With all the changes by individual states on gun laws, it is getting more and more confusing to the average law-abiding gun owner what is the law and what isn’t the law. And it doesn’t stop there, it goes all the way to the Supreme Court as well. To say the least, it is confusing.
Unfortunately, we as gun owners are left to figure it all out and ensure that we abide by these laws or we could end up in jail and with some hefty fines. But when the Supreme Court is confused, everyone is probably confused…or left to their own interpretation of the law, which is usually incorrect.
Take for example an article in The Wall Street Journal the other day, “Gun Case Prompts Lawyers to Look Way Back—to 1328,” where the Supreme Court is going all the way back to look at the precedence set in certain gun laws…specifically open carry laws. They want to honor the constitution but also want to look at what the laws were initially to determine if there has been a precedent set for certain laws.
Some may say they are doing this to try and confirm and enhance laws that don’t allow for open carry amongst citizens. Is this a case where they have a point they want to make and are looking for any law ever created in history that can support their case? Or is it where they clearly don’t understand what to do with this issue and are reaching out to find any indicators of which way to go? Either way, it is not only confusing to gun owners, it is confusing to the Supreme Court.
This isn’t uncommon as they point out in the article…
“It’s very tricky to use history like this in a contemporary legal argument,” said Priya Satia, a history professor at Stanford University. Still, judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in addition to several Supreme Court justices, frequently look to history for help in interpreting parts of the Constitution.”
Further, it shows how this has been a pattern for the courts to use to figure out cases when there isn’t any clear direction…
“A key question in the case is whether such regulations have “long-standing” precedent. That has led lawyers to comb through historical documents for examples of how guns were used during the colonial era and earlier, in England during the Middle Ages.
The lawyers are taking the unusual step with the U.S. Supreme Court clearly in mind. No matter the outcome in the case on appeal, many legal experts think the high court will soon have to step in to more clearly settle whether and to what degree the Second Amendment protects the right to carry handguns outside the home—a question the justices have yet to address.
The emphasis on historical events makes sense given how “deeply the current Supreme Court considers history in some of its rulings,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an expert on gun laws.”
Stay tuned…there will definitely be more to come in this area. And if they do choose to use laws that were established over 700 years ago, this could open Pandora’s Box when it comes to many other laws. Should be an interesting situation to watch…I will keep you posted as this develops and you might want to keep an eye on it as well to help you, the law-abiding gun owner, know what you can and can’t do within the limits of the law.