Is Gun Control Constitutional?

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The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Almost since it was originally penned, this Amendment, unlike many of the others, has constantly been the topic of different interpretations on both sides of the political fence, which begs the question “Is gun control Constitutional”?

By and large, the Supreme Court of the United States has determined that most measures of gun control are, in fact, unconstitutional. The same court though also recognizes that measures do need to be in place to ensure that firearms remain out of the hands of those that should not have them.

Common sense would tell us that not every single person should be able to own and possess a firearm. We have a series of checks and balances in place that prevent those that have been adjudicated by a court to be mentally unfit, or those that have felony convictions related to violent crime, from owning or being able to possess a firearm. Keeping firearms out of the hands of these individuals requires both the courts and medical professionals to maintain the information and make it available to state and federal background check systems. In the past, there have been issues where a mental deficiency is not reported by a state or federal entity due to privacy issues, and someone that should not have a firearm is able to obtain one. We need to strengthen this system and actually use it as intended to maintain the greater good of our society.

So called “gun control” is based on feelings, not facts 

Where gun control becomes unconstitutional is when the Federal government or state and local municipalities begin to implement laws and make changes based on “feelings” as opposed to facts. Making certain magazine capacities illegal, determining which firearms can be owned or used based on cosmetic changes that have no real bearing on the functionality of the firearm, and determining who can carry and where are all things that detract from one’s Constitutional right to not only own a firearm, but utilize one for self-defense.

Magazine capacities do not change much in a real situation. Those who have trained with a firearm and been shot at know and understand that the one second delay in a magazine change does not create an awe-inspiring gap in time to retreat or run from cover. Most competent shooters can reload a magazine fast enough that, when shooting in a controlled manner, one cannot discern between 3 10-round magazines and one 30 round magazine. A mini-14 does not have different capabilities if it has a wooden stock vs a tactical stock. It’s capabilities, feeding and operation remain the same despite one looking scarier than the other. Other than COL Lewis “Red” Millett’s bayonet charge in the Korean War, I am just not aware of many modern-day usages of the bayonet lug for anything other than show! And yet, proponents of gun control latch onto these arguments without any real understanding of what they are describing, and then try and pass legislation to mirror their fears and thoughts.

Red flag laws whittle away at our 2nd Amendment rights

The new development sweeping the nation is that of Red Flag laws. While the concept seems understandable at face value; removing firearms from a household or person deemed to be in danger of using them one themselves or someone else, the reality is that this is huge breach of governance. Red Flag laws allow someone to make an accusation, and authorities can remove privately owned firearms for a short period of time, essentially violating that person’s 2nd Amendment rights without due process. In many states where this is accepted, the same judicial body can extend the period of time that these firearms can be held and in some cases, they can do so indefinitely.

 

Which states have implemented red flag laws?

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii (effective Jan. 1, 2020)
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada (effective Jan. 1, 2020)
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

 

We have an actual judicial system in place so that lower courts cannot make decisions like this arbitrarily. Despite all of this, it still happens, and laws are passed until someone makes a case against it and allows it to go to a higher court for a ruling. Many of these cases, upon appeal, are shot down due to their unconstitutionality. It is a long and arduous process, and each step along the way erodes our rights as individuals while also empowering gun control advocates to continue to whittle away are our 2nd Amendment rights.

We can sit idly by and watch this happen as our rights on continuously eroded, or we can make changes, one person at a time.

Gun control topics are one of the few topics of conversation where both sides are not equally informed. In almost any other political debate, both sides come to the table with facts supporting their arguments, data points that are free from emotion, and a clear and concise thought process. Whether you agree or disagree in other topics of discussion, most often we can at least respect those differing opinions, and the quality of the debate.

This is sadly often not the case in the gun control discussions.

Those that oppose gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment often come to the table without an understanding of the nomenclature and definitions that they use in their arguments, possess skewed or inaccurate data, and bring mostly emotion to the discussion over actual facts.

This in itself makes it very difficult to have a truly productive conversation on the topic. We, as gun owners and enthusiasts have an obligation to educate those that think differently than us and do so in a respectful and articulate manner. I cannot tell you how many times some basic instruction followed by a trip to the local range has converted a lifetime anti-gun activist into a gun enthusiast. We accomplish this by understanding our rights, and practicing them, and helping others to understand why we feel the way that we do.

Take the time to continue to educate yourself, your family and your friends, and then accept your mission to educate others, one person at a time. The more people that understand firearms, their uses, and the joys of sporting competition, the more people we have to spread the word and educate others. Choosing to do nothing allows this systematic degradation to continue, and what is considered far-fetched now will be common place in the future if we allow the slippery slope to continue.

If you live in states that have enacted Red Flag Laws, your rights and property are at risk. Get prepared, get protected and get the peice of mind you deserve by protecting the equipment that protects you.

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Jason Kostal Writer 2A Shield Contributor

By Jason Kostal
Jason is an Army Veteran and freelance writer for Athlon Outdoors and GetZone, a firearms training and industry consultant. For more information or content on exotic boutique firearms follow him on Instagram or Facebook as well as visit his website at legacyarmsintl.com

 

 

 

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