By Dave Workman
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominated by President Trump to the U.S. Supreme Court. [Screen snip, YouTube, C-span]
Judging by the reaction from anti-gunners to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States, one would think President Donald Trump had re-sunk the Titanic.
Perennial gun control proponent Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) immediately vowed to fight Kavanaugh’s confirmation “with everything I have.”
Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun prohibition lobbying group bankrolled by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, declared in an email blast, “Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s extreme outlier approach to the Second Amendment would elevate gun rights above public safety and put in jeopardy the full range of gun safety laws — including assault weapons and large-capacity magazine prohibitions, minimum age requirements, safe storage requirements, and other common-sense gun safety laws. We need to do everything we can right now to tell our senators to OPPOSE Trump’s SCOTUS pick.”
Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent in a case about banning so-called “assault rifles” in the District of Columbia might have something to do with their angst. The 53-year-old Kavanaugh wrote, “It follows from Heller’s protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that D.C.’s ban on them is unconstitutional. (By contrast, fully automatic weapons, also known as machine guns, have traditionally been banned and may continue to be banned after Heller.)
“D.C.’s registration requirement,” the judge added, “which is significantly more stringent than any other federal or state gun law in the United States, is likewise unconstitutional…”
That kind of fealty to the Second Amendment gives anti-gunners heartburn.
On the other side, however, the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation both released statements supporting the nomination.
NRA’s Chris Cox said the president had made “another outstanding choice.” He noted that Kavanaugh “has demonstrated his clear belief that the Constitution should be applied as the Framers intended.”
That’s toxic to people like Schumer, and SAF’s Alan Gottlieb added a drop or two of pure poison when he observed, “by adding Judge Kavanaugh, we might see the high court become more willing to accept and rule on important Second Amendment issues, such as right-to-carry.”
Over the past few years, both NRA and SAF have challenged various state carry laws, none of which were accepted by the high court for review. That was then, and if Kavanaugh is confirmed, this would be “now.”
“We know that the Court will face enormous challenges on other rights issues,” Gottlieb added, “but the right to keep and bear arms is a cornerstone of the Bill of Rights that has set this nation apart as a beacon of freedom and liberty. It is time for the court to examine the constitutionality of various state laws that restrict the right to carry, for example, and make arbitrary decisions about who can exercise that right.”
Who Is This Guy Kavanaugh?
According to a backgrounder provided to Insider Online by the White House, Brett Kavanaugh is a veteran judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court.
Judge Kavanaugh was introduced by President Trump Monday evening. [Screen snip, YouTube, C-span])
He was appointed to that position in 2006 after being nominated by then-President George W. Bush. Kavanaugh has a B.A from Yale, where he graduated cum laude in 1987, and a Yale law degree earned in 1990.
He clerked in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 1990-91, and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 1991-92. He later clerked for Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose seat he’s been nominated to fill.
He spent some time in private practice in the late 1990s but was an associate counsel for President Bush in 2001-03 and then senior associated counsel in 2003.
According to the White House, Kavanaugh “is the single most qualified person in the country to serve on the Supreme Court. His credentials are impeccable. He currently sits on the D.C. Circuit—the ‘Second Highest Court in the Land’—and serves as the Samuel Williston Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School. He graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Justice Kennedy.”
He’s got more than 300 published opinions, and the Supreme Court has endorsed his opinions more than a dozen times. He doesn’t like “government overreach.” And, he is “a judge who will apply the law as written and enforce the text, structure, and original understanding of the Constitution.”
Bad Year For Gun Prohibitionists
It hasn’t been a particularly good year so far for the gun control crowd. Indeed, it’s had a couple of embarrassing moments, courtesy of two outspoken leaders in the firearms industry.
Recall when a New York state official suggested to various Big Apple banking and credit card institutions that they should reconsider doing business with the gun industry that Steve Hornady, head of the legendary Hornady Manufacturing Company fired back that his company would “not knowingly allow our ammunition to be sold to the Government of the State of NY or any NY agencies.” Insider Online detailed that in an exclusive interview with Hornady, published several weeks ago.
About that same time, Chris Killoy, president at Ruger, also let some air out of the media windbags after members of an advocacy group that owned Ruger stock managed to get support for a proposal regarding “gun safety.” This proposal requires the company to prepare a report on how it addresses firearm safety.
When the media tried to make hay out of it, Killoy set the record straight, telling the New York Times, “This proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report. That’s it, a report.”
But he then poured a little salt in the wound by adding that Ruger would not “adopt misguided principles by groups that do not own guns and do not understand guns.”
The requirement, he said, “cannot force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected.”
But They Keep Asking For It
As Insider Online has previously observed, it looks like Washington State has become something of a “test tube” environment for whack-a-mole gun control efforts, the latest of which is a move by Seattle to adopt a “safe storage” requirement for gun owners living in the city.
But that put the city on a collision course with the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute, which places exclusive authority for gun regulation in the hands of the State Legislature. The city council doesn’t seem to get it that they can’t just create their own gun laws, especially one like this.
Screen shot, Alan Gottlieb, TVW
Just because you don’t live in Seattle or anywhere else in the Evergreen State, don’t ignore what’s going on here, advises SAF’s Gottlieb, mentioned above. If Seattle gets away with this, eroding the preemption law in the process, the same kind of challenge could be coming to a location near you because several states used the Washington example to pass their own preemption laws, and anti-gun city officials hate such laws.
And here’s something to think about. Under this “common sense” measure, a gun owner could be fined upwards of $500 if he/she doesn’t store firearms properly and some minor or disqualified person gets hold of them. If they cause harm with the gun, the fine could go up to $10,000.
Lucky for former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, whose own pistol was stolen out of his parked car in downtown Seattle on the day after Christmas about 14 years ago, that this law wasn’t in effect then. That gun has apparently never been recovered.
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