‘Common Use’ Firearms Split Decision Heads Toward SCOTUS
Article first appeared at Ammoland.com
Ammoland – In 1991, a nasty letter to the editor appeared in the Bloomington Pantagraph newspaper.
The letter berated hunters, calling them slobs. Hunters in the area were furious. Newspapers in 1991 had a lot more influence than they do now. Those were the days before widespread Internet use, Facebook, Twitter and texting.
Being furious doesn’t much matter if you can’t turn anger into positive action.
Ronald Hamilton, an avid outdoorsman from Bloomington, decided to take positive action. Ron and a few of his friends formed theMcLean County Sportsmen’s Association (MSA), an organization dedicated to educating children in the outdoors. Over the last 25 years, Ron, the MSA board members and hundreds of volunteers have educated thousands of children in hunting, fishing, shooting and gun safety.
On Saturday, February 6, 2016, I was privileged to attend MSA’s annual banquet, along with about 800 other people. If there was ever a group of people who turned a lemon into lemonade, Ron Hamilton and the MSA are it – well done Ron!
Kolbe v Hogan
On February 4, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a lower court ruling in a case known as Kolbe v Hogan. The case involved Maryland’s ban on semi-automatic firearms, such as the AR15. The ISRA had previously filed an amicus brief in this case. The Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals held that “strict scrutiny” must be applied. In the Friedman case (Highland Park), the Seventh Circuit ruled the opposite way and required only “intermediate scrutiny.” We now have a conflict between courts. This is usually the path to the final arbitrator, the U.S. Supreme Court. This does not always happen, however. How the case is decided depends on the outcome of the next election. If Hillary gets elected and packs not only the Supreme Court, but all the lower courts as well, we are going to have a rough time for the next 20 years.
If the Friedman v City of Highland Park and the Kolbe v Hogan cases go to the Supreme Court one of the arguments will revolve around the term “common use.”
“Common use” simply means the firearms that are commonly used by average citizens. No matter what the pro-gun side argues about “common use”, the anti-gunners dismiss it as not good enough. Let’s look at another way to view “common use.” In 2012, the sales of the most common pickup truck, the Ford F-150, was 645,316 units. In 2012, the number of the most common rifle, the AR15, was over 1,200,000 units. The most common rifle is nearly twice as common as the most common pickup truck. The reason I am using 2012 figures is that it takes 18 months or more to gather and tabulate the production figures from the dozens of AR15 manufacturers. Ford does not have that problem.
The New Hampshire primary is over and the Republican candidates have narrowed to six and the Democrats are still at two. The next two contests are in South Carolina and Nevada. It is important to remember that the first four states only have about 4% of the delegates. South Carolina is the first state where candidates can really test their ground games. The big day will be March 15th 2016. There are several primaries that day, including Illinois. By midnight on March 15th 2016 we will know much more. By the way, if you are not registered to vote, you need to get that done right away.
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About Illinois State Rifle Association:
The Illinois State Rifle Association is the state’s leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. Since 1903, the ISRA has represented the interests of over 1.5 million law-abiding Illinois firearm owners Visit: www.isra.org