Monday, December 7, 2009

Another lawsuit - Hodgkins v. Holder

The Second Amendment Foundation is busy. They have another lawsuit in the courts, Hodgkins v. Holder, that could definitely affect interstate commerce. D.C. Court Ruling Could Affect Out-Of-State Gun Buying
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.

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.
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.

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]


straightarrow said...

And that is exactly the tactic that has allowed them to usurp so much authority they are constitutionally denied.

Anonymous said...

I am an American citizen currently living in Canada. I am licenced to purchase and possess firearms in Canada. I am authorized to transport my firearms to a border crossing. I can possess and transport my Canadian-purchased firearms in The United States. I am licenced to CCW in thirty-four U.S. States.

Yet, I cannot legally purchase a firearm in The United States.

I can legally purchase a firearm in certain border gunshops, but I cannot possess it. The gunshop employee transports the firearm to the border crossing. I take possession of the firearm at the border and register it in Canada. I still cannot have possession of that firearm in The United States, but I can have my Canadian-purchased firearm in a holster on my hip.

Yeah. I know. God bless the Second Amendment Foundation. If they win this, I shall contribute some more.

strandediniowa said...

Thanks for your point of view, Anon. SAF is fighting for all of us and especially for you in this case.

Toronto houses said...

Hi. Well, being Canadian I can't certainly travel to the US having a gun, but on the other hand I don't see any reason why an American citizen couldn't buy a gun in any state within the US. I agree that such a purchase should be controlled and anyone who buys a gun in another part of the country should be checked while traveling across state lines. If this works, it sounds fair enough to me.
Take care,

strandediniowa said...

Julie, are you advocating checkpoints between states?

That would be trading freedoms in (travel, search and seizure) in order to gain another freedom(purchasing a firearm).