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Back from the court. The hearing was on cross motions for summary judgement. I will give the highlights,but no doubt will omit some of the argument since I do not have a photographic memory.
Alan Gura went first. He said this case is pretty simply. He emphasized the Heller decision's definition of bear as to carry on the person a weapon for offensive or defensive use in the event of confrontation. He pointed out that the District has offered no other definition. He pointed out that this is a complete ban on carrying outside the home and is thus very similar to Heller which completely banned possession of handguns. He pointed out that handguns are protected under the second amendment as commonly used arms. He explained that Heller said that the right of self defense is protected by the second amendment and that the DC law bans persons from having handguns for self defense outside the home. Gura admitted that DC has many options in terms of regulating the carrying of firearms, including prescribing the manner of carrying and regulating the carrying through issuance of licenses, but cannot deny to all the right to carry anywhere outside their homes.
DC's argument was somewhat muddled and the judge seemed to suggest as much. DC's counsel argued that the whole of the city is a sensitive area due to foreign dignataries and the federal government being here. He argued that the court should adopt a standard of reasonableness and that DC's prohibition on carrying guns reasonable advances the important public interest in safety. He also argued that the court should ask the federal government to intervene in the case. Finally he suggested that this case was inappropriate for a facial challenge to the statute because facial challenges are upheld only when there is no set of circumstances under which the law would be constitutional.
Gura said a facial challenge was appropriate given that the law is a complete prohibition on carrying outside the home. He further pointed out that the law has been applied against each plaintiff because the city denied plaintiffs registration of handguns on the basis that carrying in public was not a lawful purpose. He further explained that while protection of foreign dignataries may be important, District residents are entitled by the second amendment to protect themselves as well. DC also argued that Heller is not controling and that plaintiffs have not pointed to any binding precedent to support their position.
On points it is hard not to suggest that Alan won the argument. DC essentially thinks that it is fine to deny the right to bear arms anywhere in the city because DC is a particularly sensitive place. The judge will have to buy that argunment to hold for the District. He may, but I was encouraged that he seems to read Heller as he should to hold that there is a right to bear arms for self defense and that DC's law denies that right everywhere but in ones home. It is hard to read judges, but on balance I think there is a good chance this judge may just rule in favor of the plaintiffs. If notan appeal to the DC Circuit will likely draw a panel more favorable to the second amendment, especially if there is a favorable decision from the Supreme Court in the McDonald case.
Unofficially, the estimate is one to three months. I know drives me crazy. Understand even if we win DC is likely to appeal or start another campaign of massive resistence. For example, the chief had the authority up until December to issue permits, but regulations made them good for only a month, they had to be applied for on the official form (and no such form existed) and DC had not issued a license to carry since 1976.
The language, purpose and premise of the 2A is so simple... yet so disingenously'interpreted' by those who think they are so cunning, so above it all. These 'elitists' , who when buttonholed for an answer on the definition of 'bear'will invariably cower behind some imaginary judicial robes and claim that is not the opinion of SCOTUS. THIS is the opinion of SCOTUS:
"At the time of the founding, as now, to “bear” meant to “carry.” When used with “arms,” however, the term has a meaning that refers to carrying for a particular purpose--confrontation. In Muscarello v. United States (1998), in the course of analyzing the meaning of “carries a firearm” in a federal criminal statute, Justice Ginsburg wrote that “urely a most familiar meaning is, as the Constitution’s Second Amendment . . . indicate: ‘wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ” . . . Although the phrase implies that the carrying of the weapon is for the purpose of “offensive or defensive action,” it in no way connotes participation in a structured military organization."
Of note... and I can't imagine nobody seems to have caught this... "SCJ Ginsburg: ‘wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ”
Therefore... it seems obvious that the 'bearing' part of 2Awas intended to be exercisedat the descretion of the bearer."upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket" Open or concealed made no difference. No difference was intended. If a certain thing is not prohibited, then it islegitimate by default.
All US laws must be consistant with the Constitution or they have no legitimate effect of law at all. Yet.... we have such 'laws' in abundance along with those who would willingly enforce such legislative contrivances as imposed. I call it tyranny.