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Old March 9, 2009, 03:47 PM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Plaintiff represented by Gura sues Washington D.C. in new Second Amendment case

I received an alert from SAF today announcing they were challenging D.C.'s latest gun law (separate from Heller 2) with Alan Gura as lead counsel and 3 plaintiffs - Tracy Hanson and Gillian and Paul St. Lawrence.

Quote:
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and three Washington, D.C. residents today filed a lawsuit challenging a regulation by District of Columbia city government that arbitrarily bans handguns based on a roster of “acceptable” handguns approved by the State of California.

The District is using this list despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer that protects handguns “that ordinary people traditionally use for self-defense.” This scheme could eventually bar the ownership of any new handguns.

Attorney Alan Gura, representing the plaintiffs in this case, noted that District bureaucrats “told Tracy Ambeau Hanson her gun was the wrong color.” Americans are not limited to a government list of approved books, or approved religions, he said. A handgun protected by the Second Amendment doesn’t need to appear on any government-approved list either.

“The Springfield XD-45 is approved for sale in Washington,” Gura noted, “so long as it is black, green, or brown, but her bi-tone version is supposedly ‘unsafe’.”

Added SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “The Supreme Court’s decision is crystal clear: Handguns that are used by people for self-defense and other lawful purposes cannot be banned, whether the city likes it or not. The city needs to accept the Second Amendment reality and stop this nonsense.”

Hanson, one of the individual plaintiffs in the case, wondered, “Do we really need a gun-fashion police? I just want to be able to exercise my Second Amendment rights without interference from the District government.”

Joining Hanson are Gillian and Paul St. Lawrence. Gillian St. Lawrence’s handgun would once have been allowed, until its listing expired, leaving her to observe, “I didn’t realize that my constitutional rights had an expiration date.”

Her husband sought to own the same type of handgun that the Supreme Court had ordered District officials to allow Dick Heller to possess. However, that particular model is no longer manufactured, and its maker is no longer available to process the handgun’s certification through the bureaucracy.

“The Supreme Court’s decision should really be the last word on whether I can own this model handgun,” said Mr. St. Lawrence.

“The so-called ‘safe’ gun list is just another gun-grabbing gimmick,” said Gura. “This is the same old, tried and failed D.C. handgun ban by another name. The city can’t get around the Second Amendment by declaring most normal guns ‘unsafe,’ and gradually shrinking the number of so-called ‘safe’ guns to zero.”

Valuable assistance is being provided by the CalGuns Foundation.

“CalGuns Foundation was saddened to see the California Handgun Roster adopted in D.C.,” CalGuns Chairman Gene Hoffman added. “Our state has a reputation as being a leader on many fronts. Unfortunately, this has included violating the rights of law abiding gun owners. After nearly a decade of experience with the California Handgun Roster, the CalGuns Foundation is uniquely able to assist in this case.”
Once again D.C. has overstepped itself and given us a great opportunity... not only are they going to lay the roots that will help challenge any kind of 1994 AWB retread - they are going to make it ridiculously easy by doing stupid things like allowing black XD45s and then banning two-tone XD45s.
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Old March 9, 2009, 05:11 PM   #2
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I think I smell a summary judgment coming. Do you think that mayor will appeal to the Supreme Court again?
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Old March 9, 2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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I would like it if he was dumb enough to do that again. I'd love to make CA's approved handgun list go bye-bye.
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Old March 9, 2009, 08:04 PM   #4
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My thoughts EXACTLY...

Thank you DC, for being true idiots, and, taking on the Commerce Clause for us...
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Old March 9, 2009, 10:02 PM   #5
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Does anyone think that if D.C. loses at the district level (and there's a better than even chance they will), that they will take it to the D.C. Court of Appeals?

We know they will lose there, and it will become a citable precedent out side the D.C. Court and bind the entire Federal Government.

All this before incorporation reaches the SCOTUS!

Um, would they really be stupid enough to appeal to SCOTUS?
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Old March 10, 2009, 02:31 AM   #6
maestro pistolero
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I certainly hope they would be stupid enough. I kind of like the way this is going. So we battle it out, pre-incorporation, in a nice convenient vacuum called Washington D.C., THEN get incorporation via the 14th, and voila, common sense is foisted upon the states. Hmmm . . .works for me.
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Old March 10, 2009, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Um, would they really be stupid enough to appeal to SCOTUS?
Depends who "they" are and what their goal is.

