Democrats for decades have pursued gun control as an article of political faith, though there is no evidence that their proposals would curb gun violence. Increasingly, Americans are rejecting their arguments in spite of their opportunistic emotional appeals in the aftermath of tragedies like in Parkland, Florida. The reason is that, in an age when mass shootings are becoming all-too-commonplace, it is not lost on the American people that these horrific mass murders always happen in “gun free zones.” The logical result is that gun control measures that further restrict lawful gun ownership are not met with approval.
In light of their legislative failures on gun control, the Left is falling-back to its true stronghold: the federal judiciary. In spite of President Trump’s conservative court appointments, the majority of the justices on the federal bench remain democratic appointees. This is certainly the case with regard to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Richmond, Virginia. This week, in a 10-4 ruling, the Court ruled that a Maryland law banning 45 types of firearms and limiting magazines to 10 rounds be upheld. Writing for the majority, Judge Robert King wrote “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war.”
Maryland’s law did not ban “weapons of war,” it banned some of the most popularly purchased and owned private firearms in America. Maryland put a tremendous burden on law abiding citizens with this law, and shaped a balance of power in favor of those who will commit heinous acts of violence regardless of gun laws placed on the books. By banning widely used firearms from use by law abiding Marylanders, Maryland has imposed one of the most oppressive anti-gun bills in modern memory.
Congress must be prepared to push-back against the overreach of the federal judiciary in this case. As the elected representatives of the American people, Congress must become the guardian of the Constitution that the courts have failed to be in this age of political correctness. Nationalizing an unconstitutional state law in Maryland is the first step toward judicially imposed gun control, and the brakes must be applied. Congress should move to strip the courts of their usurped jurisdiction over gun policy. It is not for the courts to decide when it comes to the Second Amendment; they do not get to impose their interpretation of this fundamental right on the American people.
The Fourth Circuit’s ruling clearly ignores Supreme Court precedent in the Heller decision, which struck-down Washington, D.C.’s unconstitutional gun ban. As NRA Spokeswoman Jennifer Baker wrote in response to the ruling, “It is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected ‘arm’ under the Second Amendment…[the ruling] clearly ignores the Supreme Court’s guidance from District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects arms that are ‘in common use at the time for lawful purposes like self-defense.’”
Maryland’s gun grab law is prototypical of what Democrats want at the federal level, and passage of such a law in Congress would amount to the destruction of the Second Amendment. Even worse, the imposition of such a law by a federal court would not only jeopardize the Second Amendment, but the separation of powers fundamental to our republic. This ruling by the Fourth Circuit must not be allowed to stand if the American people are to be secure in their Second Amendment rights.