7TH CIRCUIT COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF RIGHT TO CARRY!!!
The ability of the free citizens of the United States to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms just took a huge leap forward. On Tuesday, December 11, 2012 in a Landmark decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit effectively ruled that the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) is most definitely not confined to the home, as some have suggested. The case known as Moore v. Madigan involved on ongoing fight against the Illinois State ban on carrying a loaded handgun for self-defense. Following are some excerpts from the ruling:
“The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside. The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense…”
“Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden…”
“The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment therefore compels us to reverse the decisions in the two cases before us and remand them to their respective district courts for the entry of declarations of unconstitutionality and permanent injunctions…”
And my personal favorite:
“The Second Amendment states in its entirety that ‘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. The right to ‘bear’ as distinct from the right to ‘keep’ arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of ‘bearing arms’ within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.”
What all this boils down to is, that at great cost to the taxpayer, a great deal of time and effort was spent to determine that “to bear” means “to CARRY” and that it really doesn’t make *ANY* sense to talk about restricting the act of CARRYING to the INSIDE of one’s home!!! If it surprises you that it took a panel of CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES (one level below the United State Supreme Court) to reach this “astounding” conclusion, you are not alone.
But wait there’s more! The Attorney General of the State of Illinois is CERTAIN to appeal this sound decision to the Supreme Court. Why? - the answer is simple, “Because that’s the way it is done”. So you can expect another, long, drawn-out battle as this case now works its way through the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). You may also be certain that should THIS case not be accepted for review by SCOTUS, there are several more waiting in the wings.
Here in New Jersey we have our OWN version of a “Right to Carry” case. Muller et al v. Maenza (now informally referred to as the PISZCZATOSKI carry case) involves a number of plaintiffs backed by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) who are suing the state of New Jersey for denying them permits to carry a handgun for self-defense purposes. Two of the plaintiffs were supplied through the efforts of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS), one primary and one alternate. This case was decided against the right to keep and bear arms and is awaiting its opportunity to be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit which covers New Jersey, Delaware and most of Pennsylvania. Another case that has been decided at the District Court level known as the “Woolard” case out of Maryland has been decided in FAVOR of the RKBA, but will no doubt be appealed.
The bad news is that this is a “process”. It is slow and laborious. The VERY good news is that the lead attorney representing the RKBA movement in most of these cases is Mr. Alan Gura. For those who aren’t familiar with his name, Mr. Gura is the attorney of record in the landmark HELLER and MCDONALD supreme court cases in which SCOTUS ruled that the RKBA is *INDEED* an INDIVIDUAL right of the people. Gura is a BRILLIANT young attorney who we believe will once and for all convince SCOTUS that not only is the RKBA an individual right, but that the right extends beyond one’s doorstep to anywhere an individual has a right to be.
At this point many of you might be saying, “What does any of this have to do with me; I have no intention of carrying a gun”. Of course the answer is that it has EVERYTHING to do with you. These cases are *NOT* about GUNS, they are about FREEDOM. There is a reason why our founders included the right to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights as the very Second Amendment to the Constitution. They knew that as long as the individual citizens were allowed to be armed they would be FREE from forces both foreign and domestic. Always remember that the Bill of Rights is not a document granting rights to the people of America. Far from it; the Bill of Rights is a SEVERE warning to the government not to infringe upon the PREEXISTING, INALIENABLE rights of the people. As important as the other rights are, it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms that gives them the ability to ensure that the rest cannot be taken away.
Frank Jack Fiamingo is the President of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS), the most active organization fighting for the right to keep and bear arms in New Jersey.
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