Another Loss in Court for Gun Rights…

After a hearing in Goochland Circuit Court, Judge Timothy K. Sanner ruled that the gun lobby had not met its burden in showing that the law was ‘likely unconstitutional’.

Except for the whole “shall not be infringed” portion, perhaps Sanner is right? [/sarc]

The rule will take effect July 1st and limit Commonwealth residents to one handgun a month. Want to buy you and the other half a pair of pistols and surprise her/him? Can’t. Need a primary carry and a small back-up pistol? Can’t do it. Want a ‘race-gun’ variant and a concealed carry variant for consistency? No can do. Find a rare pistol you like, one that may not be available again due to demand? Better be a month since your last purchase.. because that means safety.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League is among five plaintiffs that sued the state over the law, which they argue violates residents’ constitutional rights.

“The statute is no less an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms than is limiting persons to purchase one Bible per month would be an infringement on the rights of Virginians” under the Virginia Constitution’s version of the First Amendment, the plaintiffs argued.

The law “unconstitutionally rations the direct exercise of an enumerated right” under the Virginia and U.S. constitutions.

But the Virginia AG’s office said the new law “strikes a reasonable balance” between the rights of citizens to bear arms and the state’s “legitimate interest in stemming the flow of handguns that can cause violence, bloodshed and heartbreak in communities across Virginia and the East Coast when they are illegally sold, trafficked, stolen or otherwise put into the hands of dangerous individuals.”

Can cause… can. As in ‘has the ability to cause’ just like distracted driving, suicide, toxic chemicals, mismanaged pools, and any number of other things. Also the AG noted when they are illegally sold, trafficked, stolen, or otherwise misused. As in the commision of a crime. The AG argument is we must limit your constitutional rights just in case there is crime.

Further, the AG’s office argued that a temporary injunction “is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as a right” and a party seeking one “must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the presence of preliminary relief and the balance of equities tip in his favor and that an injunction is in the public interest.”

Solicitor General Toby Heytens, standing in for Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, noted that the plaintiffs did not identify any case, from any court, that has ever held that a policy like the new one-handgun-per-month law imposes a burden on the right to keep and bear arms. This might be because they’ve set it up to only be argued the the basis of the text of the 2nd Amendment and know they will get away with it in the meantime. They also see SCOTUS failing to take up 2A cases and probably take comfort in being able to have this rule stand.

It makes no logical sense in curbing or tracking actual criminal misuse of a firearm but that hasn’t stopped Northam and crew.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.