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Old October 1, 2012, 07:53 PM   #387
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,545
Dearth v. Holder.

Last Thursday, Sept. 27th, the district court rendered its Memorandum and Opinion on the cross-motions for summary judgment. Here are some selected quotes:

The Supreme Court has held that the right to possess a firearm in one’s home for self-defense is the core right of the Second Amendment. Dist. Of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S.570, 628-30 (2008); McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3036 (2010).
Sound a bit familiar?

In Heller, the Supreme Court made clear that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding . . . laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” 554 U.S. at 626-27. ...

Thus, an initial point of contention is how to construe the challenged laws. Are they restrictions on possession, or are they longstanding conditions and qualifications on commercial sale?
Without really defining the term, an apparent law that is 48 years old (the GCA) is longstanding, while a 32 year old year law (D.C.'s Gun Ban), is not!

The Court concludes they are the latter. Section 922(a)(9) makes it unlawful for any person who does not reside in any State to receive a firearm, unless the receipt is for lawful sporting purposes. Section 922(b)(3) is a restriction on firearms sales that, with the two exceptions described above, prohibits the sale of a firearm to a person who do not reside in the State of the firearms dealer’s business. Both laws thus pertain to the transfer or sale of firearms, rather than the mere possession of firearms. Furthermore, as stated above, Dearth’s challenge is based on his alleged inability to purchase a firearm because no dealer can sell one to him. Therefore, as these laws are applied to Dearth, Sections 922(a)(9) and 922(b)(3) are fairly construed as two “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” See Heller, 554 U.S. at 626-27. Consequently, as stated above, the two laws are “presumptively lawful” if the “conditions and qualifications” they impose can be fairly described as “longstanding.” Id.
So there we have it... Or do we?

Here, Section 922(a)(9) allows Dearth to receive a firearm for lawful sporting purposes, but it prohibits Dearth’s receipt of a firearm solely for self-defense purposes6. Furthermore, Section 922(b)(3)(B) allows a firearms dealer to loan or rent a firearm to Dearth for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes7, but it prohibits such a loan or rental if Dearth’s sole purpose is self-defense.

6 The Gun Control Act does not define what a “sporting purpose” is, but “legislative history indicates that ‘sporting purposes’ refers to target shooting and hunting.” Springfield, Inc. v. Buckles, 116 F. Supp. 2d 85, 90 (D.D.C. 2000), aff’d, 292 F.3d 813 (D.C. Cir. 2002).

7 At oral argument, the Government agreed that this is the proper interpretation of the statute.
In essence, the judge found that the only 2A activity outside the home was ... Sporting Purposes. sigh.

The court clerk entered final judgment immediately after.

Also, that same day, Alan Gura filed his Notice of Appeal. This is now the second trip to the circuit, on this case.
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