In a quintuple victory for Second Amendment rights, a federal judge last week overturned a ban on carrying handguns in public, a ban on so-called assault weapons, caliber restrictions for long guns, a $1,000 tax on handguns, and a requirement that all guns be registered with the government. “The individual right to armed self-defense in case of confrontation…cannot be regulated into oblivion,” declared Ramona Manglona, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands.
In her September 28 ruling, Manglona notes that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (which includes the Northern Mariana Islands) has said “there is no constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon in public.” But the 9th Circuit has not addressed the broader question of whether the right to armed self-defense recognized by the Supreme Court in the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller extends beyond the home. Adopting the historical analysis and logic that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit applied when it overturned an Illinois ban on carrying guns in 2012, Manglona concludes that “the Second Amendment, based on its plain language, the history described in Heller I, and common sense, must protect a right to armed self-defense in public.” While “the right of armed self-defense, including in public, is subject to traditional limitations,” she says, “it is not subject to elimination.” Since the law enforced by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) “completely destroys that right,” Manglona writes, “it is unconstitutional regardless of the level of scrutiny applied, and the Court must strike it down.”
Manglona emphasizes that she is upholding “the individual’s right to carry and transport an operable handgun openlyfor self-defense outside the home” (emphasis added). That’s because the “traditional limitations” she mentions include bans on concealed weapons. As the Supreme Court noted in Heller, “the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.” Although the open carrying of guns may clash with contemporary sensibilities, it is the mode of publicly bearing arms that is most clearly protected by the Second Amendment.
Since Heller no appeals court has upheld a complete ban on carrying guns in public, but several have upheld laws that give local authorities wide discretion to decide who may do so. In 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuitupheld New York’s requirement that people seeking permission to carry handguns in public show “proper cause.” In 2013 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit upheld a similar New Jersey law, requiring a “justifiable need” for a carry permit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit upheld a Maryland law demanding a “good and substantial reason.” Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard a Second Amendment challenge to a D.C. law that requires carry permit applicants to show they have “good reason to fear injury,” meaning they have “a special need for self-protection distinguishable from the general community.”
Judge Manglona’s rejection of the CNMI’s “assault weapon” ban is almost as striking as her vindication of the right to bear arms, because she scrutinizes the law’s logic instead of deferring to the supposed expertise and wisdom of legislators. The CNMI law prohibits half a dozen rifle features: 1) a pistol grip under the action of the weapon, 2) a forward pistol grip, 3) a thumbhole stock, 4) a folding or telescoping stock, 5) a flare launcher, and 6) a flash suppressor. Manglona concludes that a ban on these features cannot pass “intermediate scrutiny,” which demands that a law further an important government interest through means that reasonably fit that interest.
“The Commonwealth has not shown through any evidence that its means fit its end,” Manglona writes. “In fact, the evidence suggests that the banned attachments actually tend to make rifles easier to control and more accurate—making them safer to use. Because the Commonwealth’s ban does not match its legitimate and important interest, the ban fails intermediate scrutiny and will be struck down.”
Manglona is likewise unpersuaded that the CNMI ban on long-gun calibers larger than .223, which appears to be the only caliber limit that strict in the country, is reasonably related to public safety. The official rationale is that larger bullets travel farther, creating a greater hazard for innocent bystanders. But other factors affect a rifle’s maximum range, Manglona notes, and “given the prevalence of dense jungle, hills, and buildings within the CNMI, most bullets fired from almost any gun would probably be stopped before reaching its effective range.”
Another 7 point touchdown for the U.S. Constitution this is sure to upset those little snowflakes at that University where those three eggheads are trying to overturn the campus Carry Law i hope the judge throws out their stupid lawsuit and makes them pay for the defense of the Campus Carry
Open carry informs any homicidal lunatic or armed criminal assailant who the first person he should kill without warning is. In addition to carrying the gun on your hip, you should consider wearing a little target over your heart.
Again Greg typing for the democrat party. Greg, tell us how many persons with concealed carry permits have been shot and killed vs how many innocents in “gun free zones” are no longer with the living?
Maybe you should explain what that has to do with my comment. I presume you understand the difference between concealed and open carry.
It is not uncommon for a state to issue a single permit for concealed carry as well as open carry. My point that you do not understand that more guns in the hands of lawful citizens reduces crime. You liberals think another law affecting law abiding citizens will take the guns out of the hands of democrat voters who happen to also be criminals.
Utah has a restaurant chain that has every employee open carrying.
None of their eateries have ever been robbed.
Let’s go to the Paris nightclub attack.
Or the FLA nightclub attack.
50 murdered, another 50 injured.
IF it had been legal to OPEN carry at either place, those terrorists would NOT have even walked in those places.
They would not have known which people to ”shoot first,” as you think.
Guns are carried, not on the head or neck, but down on the hip or waist.
Not easy to spot in the dark.
Lets not forget that the 9th Circus Court of assclowns is the nations most overturned court in the nation and is based in San Franfreakshow
@Greg: The homicidal lunatic or armed criminal libral democrat would avoid the armed person and go to a gun free zone instead of attacking someone who could fight back.