If you are a DC politician, and this conflict get you votes even when you lose in court, fighting and losing isn't stupid, it's effective.
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Old March 10, 2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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If the supreme court were to strike down the California list for DC then California's and other states "approved" lists will only be incorporation from going away.

Great news.
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Old March 10, 2009, 01:52 PM   #9
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The "they" is of course, the D.C. politicians. Context. In this case, one would have thought it was apparent. Guess not.

Regardless, it may please their constituents, but I think the majority of the Democratic Party would be on them, real fast. The Brady Bunch, as well. I suspect it would end any chance of advancement outside of D.C.
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Old March 10, 2009, 03:07 PM   #10
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Zukiphile's comment was my first thought as well.

Are DC politicians more interested in pandering to their constituents, or are they more interested in helping to advance the Democratic Party agenda on a national scale?
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Old March 10, 2009, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
The "they" is of course, the D.C. politicians. Context. In this case, one would have thought it was apparent. Guess not.
The open question is whether they are ideological opponents of the Heller decision, or practical supporters of whatever gets them votes in DC. I don't know too many local politicians who are genuinely interested in fighting and dying politically over national ideological issues.

A DC mayor who keeps up the fight, does a disservice to the movement to restrict gun possession, but keeps his own job, has accomplished his basic goal.

I have yet to meet a successful elected office holder who isn't interested in pandering to his constituents. That doesn't mean they are bad, just that they know what gets them the job.
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Old March 10, 2009, 03:42 PM   #12
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It would be nice if they didn't see the writing on the wall, and forced a high-level ruling in our favor. How much more arbitrary can you get than making things illegal based on color?

I kind of doubt SCOTUS would hear a case like this, unless DC came up with some rediculous Constitutional Law argument.
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Old March 10, 2009, 04:21 PM   #13
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For a time I was thinking of writing a letter to the editor to the rags in DC and pointing out how much of the taxpayer's money they are flushing down the drain. Then it dawned on me, the more they engage in this the better the rest of us are.
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Old March 10, 2009, 08:28 PM   #14
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Any elected official who votes for a law which clearly violates an individual's fundamental rights should have to pay for the legal fees of someone successfully challenging the law. It is a sure way to put an end to an awful lot of nonsense.
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Old March 11, 2009, 12:05 AM   #15
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THE WRONG COLOR GUN? Exactly who in DC made this asinine call? Let's not miss an opportunity to attach a name to this petty tyrant. The voters of DC are generally a liberal-leaning bunch on labor, and lunchpail, and social type issues, but they're not especially liberal on this particular issue. It is their misfortune that the politicians they've sent sent to office to fight for the other issues that are important to them have then usually been forced by hardball liberal politics to toe the line of an overall liberal political agenda which is also anti-gun. (And let's not forget the fact that Washington DC has a predominately black population, and that historically, a lot of people, not just the liberals, haven't liked the idea of blacks owning guns.) But black or white, nobody's liberal on self-defense anymore after they get mugged, and per capita, I'll bet you that more citizens of Washington, DC have been mugged than citizens of your own home town. So it may be that the upright citizens of DC most of whom are folks just like you or me who are gainfully employed by the Federal government and ten thousand other businesses all around town, don't like going home at night to a gangsta paradise any more than you or I would. So by all means, EXPOSE to public view those individuals who are still using every pretext to continue to try to deny the good citizens of Washington DC the means of self defense even in their own homes. No one should understand better than America's black citizens the truth of the old adage that while it was Lincoln who made all men free, it was Sam Colt who made all men equal.
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Old March 11, 2009, 01:00 AM   #16
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1. D.C. decided to use California's list of approved guns.
2. California certifies guns based on the exact model + style + caliber combination, not just the model number. Blued, stainless, two-tone are all different and have to be certified separately. Same with different calibers.

It's even worse that discrimination by color. For instance, apparently the p7m8 anniversary edition (blued) is no longer certified, but the ordinary p7m8 (also blued) is certified until Sept. 2009.

