Even as American’s Second Amendment liberties hang by several narrow threads, there is good news, as The American Rifleman reports:
Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF) Chief Economist Jurgen Brauer analyzed July’s NICS figures and put this year’s gun sales pace into startling perspective earlier this week. ‘Our estimates suggest that the market for the first seven months of 2020 now has nearly matched that of the entire year of 2019,’ he said in a press release issued on Monday.
Last month’s sales came in at 2 million, according to the SAAF estimate. Numbers from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) came in at a more conservative 1.85 million. Both organizations, however, concur the figures reflect a doubling of firearm-purchase-related use of the FBI’s NICS background check system when compared to that of July 2019.
Handgun sales, according to SAAF, lead the charge with 1.2 million sold last month. Rifles and shotguns came in at 600,000 and firearms falling into the “other” category added 160,000 to the record-setting pace.
Firearm sales have increased every month in 2020, continuing a trend that began in mid-2019. Manufacturers and retailers are finding it a challenge to keep inventory stocked, along with accessories and ammunition during the unprecedented demand.
And who is buying all these guns? Surely people that already own and enjoy the shooting sports occasionally add to their collections, and these are the people likely to buy guns and ammunition Democrat/Socialist/Communists single out for attention. Even if they don’t need another AR-15, and had no particular plans to buy one, the possibility of a Biden/”Comma-la” presidency surely encourages them to buy one, or more. Under a gun banner administration and a packed Supreme Court, such guns and most types of ammunition would be investment materials on a par with gold and silver.
But most interesting are the Americans who, watching D/S/Cs abolish police agencies, refuse to arrest or prosecute violent criminals, and refuse to protect the honest citizens of their communities, are buying guns for the first time in their lives. Even D/S/Cs are not entirely immune to reality when it tries to burn down their business or home, or threatens their families. Also seeing their former D/S/C “leaders” determined to disarm them, leaving them helpless before “mostly peaceful protestors” is surely a sobering reality. These are people who know Antifa and BLM as violent thugs loyal only to chaos and violence. They know the real nature of the D/S/C politburo. No wonder they’re arming up. And the best part is having seen that particular light, they’re going to be unlikely to vote for people sworn to disarm them.The other bit of good news, which may be temporary, came from the 9th Circuit, also commonly known as the “9th Circus,” the circuit court of appeals most overturned by the Supreme Court. President Trump has appointed 10 judges to that court, which is still majority anti-Constitution/America, but it was a Trump appointed judge that wrote the unexpected opinion in the case, as Fox News reports:
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday struck down California’s ban on high-capacity magazines on the basis that its restrictions violate the Second Amendment — noting that it would criminalize half the magazines in the U.S.
The state’s law bans possession of large-capacity magazines (LCMs) that hold more than 10 rounds. The court’s three-judge panel said that while the law has a ‘laudable goal of reducing gun violence,’ it must also comply with the Constitution.
‘California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs infringes on the fundamental right to self-defense. It criminalizes the possession of half of all magazines in America today,’ the majority in the 2-1 ruling stated.
‘It makes unlawful magazines that are commonly used in handguns by law abiding citizens for self-defense. And it substantially burdens the core right of self-defense guaranteed to the people under the Second Amendment,’ Judge Kenneth Lee wrote in the majority opinion. ‘It cannot stand.’
Imagine that: the 9th Circuit actually referring to the Constitution.
It upholds a 2017 ruling by San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who blocked a new law that would have barred gun owners from possessing magazines holding more than 10 bullets.
Extraordinary that two judges in California, would actually uphold the Second Amendment. Judge Benetiz was appointed by George Bush. Hmmmm.
California now has the option of asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision. It may also seek a delay on implementation of the decision to prevent a surge in purchases.
Another possibility is the court may decide to rehear the case en banc, which would ensure the opposite outcome. The entire decision may be found here. This, from the decision, is significant:
The Ninth Circuit employs a two-prong inquiry to determine whether firearm regulations violate the Second Amendment: (1) whether the law burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment; and (2) if so, what level of scrutiny to apply to the regulation. United states v. Chovan, 735 F.3d 1127, 1136 (9th Cir. 2013)
The panel held that under the first prong of the test, Cal. Penal Code § 32310 burdened protected conduct. First, the panel held that firearm magazines are protected arms under the Second Amendment. Second, the panel held that LCMs are commonly owned and typically used for lawful purposes, and are not ‘unusual arms’ that would fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment. Third, the panel held that LCM prohibitions are not longstanding regulations and do not enjoy a presumption of lawfulness. Fourth, the panel held that there was no persuasive historical evidence in the record showing LCM possession fell outside the ambit of Second Amendment protection.
Rational readings of the law and common sense and practice all. The second prong is of substantial importance. Since Heller and McDonald, lower courts have justified unlawful restrictions on the Second Amendment by applying a standard lower than strict scrutiny.
Proceeding to prong two of the inquiry, the panel held that strict scrutiny was the appropriate standard to apply. First, the panel held that Cal. Penal Code § 32310 struck at the core right of law-abiding citizens to self-defend by banning LCM possession within the home. Second, the panel held that Section 32310’s near-categorical ban of LCMs substantially burdened core Second Amendment rights. Third, the panel held that decisions in other circuits were distinguishable. Fourth, the panel held that this circuit’s decision in Fyock v. City of Sunnyvale, 779 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 2015), did not obligate the panel to apply intermediate scrutiny.
Again, obvious and rational findings in harmony with the law and the Constitution, rare for the 9th Circuit.
The panel held that Cal. Penal Code § 32310 did not survive strict scrutiny review. First, the panel held that the state interests advanced here were compelling: preventing and mitigating gun violence. Second, the panel held that Section 32310 was not narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling state interests it purported to serve because the state’s chosen method – a statewide blanket ban on possession everywhere and for nearly everyone – was not the least restrictive means of achieving the compelling interests.
Wait a minute: the 9th Circuit recognized restrictions on the power of government?! California government?!!!
The panel held that even if intermediate scrutiny were to apply, Cal. Penal Code § 32310 would still fail. The panel held that while the interests expressed by the state qualified as ‘important,’ the means chosen to advance those interests were not substantially related to their service.
This was unexpected, and considering it comes from the 9th Circuit, could be just the excuse the Supreme Court needs should it rise that high, particularly if President Trump has the opportunity to appoint one or more additional justices, thus removing Chief Justice John Roberts from the position of deciding every case. It’s unlikely California, whose politicians consider themselves the politburo of an intellectually and morally superior polity, superior to all other states, and surely to the United States, will allow this to stand.
Brownell’s has announced it is immediately selling normal capacity magazines in California, and others will surely follow suit.
For the time being, it’s good to have good news, news that actually enhances liberty, to report.