In the wake of the most terrible mass shooting in American history, a small step forward for gun safety: on Tuesday the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals rules that there’s no Constitutional right to sell firearms. This is an important ruling establishing that the government has the right to strictly monitor gun sales.
The case is Teixeira v. County of Alameda, which started when gun shops sued Alameda County for imposing strict regulations on the sale of guns within its territory. The gun shop owners claimed that the regulations violated the Second Amendment in two ways: by preventing would-be customers from buying a gun, and by prohibiting them from selling firearms. Judge Marsha Berzon, writing for the majority, easily dismissed the first claim:
“Gun buyers have no right to have a gun store in a particular location… their access is not meaningfully constrained.”
Then the court turned to the real issue of whether selling guns is protected by the Second Amendment. The latest guidance federal courts have from SCOTUS is DC v. Heller, which stated that an individual had the right to bear arms. But instruction on other issues like concealed carry and now the sale of firearms is up in the air.
The 9th Circuit very logically stated that the right to bear arms is not restricted by regulation how, when, and what guns firearms dealers are allowed to legally sell. Much as bans on assault weapons have been upheld in other circuits, your rights under the Second Amendment does not come without any caveats. The same goes for the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
Eventually SCOTUS will have to address these issues. But as the many decorative turtles in the Supreme Court building indicate, that is a very slow process. For now, thank God for the 9th Circuit.
Watch a short history of the Second Amendment here:
Feature image via YouTube screengrab.