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June 21, 2016

Real Fight for Gun Rights Will Be After the Election

The Senate voted down four gun measures.

Senate Republicans actually outmaneuvered Democrats Monday, putting them on the record opposing not only the Second Amendment but the Fifth as well. Last night, the Senate voted on four measures that would have amended the nation’s gun policies. The Left proposed bills that would close the practically nonexistent “gun show loophole” and ban anyone on a terror watch list from purchasing firearms. Republicans answered with bills that would have increased funding for the National Instant Background Check and instituted a wait period for anyone on the watch list seeking to buy a firearm. This would give the government time to investigate the individual and file a court order to stymie the purchase, but without eviscerating due process. In other words, Democrats wanted to give nameless bureaucrats the ability to take away someone’s Second Amendments rights by trampling Fifth Amendment protections.

Naturally, all four measures failed. Republicans opposed Democrats’ excessive gun control policies that would not have prevented the Orlando jihadist from getting his hands on weapons. And Democrats, wanting only to score political points during an election year, opposed Republican plans because they didn’t go as far as Democrats demanded.

But the real fight to preserve the right to keep and bear AR-15-style arms will be decided in the courts. The Supreme Court declined to hear a case that would have challenged the bans Connecticut and New York placed on military style firearms and guns with high-capacity magazines. Monday’s announcement keeps the lower courts’ rulings upholding the laws in place. Part of the reason is that, without a ninth judge, SCOTUS would likely split 4-4. The Fourth Circuit may rule Maryland’s ban unconstitutional, and that conflict in the lower courts may compel SCOTUS to act. And judges the next president nominates will determine the outcome.

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