Appeals court strikes down federal gun law as unconstitutional


by John Hayward

It might not get the news coverage it deserves with everything else going on at the moment, but the unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati against a federal gun law is a very big deal.  The court held that the federal ban on gun ownership by people who have been committed to a mental institution is an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment.  Rulings of that caliber (if you’ll pardon the pun) don’t come down all that often.  The previous instance was the Supreme Court’s Heller ruling against Washington D.C.’s firearms ban in 2008, which those on both sides of the gun control debate would agree was a very big deal.

Today’s ruling was prompted by the efforts of 73-year-old Clifford Charles Tyler to purchase a gun.  His application for a permit was denied because he spent one month in a mental institution, in 1986, due to emotional problems following his divorce.  (According to the background material in the 6th Circuit Court decision, his ex-wife allegedly cleaned out his bank accounts and ran off with another man, leaving Tyler so despondent that he wept incessantly, couldn’t sleep, and had suicidal thoughts.  He was committed for treatment after his fearful daughters called the police.  He never did anything more violent than pound on his own head in despair.)

This is an interesting case as, currently in Fornicalia, state law allows law enforcement officers to confiscate those firearms in possession of persons taken into custody via 5150 W&I — and bars those committed for same from owning firearms.

Of interesting note:

The Wall Street Journal captures some reactions that suggest the Tyler case could have ramifications for other gun laws:

Lucas McCarthy, Mr. Tyler’s lawyer, called the ruling “a forceful decision to protect Second Amendment rights,” and said he hoped it that it would have “a significant impact on the jurisprudence in the area of gun rights.”

[…] Adam Winkler, a Second Amendment expert and law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the ruling could give momentum to the gun-rights movement. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see legal challenges to other parts of the [federal gun] law now,” he said.

Mr. Winkler also said the ruling could prompt Republicans in Congress to move to set up a new “relief from disabilities” program that would allow people to prove they are fit to own guns.

Unusual, these days, when a federal court goes against gun control parameters considering the current temper of the DC times.  Unanimous opinion of the three-member panel is here.



Fornicalia Cop Note: I don’t necessarily disagree with the 5150 portion of CA law.  That said, please read the details of the case.  Tyler’s proscription was from one incident that occurred back in 1986, which would task anyone.


Newtown families sue Bushmaster

Barbara J. MattsonAnd they will not win.

Suing the gun manufacturer — any gun manufacturer — following a shooting is akin to suing the manufacturer of the tap that poured the beer that the intoxicated driver drank before plowing into your sister.  Or the manufacturer of the automobile.

This all stems from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14th of 2012, where Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults.  Lanza utilized the Bushmaster XM-15 rifle (see above), along with a Glock 20SF in 10mm and a Sig Sauer P226 in 9mm.

At his time of death (by suicide), 20-year-old Adam Lanza stood 6’0″ tall and weighed 112 pounds.  That one stat bespeaks volumes.  Adam Lanza killed his 52-year-old mother Nancy in their large and expansive home prior to leaving for the school.  All the weapons used were purchased lawfully in the State of Connecticut.

Let me repeat that for the ignorant in the nation: all the weapons used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook were purchased lawfully in the State of Connecticut by Nancy Lanza.

Initially, from

Families of Newtown shooting victims sue gunmaker, seller

The families of nine of the 26 people killed and a teacher wounded two years ago at the Sandy Hook Elementary School filed a lawsuit Monday against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used in the shooting.

The negligence and wrongful death lawsuit, filed in Bridgeport Superior Court, asserts that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle should not have been made publicly available because it was designed for military use and is unsuited for hunting or home defense.

And, like every other media conglomeration in this nation and others, Fox have their facts wrong.  The Bushmaster is not an AR-15.  Bushmaster is owned by Remington (and moreover, by the Freedom Group Family of Companies) which does not manufacture the AR-15; Colt does.

“The AR-15 was specifically engineered for the United States military to meet the needs of changing warfare,” attorney Josh Koskoff said in a release. “In fact, one of the Army’s specifications for the AR-15 was that it has the capability to penetrate a steel helmet.”

In addition to Bushmaster, the defendants are Camfour, a firearm distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, the East Windsor store where the gunman’s mother purchased the Bushmaster rifle in 2010.

Again, incorrect information.  The Colt AR-15 was a derivative from the original Eugene Stoner design at ArmaLite (hence the AR in AR-15).  The firearm and the round are separate.

The .223 round was truly a step down from the standard WWII rounds utilized in military rifles bored out, commonly, to .45 caliber in handguns, and to M-1 rifles in the .30-06 Springfield cartridge, the M-14 in .308 Winchester.  The M-14, actually, is considered to be the “last” of the American battle rifles, because it fires full-power rifle ammunition and AR-15s and M-16s do not, but only offer the diminutive .223 (5.56mm) round.

Anyone doubting that a .308 round wouldn’t penetrate a helmet, much less a tree, much less a half-inch of sheet steel, should volunteer for target duty immediately.

Bill Sherlach, whose wife, Mary, was killed in the shooting, said he believes in the Second Amendment but also that the gun industry needs to be held to “standard business practices” when it comes to assuming the risk for producing, making and selling a product.

“These companies assume no responsibility for marketing and selling a product to the general population who are not trained to use it nor even understand the power of it,” he said.

I say to Bill: then apparently you don’t Grok the concept of placing even larger and more potent weapons into the hands of 15 and 16 and 17-year-olds who volunteered to support the US in WWII.  Because they too cannot be trusted.

And to Bill: marketing and selling is regulated by not only the federal government, but the individual states.  The weapons involved were purchased lawfully in the State of Connecticut.  What part of that do you not understand, sir?

Bushmaster has already paid out.  They should pay out no more.

[A small aside for those unfamiliar with the firearms industry in America: there are, to the best of my knowledge, at least seven firearms or firearms-associated manufacturers located — at least for a time — in the state of Connecticut, to include Smith & Wesson; Colt; Sturm, Ruger & Co.; Mossberg; Winchester; Remington; and Martin Firearms.]

I wrote about the Newtown shootings here and here.

And I also said this: I will never give up my Second Amendment.  I will not give up my Second Amendment because of Newtown or Virginia or any other event.  Twenty children died.  But I will not give up my Second Amendment rights.  I do this for the greater overarching picture.  I am resolute.

I am resolute.

Perhaps John Stossel is correct:

These lawsuits are predicated but upon emotions only.  They are not based upon logic because overall crime is down in the US and violent crime is down and gun crime is down.

And that is also despite the fact that my department recently lost Deputy Danny Oliver.

For those Leftists who read me, let’s see more of these signs: