Supremes asked to open door to interstate handgun sales

  • ‘The time is right for the court to resolve this matter’

If the buyer and seller both follow all applicable laws, the federal government allows the interstate purchase of a home.

Or a chain saw.

Or a sword.

Or a computer.

Or even a long gun, like a rifle or shotgun.

But not a handgun.

And that prohibition is being targeted in a new petition to the high court for the justices to hear the arguments in the Mance v. Whitaker case from the 5th Circuit, and reverse it.

It involves a Texas firearms retailer and two would-be customers who reside in Washington, D.C. A federal district court earlier ruled that the interstate handgun ban is facially unconstitutional, which was reversed by the 5th Circuit panel, explains the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which is pursuing the appeal.

At the 5th, a petition for rehearing en banc was rejected 8-7.

The case is on behalf of Andrew and Tracy Hanson of Washington, D.C., and Texas firearms retailer Fredric Mance.

They are represented by attorney Alan Gura, famed for his earlier precedent setting work on gun rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court..

“The ban on interstate handgun sales was adopted decades ago,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “prior to the advent of the National Instant Check System that is now in place. The Hansons have essentially been denied the ability to legally purchase a handgun from a licensed retailer because of this prohibition.

“But our case goes to the heart of what appears to be a reluctance in the lower courts to enforce the Second Amendment even now, more than 10 years after the landmark Heller ruling and eight years after the McDonald ruling,” he continued. “This continuing problem is mentioned in our petition to the high court.”

He said, “After all, if a citizen is law-abiding in his home state, he or she is going to be law-abiding in a different state where they might find a firearm they want to buy, but the interstate sales ban prevents that. Citizens can purchase all sorts of other goods across state lines, but why not the one tool that is specifically mentioned and protected by the Constitution’s Second Amendment? That simply defies logic and common sense.”

The interstate sales actually are allowed, but the process requires a seller to ship a purchased weapon to a federally licensed firearms dealer in the jurisdiction where the buyer lives. That person then must deliver the weapon. They almost always charge a fee for that, sometimes a significant fee.

In the Hansons’ case it would have been $125, which the government deemed insignificant.

But, the filing challenges, “Would that court employ such reasoning to excuse the government from justifying a $100 abortion tax, or a $100 fee to obtain voter identification?”

However, court precedent warns against treating the Second Amendment as a “second-class” right, the filing explains.

“The time is right for this court to resolve this matter, and the various significant conflicts it reflects,” said the petition.

“This case has been in the system for quite some time,” Gottlieb noted. “We’re hopeful that the Supreme Court, with its new makeup, will grant our request for review.”

Several of the players in this case were key to earlier precedents decided by the Supreme Court that left gun-control advocates fuming. The first case, Heller, confirmed the Second Amendment applies to citizens, not just military forces, and the second case, McDonald, applied that precedent to the states.

The new case concerns the fact that “federal law bars consumers from acquiring handguns outside their home state. This prohibition limits choice and price competition, and forces many handgun buys to arrange and pay for the handguns’ shipment to in-state federal firearms licensees …

“The government theorizes that the prohibition is necessary to combat the circumvention of state and local handgun laws. Yet some jurisdictions allow interstate handgun sales, or preclude the circumvention of handgun laws through retail channels by requiring police authorization for all handgun transfers.

“The question presented is whether prohibiting interstate handgun sales … violates the Second Amendment and the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause,” the filing explains.

Source: Bob Unruh, World Net Daily (wnd.com)

Author: Greg Raven

Trained with Chuck Taylor. What else is there to know?