The National Rifle Association has been in panic-mode on its Twitter timeline ever since the Orlando massacre. The heartless gun lobbyist organization is facing a swift backlash and it’s not just on social media. On Monday, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that left in place assault weapons bans in New York and Connecticut.
The terrorist attack on June 12 at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub has ignited renewed calls for gun control legislation. So far, the debate has focused largely on banning individuals on a terrorist no-fly list from purchasing weapons. Assault weapons were banned for a decade and became legal again in 2004, but the court took up an appeal for two states to unban the weapons.
This is a huge f*ck you to the NRA.
The high court declined to hear an appeal of a case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
After the shootings at Sandy Hook, both New York and Connecticut passed legislation that prohibited the possession of some semiautomatic “assault weapons” and large-capacity magazines.
Gun owners, advocacy groups, and others challenged the legislation in court due to the the Supreme Court issuing the landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2004.
In that case, the Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment includes an individual right to bear arms. The court ruled that this was not an unlimited right, but that Americans had the right to possess any firearm that was “in common use” by citizens “for lawful purposes like self-defense.”
Whether or not assault weapons were commonly owned was questioned. Also scrutinized was whether the weapons are “dangerous and unusual” in hands of law-abiding citizens.
The Second Circuit answered yes to the first question but found that empirical evidence to answer that second question was “elusive.” The Court decided that owning weapons like the AR-15 is, indeed, protected by the Second Amendment.
But, the Court argued, government can sometimes have a legitimate interest in impinging upon a Constitutional right. In this case, the Court ruled, banning assault weapons can save lives.
“At least since the enactment of the federal assault‐weapons ban, semiautomatic assault weapons have been understood to pose unusual risks,” the Court wrote. “When used, these weapons tend to result in more numerous wounds, more serious wounds, and more victims. These weapons are disproportionately used in crime, and particularly in criminal mass shootings like the attack in Newtown.” “They are also disproportionately used to kill law enforcement officers: one study shows that between 1998 and 2001, assault weapons were used to gun down at least twenty percent of officers killed in the line of duty,” the Court added.
The Court argued that the government has a legitimate interest in stopping that type of violence. The Connecticut Citizens Defense League says it will continue to fight after the Court refused to take on the appeals.
We’re not sure why anyone would need to purchase a weapon capable of firing off one round per second. We’re sure the NRA has a totally good explanation. Something something freedom, etc.
Image via CINewsNow.