The evidence is clear that AW bans fail rational basis scrutiny because AWs are seldom criminally misused relative to more readily accessible weapons. The disproportionate minimum sentences in California’s AWCA law relative to much more dangerous weapons suggests a panic reaction that is hardly rational. The comments of journalists, elected officials, and gun control activists reveal bigotry that makes Colorado Amendment 2 seem pretty calm by comparison. Even the courts are reduced to arguing that perceived benefit as opposed to actual benefit is a sufficient reason to uphold bans. There is no way to hold that AW bans which deny a fundamental right, as Heller determined the Second Amendment to protect, survives the “rational basis” standard of scrutiny.
Clayton E. Cramer
April 13, 2016
Assault Weapon Bans: Can They Survive Rational Basis Scrutiny?
[This is a well researched paper and brings to light some fascinating information. An example is the ruling upholding the Chicago AW ban. Cramer rewords a section of the ruling and explains as follows:
The same reasoning could have been applied to uphold the constitutional provision struck down in Romer: “Colorado voters may be irrational in their bigotry against homosexuals, but if it reduces their perceived risk of homosexuals being given free rein to molest children, that’s a substantial benefit.” Clearly, when the courts argue that feeling safer is a legitimate reason to do something that makes no real difference in public safety, this is the definition of irrational. It makes people feel better, but without any actual basis in fact.
Numerous other examples of irrationality abound. It’s great fun to go through the enumerations of the crazy talk of our opponents.—Joe]