@July 4th American:
I’m not sure what alternate universe you reside in that gives you the ability to create your own premise and then read liberals minds but I’m sure it’s a spectacular place.
To my knowledge, there hasn’t been any recent push from the left on reducing guns on law abiding citizens. Hell, even Obama may go down as one of the more gun friendly presidents as he signed into law the ability to carry guns into national parks as well as on Amtrak stations.
No, the goal of Obama and many on the left has been towards closing loopholes that allow the insane and such from buying guns, something that even the NRA was fine with (well, fine with before a non-white got in the White House). This is also something that by most credible polls 80 to 90% of Americans agree with.
Granted, the left has waded into some semi-automatic and mass quantities of high powered magazine ownership but that hasn’t been a real push.
So yeah, many on the left like myself have issues with scud missiles for psychopaths. I guess it’s just that evil ignorance we possess or something.
As far as the rest of the unhinged conspiracies on guns coming from the rabid right, all that pretty much died after Bush v Gore.
@Ajay42302: Looks like you have not been keeping up to date. As usual, you state your liberal premise and fail to review the facts.
Ajay. Liberals dont think without a remote in their hands they watch the talking heads or the usial hollywood bunch like Leonardo DiCaprio,Luarie David,John Travolta,and Robert Redford)and allow these sawdust for brains wanks do their thinking for them
@July 4th American:
Around 10 percent of law-abiding citizens can’t figure out how 4-way stops and roundabout intersections are supposed to work. It isn’t necessarily a good idea to encourage such people to carry loaded firearms about wherever they go.
Like most truisms, the statement that more armed, law-abiding citizens has beneficial results stops being true at a certain point.
By the way, “so-called assault weapons” refers to assault weapons, a specific category of firearms that are based upon military-purposed designs, having a variety of military-purposed features. They tend to be the firearm of choice when some calculating lunatic goes on a killing spree, because of their capacity for a sustained high rate of fire and the availability of high-capacity magazines. Those living in soldier-of-fortune, Call of Duty fantasy worlds also seem to think they make them look cool, so I suppose we could think of them as fashion accessories.
Assault weapons by definition include many different types of weapons including but not limited to firearms alone. This is a concept quite difficult for liberals to comprehend. For example, if a subhuman cockroach troglodyte moslem attacks a Brussels police officer with a machete, the machete is an assault weapon.
The terms Assualt gun Gunman and Gunned Down are terms used by liberal leftists journalists to discribe any sort of firearm or murder with a firearm or anyone who carrys a gun
@July 4th American: I guess we should leave Greg to his delusions!
My God!! Legalizing open carry?!? Seriously?!? Madness!!! Why, right here in Texas, open carry has been legalized and there have been hundreds… dozens… uh… uh…, well, NO cases of violence. Never mind.
As you clearly state, your knowledge is about the width of a hair. A red hair.
First, notice the article we are actually talking about. You can find it just above where you wrote, “To my knowledge, there hasn’t been any recent push from the left on reducing guns on law abiding citizens.” This is a story about a push from the left on reducing guns on law abiding citizens. I’ll give you a few minutes to actually read the actual article you are actually commenting on.
There. And then, there’s this:
The list of kinds of people Obama thinks should be denied their 2nd Amendment rights
People get on the no-fly list, they don’t get off
Liberals are fine with taking away rights as long as they are picking the rights
More liberal judges attacking 2nd Amendment rights
I could attach hundreds of these (but you wouldn’t read a one, anyway). Obama, Hillary, Holder, Lynch and many other liberals have all stated they think citizens rights to own their own protection should be revoked (of course, they keep THEIR armed protection). To state otherwise is, well, simply a lie.
Why doesn’t Obama (the half-white guy in the White House) do something to close THIS loophole?
Obama releases 105 drug criminals that had federal gun law violations… so far
Maybe this one should never have been opened:
Fast and Furious guns used in murders
If liberals like you and Obama care so much about public safety, why do they do things that directly puts the public in danger? The results are pretty clear:
Crime spikes under Obama
Hmm…. and yet many on the left like yourself celebrate Obama, Hillary and Kerry letting psychopaths that have publicly pledged to destroy another entire nation have missiles far more lethal than Scuds. Why, AJ, that just does not make logical sense.
Yet the left will do NOTHING to stop criminals from carrying weapons. In fact, the left encourages lenient sentences for illegal possession of a weapon and violent crimes (depending on race, which says it all).
No, assault weapon refers to a weapon which is selective between auto- and semi-automatic fire. What YOU refer to is a new and irrelevant definition of a weapon that has physical features YOU want to include in order to ban a wide range of popular and useful weapons.
Unlike what is claimed by the usial infernal scribblers working for some liiberal leftists news rag crime gose down when guns are more avilble to the general public
Again, the extent of your so-called “knowledge” is extremely limited. Or, the extent of your honesty.
@Bill… Deplorable Me: Both are limited!
I found this little known fact to be quite interesting:
During the saga of hurricane Matthew, I heard some commentary on the conditions that exist in this case, in the State of Florida when the Governor declares a state of emergency.
When a state of emergency is declared in Florida, open carry is immediately lawful and encouraged among the citizenry. Obviously this is only one instance in 50, or 57 should one be somewhat confused. For what it is worth……