Throughout the Heller case I think most hard core gun rights activists have been thinking “Will this help or hurt machine guns? Even if the Supreme Court slaps D.C. down on handguns, rifles, and shotguns will they create a rule or test that slams the door on machine guns becoming commonly available?”
I’ve been, behind the scenes, asking people not to even talk about machine guns in the context of Heller. My thought was that if machine guns are ignored in the Heller decision, then if we do things right after a Heller win we can get some machine gun relief eventually. Obviously it came up in a big way during the oral arguments. Some people have been critical of Gura for “throwing machine guns under the bus” during the oral arguments. I am not one of them. I viewed it as unfortunate collateral damage. We needed to bomb the crap out of D.C. and they were holding machine guns as hostages. It was more important to destroy D.C. now than to try and figure out a way to get the machine guns to safety. We might still be able to resurrect machine guns, they aren’t really dead, just on life support.