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February 13, 2014

What's Next in the Case of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

Volokh looks ahead to the near-term, which, as Gabe said, involves an almost certain decision from the Supreme Court. Likely, this will be resolved in favor of shall-issue, but we don't know that.

The next step is: Well, what comes after that? I was asking John Ekdahl and Charles C.W. Cooke about their opinion as to whether the Second Amendment's protections would forbid, for example, a state law banning any guns from being carried into a nightclub or any establishment that serves liquor. I ask not because I favor such a law, but because this would be the natural next step of the gun restrictivists, should shall-issue be the rule of the land: The gun restrictionists will begin passing laws that say you can't have a gun in many, many places: Churches, schools, and hospitals, first of all, citing safety; then they'd add "malls" to the list, citing the special danger guns in malls pose, as malls represent a target-rich environment for a crazed shooter. (They will ignore the fact that an armed citizen in the mall could stop a crazed shooter, of course.)

Then they'd say "nightclubs" because of the possibility that a drunken argument turns into a shooting.

Of course they wouldn't stop there; they'd keep on adding new venues where guns were illegal. They would attempt to eat at the ruling that people are permitted to carry guns in public by finding new exceptions to that rule, new venues excluded from what "public" means, with an eye to making the exceptions swamp the rule.

So their campaign would be to prohibit guns from this place, and then next, until the law's guarantee that citizens can carry guns in public was limited, pretty much, to "your home, and the woods."

Cooke says his research tells him that New Hampshire has a law forbidding guns at polling places, and he imagines that would be found constitutional.

Anyway, that's what I see the next battles as being about, at least if the Supreme Court endorses the Ninth Circuit opinion.


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posted by Ace at 07:01 PM

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