You can buy a car from an out-of-state dealer and pick it up there. You can buy a house in another part of the country, as speculators unwisely did during the real estate bubble, sight unseen. But even though the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own firearms -- and presumably to buy them -- you can't purchase a handgun while you're visiting another state.The courts could rule that Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce allows them to say what is legal to purchase across state lines, effectively ending the argument. But would the 2nd Amendment trump that clause? Interesting arguments here.
A gun rights group has sued the Justice Department to overturn this prohibition, which became law as part of the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the case is now in front of U.S. District Judge James Robertson in Washington, D.C.
Narrowly speaking, the Second Amendment Foundation has filed the Hodgkins v. Holder suit on behalf of American citizens who live abroad and would like to buy firearms when they return for a visit (but can't because Form 4473 requires them to list what U.S. state they live in). More broadly, it could restore Americans' right to buy handguns while traveling across state lines as long as they undergo the normal federal background check.
But do Americans have standing in this lawsuit? Obama has a different view,
The Obama administration claims that they haven't, arguing in a brief: "(Plaintiff's) vague allegation of an intention to acquire a firearm on some future visit to the United States does not give rise to a live controversy as required by Article III of the Constitution."The conclusion of the article's author is:
In this case, for instance, the Obama administration appears to have taken the position that there's no way for anyone to challenge the 1968 Gun Control Act on Second Amendment grounds unless they're arrested for violating it first. Any volunteers?So being denied isn't good enough, you have to be thrown into jail first.
Lawyers are [insert your own word here]