They don’t realize they already lost this one

Some ignorant lawmakers (I repeat myself) announced they are going to attempt banning “assault weapons” in Washington State:

In response to recent shooting deaths, three state lawmakers say they want to ban the sale of military-style semi-automatic weapons in Washington.

The lawmakers intend to propose the ban in the state legislative session that begins next month.

The legislation, called the Aaron Sullivan Public Safety and Police Protection Bill, would prohibit the sale of such weapons to private citizens and require current owners to pass background checks.

The ban would cover semiautomatics designed for military use that are capable of rapid-fire and can hold more than 10 rounds. Semiautomatics designed for sporting or hunting purposes wouldn’t be banned

Sorry guys. That horse has already left the barn.

Do you remember that little phrase “in common use” phrased in the Heller decision?

Emphasis in the following is mine.

On page 2:

United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.

The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

On page 52:

We think that Miller’s “ordinary military equipment” language must be read in tandem with what comes after: “[O]rdinarily when called for [militia] service [able-bodied] men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.” 307 U.S., at 179. The traditional militia was formed from a pool of men bringing arms “in common use at the time” for lawful purposes like self-defense. “In the colonial and revolutionary war era, [small-arms] weapons used by militiamen and weapons used in defense of person and home were one and the same.”

On page 55:

We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179.

For the clueless bigots in Seattle what that means is that if you managed to get your proposed law passed the U.S. Supreme Court, if not the Washington State courts will overturn it. You know why? Because Obama was elected.

What? Yeah, you read that right.

When Obama won the election the U.S. population went on a gun buying spree the likes of which has never been seen before. The guns they bought were the very guns that those Seattle bigots want to ban. If they weren’t already considered “in common use” before Obama’s victory they sure are now.

And because of the delay from when a law is first proposed until the time it can become the law of the land anytime some lawmaker starts having the power to ban a particular type of gun the people will have put that gun into “common use” and thus render the law stillborn.

But if those knuckleheads want to waste their time on harassing activities I suppose that is better than some of the other things they might try.

[H/T to Chet at work and Ry for the pointer to the article.]

Update: Another article with video taken at the gun range where I go when in the Seattle area. And still another article which quotes Washington State AG Rob McKenna as saying, “If this bill is not even going to get a hearing, it is not worth a lot of energy”.

One thought on “They don’t realize they already lost this one

  1. Practically all firearms are “military-style”, it just depends on the “military-style” of the time. All muskets are military-style, as well as pump-action shotguns. So are bolt-action and lever-action rifles.

    Slide/pump-action rifles might not be “military-style” because I’m unaware of any such rifles being used by the U.S. military.

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