With the Second Amendment gun rights of average Americans under attack by President Barack Obama through his executive order ammo ban and support for the international gun ban treaty moving through the United Nations, it is easy to overlook some stunning victories for gun rights recently from some unlikely quarters.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor for the northern district of Texas ruled that the federal interstate ban on handgun sales was unconstitutional – a significant blow to the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), which was passed by Congress and passed into by President Lyndon Johnson that year.
Judge O’Connor, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, struck down GCA language that reads:
[It is] unlawful for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe resides in any State other than that in which the transferor resides (or other than that in which its place of business is located if the transferor is a corporation or other business entity).
The bottom line from all this legal double speak is the government had imposed a ban on interstate gun sales between a law-abiding citizen from one state from buying a handgun from a retail gun store in another state – a provision found unconstitutional by Judge O’Connor because it violated the “the Second Amendment and the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.”
That means governments could not limit the right of law-abiding Americans from buying firearms by state of residence and that stopping lawful Americans from buying firearms and ammunition from one state and transporting them to another state had not been based on the need to meet a compelling state interest.
In other gun news, Texas state representative Chris Paddie has introduced two new tax holidays for gun buyers – one leading up to the dove hunting season and another leading up to the beginning of deer season. Both holidays would allow hunters to purchase firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies tax-free.
The ramifications of this tax cut proposal could reach well beyond Texas in this regard.
Since the Second Amendment is a constitutionally recognized God-given right, many argue that imposing a sale tax or training requirements on gun owners is analogous to the unconstitutional poll taxes and literacy tests outlawed in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Gun control activists fear that the gun rights movement led by the National Rifle Association (NRA) is waiting for the right case in the right District Court to assail taxes not only on the sale of guns and ammunition but on the entire industry from gun makers and distributors to retailers, gun shows and private sellers.