KyJim, if you ask me, "Any elected official who votes for a law which clearly violates an individual's fundamental rights should" be deported. To North Korea.
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Old March 11, 2009, 02:46 AM   #17
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Tyme - let me add that a manufacturer can get a testing waiver from CA if they produce the same gun in different colors, such as blue/black blue/tan, blue/green, satin-nickel/black, etc. But to do so, the guns must be certified to be exactly alike except for color. Change the sights, add a lasergrip, use wood instead of zytel grips and you're screwed. Stupid, but it is what it is. But the gun in question, I think, has a stainless slide, making it a different critter per CA rules.

Quote:
How much more arbitrary can you get than making things illegal based on color?
I don't recall which justice said it, but he said essentially The law is not logic. It is an accumulation of ideas over time. Which is one way of saying that arguing that color makes no logical difference will not persuade a court.

Does anyone else see the irony - that just after the election of the first African-American president, an African-American resident of the nation's capital attempts to follow the law, only to be told she cannot possess her handgun because her gun is the wrong color?!

I'd love to see the District's appeal of a summary judgement. It would require George Orwell to make it sound like something good.

Has anyone looked at the "revised" D.C. Statutes? Links would be helpful. I tried the D.C. website but they are not posted yet. Since the St. Lawrence family couldn't register her Para-Ord, it raises the question is whether D.C. allows re-registration of a gun no longer on California's list.

It would not surprise me if D.C.'s intent is to make it expensive for gun owners by prohibiting re-registration of guns that have fallen off the California list. Imagine buying a brand new model in 2009 and finding in 2012 or 1014 that it cannot be re-registered and you'll have to sell it.
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Old April 16, 2009, 01:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
I don't recall which justice said it, but he said essentially The law is not logic. It is an accumulation of ideas over time. Which is one way of saying that arguing that color makes no logical difference will not persuade a court.
Among the ideas we have accumulated are the "reasonable man" test, rulings about reasonable suspicion, etc. So the law can't be immune to reason and logic.

We have also an accumulation of rulings regarding one thing being essentially the same as another. For example, a homegrown wheat plant for personal consumption is essentially the same as a homegrown cannabis plant for personal consumption (Wickard cited repeatedly in Raich), and a homegrown cannabis plant for personal consumption is essentially the same as a homegrown machine gun for personal consumption (Stewart remanded for reconsideration in light of Raich).

If you can say that a homegrown cannabis plant or machine gun is essentially the same as a wheat plant, and get away with that logic in front of the Supreme Court, I don't see why you could not say that a pink gun is essentially the same as a black one of identical make, model, etc.
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Old April 16, 2009, 04:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCA
Does anyone else see the irony - that just after the election of the first African-American president, an African-American resident of the nation's capital attempts to follow the law, only to be told she cannot possess her handgun because her gun is the wrong color?!

I'd love to see the District's appeal of a summary judgement. It would require George Orwell to make it sound like something good.

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Old April 16, 2009, 08:29 PM   #20
maestro pistolero
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I love the strategy of getting as much done as possible in tidy little DC, a virtual superhighway to the USSC, so that when incorporation happens, all the progress will be applicable to the rest of us.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; April 17, 2009 at 05:08 AM.
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Old April 16, 2009, 08:44 PM   #21
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As far as being a politician in DC goes, all it takes is to be a Democrat. There was one Republican on the DC council, but she lost last cycle.

All the real action is in the primaries. There's a lot of push from the pulpits. So long as you can get the preachers to promote your campaign you're in. I don't think that the actual concerns of DC residents gets much attention, except regarding schools. And the DC schools are among the worst in the nation, so don't look for a lot of mental voltage in the body politic. While the majority of the public are not fools, you can get an idea about how they view their politicians by the fact that they keep electing Marion Barry to office, even though he's a convicted felon and chronic tax evader.

Reminds me of Chicago somehow.
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Old April 17, 2009, 07:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by publius42
Among the ideas we have accumulated are the "reasonable man" test, rulings about reasonable suspicion, etc. So the law can't be immune to reason and logic.
I never said the law was immune from reason and logic. It was another court justice who pointed out that the law does not require logic. It is, after all, a creation of the very political legislature.

If a state decided to pass a law that all taxicabs and only taxicabs must be painted a certain shade of the color yellow and painted a different color when sold out of taxi service, they are free to do so. Because the law is not logic, trying to fight the law in court because it makes no logical sense will not prevail.

Likewise, a legislature could, theoretically, pass a law that says all AR-15 rifles in their state be finished with either a fluorescent lime-green finish or a bright yellow finish.
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