Indiana Second Amendment rights attorney’s take on gun control executive actions

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President Biden is taking executive action on gun control in the U.S.

The president’s orders tackle a range of topics, like banning “ghost guns,” which can be assembled from kits at home and lack the serial number that allows law enforcement to trace them.

Another part focuses on restricting a certain stabilizer for pistols.

“With pistol stabilizer braces, he’s not banning them, but just saying, let’s treat them as short-barreled rifles which makes people go through the NFA process and pay $200 to register them with the ATF,” says Guy Relford, a Second Amendment rights attorney in Indianapolis.

Relford says there is one piece of President Biden’s action that he’s all for — resources for communities to help with violence prevention.

“That, I think, is what makes the most sense, if any of this makes sense,” he said. “It makes sense to actually head off violence where it begins, and that’s at the community level.”

Although he doesn’t agree with all of Biden’s orders, Relford says what he is doing is constitutional.

“I don’t see anything here that would necessarily not hold up in court under a second amendment challenge,” he said. “Like, if he were to try to ban assault weapons, through an executive order, that would clearly be legislative. That’s something only Congress can do. The president can’t do that. I think he probably got advice from the justice department that said ‘don’t go too far, don’t legislate, and only act within your capacity.'”

However, Relford predicts the next move will, indeed, be in Congress. He believes “that is where they’ll try to ban assault weapons and move forward on universal background checks.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. So adding an onerous tax to exercise a right is ok? How is that any different than a poll tax?

    “OK BLM, you can have your marches, but every person needs to buy a $200 permit for each march they want to participate in.” That would never fly under the First Amendment, but suddenly it is ok to do the same thing to the Second Amendment?

    Some attorney…

  2. “[I]f he were to try to ban assault weapons, through an executive order, that would clearly be legislative. That’s something only Congress can do.”

    I beg your pardon, counselor, but Congress can’t do it, either. Per U.S. v. Miller and D.C. v. Heller, arms that are in common use that have military utility are within the ambit of Second Amendment protection. So-called “assault weapons” (they really aren’t; they are semiautomatic small arms, not select-fire automatic weapons) are unquestionably in common use for lawful purposes, and they unquestionably have utility as militia weapons. Justice Scalia wrote in Heller that semiautomatic handguns in particular were “the most popular arms for self-defense” and could not be banned outright. The same criteria apply to semiautomatic rifles and carbines. Unlike fully automatic small arms, they do not fit the “dangerous and unusual” exception – they have been in widespread common use for over a century.

    That Congress banned them for a decade in the last century is of no consequence. That ban was unconstitutional, and would again be unconstitutional; the difference is that we now have a majority in the SCOTUS that views text, original intent and historical context as the central guidance in applying constitutional protections.

    The ’90s Court was AWOL, but this Court is not.

    Just sayin’.

    • I dunno, as much as I’d love to have faith in the SCOTUS they were pretty much AWOL after November 3rd, 2020.

      • Stare decisis.

        Even members who don’t like it viz their pet disagreements on gun policy, they have a tendency to stick with what the Court has already decided.

        • P.S. –

          While I am in agreement with your distress, elections are a political question, and the Court is usually scared s**tless to get involved.

          I know they finked out in 2020 (the biggest embarrassment of the Court in our history, in contention with Wickard v. Filburn), but I suspect that they hope to get back to the common issues to which they are accustomed.

    • According to Murdock v. Pennsylvania (1943) it should also be illegal to charge NFA fees for protected weapons and accessories. That case was about #1A, but the logic applies just as easily to #2A.

  3. Of course very few if any will comply with any such proposed law making a few million Americans felons overnight. Like the ban on “bump stocks”. No one turned them in either. As for enforcement there simply isn’t enough prison space for that many Americans (30-40 million) so obviously some kind of internment camps will need to be constructed like the Mainland Chinese did to intern Uyghurs, Falun Gong, Christians, Dissidents, etc. That said, likely a few thousand will actively resist so there will likely be mass casualties on both sides. With several million “scary” firearms in possession by Americans I simply don’t see any good coming from such proposals unless the Leftists want to spark a Civil War.

  4. They vastly trucated Guy’s remarks. He was clear that he was speaking of Biden’s actions creating the study groups that were constitutional… not any acts that actually took away any rights.

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