Defenders of the Second Amendment rejoiced when Donald Trump, who has been outspoken in his support of gun rights, defeated the decidedly anti-gun Hillary Clinton and marked the end of the equally gun-hostile Obama administration. But, while Trump’s election may have helped stop the bleeding and given some momentum to “pro-2A” advocates, at least at the federal level, there are still too many restrictions on gun ownership and carry, which infringe on constitutional rights and impair the basic, fundamental human right to self-defense.
There are still too many cases, for example, like that of William Johnson, a disabled Marine Corps veteran who was denied custody of his grandson unless he registered his firearms with the state of Michigan. This happened, by the way, after the state had requested that Johnson and his wife become foster parents to their grandson. Yet, when Johnson agreed and went to pick up the boy from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, caseworkers demanded the serial numbers for all of his firearms, and allegedly told him, “If you want to care for your grandson, you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”
A Gogebic County Court judge made an equally egregious statement, telling the Johnsons, “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home.”
The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Johnsons, as well as another gun-owning couple that would like to be foster parents, alleging violations of not only the Second Amendment, but also the equal protection provision of the 14th Amendment.
Californians also suffered a setback this summer when the U.S. Supreme Court, with a newly reconstituted conservative majority, somewhat surprisingly declined to hear the Peruta v. San Diego County case concerning the state’s often restrictive requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit. Under state law, county sheriffs have wide latitude in setting and interpreting the rules, and while some places, particularly in the more rural parts of the state, have rather permissive standards, coastal counties, where the vast majority of the population lives, typically require a special “good cause” over and above the general desire for self-defense, thus constituting a de facto ban for the vast majority of citizens.
In a scathing dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch, called…