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Old May 3, 2009, 10:33 PM   #35
Ricky B
Senior Member
Join Date: November 3, 2002
Posts: 251
For your convenience, I highlight part of the text of the federal law that I previously quoted:

It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
When Lopez was convicted, according to the court, the law "neither regulates a commercial activity nor contains a requirement that the possession be connected in any way to interstate commerce." I assume that the law at the time of the offense did not include an express requirement that the firearm be one that had moved in (or otherwise affect) interstate (or foreign) commerce. After Lopez was convicted, the law was amended.

In a footnote, The Supreme Court in Lopez said:

We note that on September 13, 1994, President Clinton signed into law the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-322, 108 Stat. 1796. Section 320904 of that Act, id., at 2125, amends ยง 922(q) to include congressional findings regarding the effects of firearm possession in and around schools upon interstate and foreign commerce. The Government does not rely upon these subsequent findings as a substitute for the absence of findings in the first instance.
Now that there is a requirement to prove that the firearm has moved in interstate commerce (not hard to do), the law is more closely tied to Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce. But I think that Lopez is still good law, and the technique of prohibiting conduct that is local in nature because an actor uses a product that has moved in interstate commerce is nothing more than an effort by Congress to expand its power beyond what the Constitution allows. It would give Congress a power to regulate local affairs that goes far beyond the power that I think (and has traditionally been thought by most) to be the power granted to Congress by the Constitution. If an unconstitutional law became constitutional by reason of this amendment, what can't Congress regulate?

Notwithstanding that, I still think it's a good idea to comply with the law until it is held unconstitutional or repealed.

Last edited by Ricky B; May 3, 2009 at 10:33 PM. Reason: correct typo
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