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Thread: Question Re: possible Heller ruling

  1. #1
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    This is a "what if" question for those who like to play lawyer during their free time. Feel free to speculate but please back it up.

    Let's say that SCOTUS rules for Heller as is widely anticipated, and in the process overturns one or more of the laws in question. As with Lawrence v Texas (which struck down about a dozen anti-sodomy laws), the laws would become unenforceable whether they remained on the books or not (the Texas law specifically overturned is still in the statutes; it's just annotated to say it was found unconstitutional and no officer or DA can take any action under it).

    The question then becomes, what happens to you if you break an unenforceable law? A ruling for Heller would, in effect, overturn all three laws (prohibition of handgun registration, prohibition of handgun carry, and the lock-up law)until the combination of the three were modified to pass muster.The day after that ruling hits the news, you OC in DC.Theoretically speaking, the cops cannot do a damned thing. The law on the books prohibiting carry of a concealable weaponis unconstitutional and unenforceable, and they know it (that decision will be front-page news on every paper in the country).

    However, I'd be willing to bet money they'd still haul you in for SOMETHING. I mean, they've got roadblocks set up right now; this is not a municipality that's going to just roll over for even a SCOTUS decision. You think they'd try disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace or some other public nuisance-type charge? Think they'll try to charge you under existing law anyway?DoesDChave ANY remaining gun lawthey could charge you under if they can't useany of the three at issue?

    One possibility is that, becauseit was the prohibition of registration for handguns, not the registration process itself, that was at issue, unless the decision oversteps the question quite a bit they can still bust you for having an unregistered handgun. The fact that you couldn't register it, and still can't till theychange the law, could be considered moot at trial.



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    As I understand it, the case does not address public carrying of guns at all. It deals only with the effective ban on keeping a usable gun in your own home.

    It is a narrow, but I believe well conceived suit intended to make the first small hole in DC's anti-gun laws, and, more importantly, perhaps get a ruling from the court that the 2nd does secure an individual right.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

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    There are so many ways law, regulations and ordnances can be twisted, so many loop holes. Look how they can't even understand the2nd. Very clear language, yet!What dose itmean? Now it's back in court. (Laws are not always good things). To answer your Question. The court will not rule in a definitive way. It will be ambiguous. People will be hauled into jail under the color of law and the real law like always. Heck! They don't even understand "shall not be infringed" or that bear, means carry. Don't get your hopes up or hold your breath. Sorry,I know you asked that this be backed up with something. But I can't find common since anywhere.

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    It does not matter what they rule on Heller I advise you not to go walking around DC with a gun strapped to your hip for awhile. This ruling may have far reaching effects or may be very narrow in how it is interpreted but don't think for a minute that all of a sudden things in DC are going to change ovenight.

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    utbagpiper wrote:
    As I understand it, the case does not address public carrying of guns at all. It deals only with the effective ban on keeping a usable gun in your own home.

    It is a narrow, but I believe well conceived suit intended to make the first small hole in DC's anti-gun laws, and, more importantly, perhaps get a ruling from the court that the 2nd does secure an individual right.
    Well, you could be forgiven for thinking that, but one of the three laws that forms this total ban is a ban on carry of a concealable weapon. If the cun CAN be concealed, then carrying it in any form or fashion, anywhere, is illegal.The law makes no provision for carry in private vs public, which it's why it's being challenged.

    However, "unconstitutional" is a broadsword; the law either stands up to judicial review or it does not, and if it does not it is unenforceable, at leastuntil it is rewritten to pass the specified standard of review if that is possible. That's why I asked the question; a SCOTUS ruling affirming the Circuit court would strike down these three laws in their entirety and the laws would have to be changed. In the interim, there's no enforceable ban on carry.

    And no, I'm not planning on OCing in DC in the near future, thank you very much.

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    The latest from SCOTUSBlog:

    Ben Winograd - The Chief Justice has announced from the courtroom that the Court will issue all of its remaining opinions tomorrow at 10 a.m. Eastern.

    Tomorrow meaning Thursday June 26th @ 10AM.

    That includes DC v. Heller, folks.

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    Let's say that SCOTUS rules for Heller as is widely anticipated, and in the process overturns one or more of the laws in question. ....
    The question then becomes, what happens to you if you break an unenforceable law?
    IANAL and all that, but if a police officer should have known that a law stilll on the books had been ruled unconstitutional, and arrested you for breaking said law then you can file a 42 CFR 1983 lawsuit seeking damages for violation of your civil rights. If you win you get to keep some of the lots of money awarded to you - other parts go to your lawyer(s) and to the IRS.

    It takes time for things to be hashed out, police to be trained, and follow-on lawsuits to be decided so folks know the bounds and limits of a Supreme Court ruling.

    The thing is, you have to be present in D.C. to volate one of the laws in question in Heller. No laws anywhere else are going to be effected immediately. Yes, ultimately other places like NYC & Chicago will see laws fall if we get what we are hoping for from the Supremes tomorrow. But that will be ultimately, not Friday.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Liko81 wrote:

    However, "unconstitutional" is a broadsword; the law either stands up to judicial review or it does not, and if it does not it is unenforceable, at leastuntil it is rewritten to pass the specified standard of review if that is possible. That's why I asked the question; a SCOTUS ruling affirming the Circuit court would strike down these three laws in their entirety and the laws would have to be changed. In the interim, there's no enforceable ban on carry.
    .
    I don't think it is quite so simply as that. The court may well strike down application of a law in certain situations while leaving it in force for other situtations. Of course, the usual legislative course is to rewrite such a law to apply only where constitutional.

    In any event, I do not predict a ruling on THIS case that authorizes (even technically, much less overtly) the public possession of guns in DC. I do greatly hope for a ruling affirming an individual right and NOT giving too much wiggle room on "reasonable" restrictions.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    They are killing me!! Tell us already!

    DC citizens really need to have their rights restored.

    Gun control does not work.

  10. #10
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    Blast... I was looking forward to OCing in DC.

    :celebrate


  11. #11
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    Sheriff wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Blast... I was looking forward to OCing in DC.

    :celebrate
    You can. We'll come bail you out!
    Er, more like identify the body...

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