlikely.  Even if we get the best possible outcome from the current case headed to SCOTUS, we still are likely going to have to fight every gun control scheme the other side can come up with.  Sadly, there are still a lot of state and federal courts where the judges simply don't care what SCOTUS (or the Constitution) says - they will uphold gun control laws.  We have already seen lower courts ignore Heller and McDonald - so I suspect that they will continue to refuse to correctly apply any future rulings.  In short, we are going to have to fight a lot of legal battles, even if we get good rulings from the Supreme Court.

While the NRA has indeed brought legal action, other gun rights organizations, especially SAF, have more experience and are likely better at it.  These organizations are much less bloated and top heavy than the NRA.  Their leadership doesn't make millions a year.  Contributions to these groups are much more effective.  Could it be that the NRA will not be the nation's leading gun rights group going forward - and that the replacement will be even more effective?

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