The Creeping Death of the Second Amendment
The Second Amendment is slowly dying, and California just took another shot at it.
For those who might take CA Governor Jerry Brown vetoing bills that would grant illegal immigrants rights over citizens as a sign that some good sense is returning to the Golden State, think again. Governor Moonbeam recently signed a handful of gun control bills, firing yet another salvo into the already dying Second Amendment. Sadly, he’s not alone.
The right to keep and bear arms is being attacked nationwide. Though progressives and authoritarians would love to do so, no state could likely ban guns altogether and get away with it – yet. But the Second Amendment is dying, none the less. As states, municipalities, and even companies enact laws and policies that further restrict who can own what guns, when and where, what was to be an uninfringeable right is suffering a death by 1,000 cuts.
Narrowing the Gap
The California State Senate voted 23-10 to raise the minimum purchase age for all firearms to 21 back in May. Now Gov. Brown has signed the bill into law, stripping the right to buy guns – a key element in the right to keep and bear them – from hundreds of thousands of citizens who are otherwise adults, as well as the millions of others who aren’t yet, but will be. Since California also requires that all gun transfers go through a licensed dealer, none of these young adults who don’t already own firearms will be able to acquire them legally.
According to the “Population in Households” data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 805,016 Californians between the ages of 18-20, though that doesn’t account for the homeless or, quite likely, most illegals. Any of those who aren’t in the military or law enforcement are now barred from buying guns for self and home defense.
This is merely a narrowing of the gap remaining between where we stand now and the total disarming of the populace. For all those between 18 and 20, it may as well be a complete repeal of the Second Amendment.
If ever there were a time to wish we had been wrong, this is it. However, Liberty Nation has been tracking this unfortunate trend, and we predicted back in May that this law would pass:
“On Tuesday, May 29, the California Senate voted 23-10 in favor of their own bill to raise the gun buying age. The bill, SB1100, also limits the number of guns any one person can purchase to one per month. It isn’t law quite yet – but that it will succeed seems a foregone conclusion. This is California, after all, and the most surprising thing about this story is that the Golden State wasn’t the first in the Union to achieve this ‘common sense’ reform.”
Infringements Around the Country
As hinted by the quote above, California was not the first state to raise the minimum purchase age; this and similar violations occur nationwide. Federal law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from buying a handgun or ammunition for one from a licensed dealer. For long guns – rifles and shotguns – and the ammo to match, the age is 18. For private transfers, the recipient of a handgun must be at least 18, with a few exceptions. Long guns may be given to anyone of any age – though many states have a minimum age for shooting, even with parental guidance.
In addition to federal law, 17 states ban the sale of handguns to people under 21 even in private transactions, three set the age at 18, and the rest don’t specify, following federal regulations. For long guns, California now joins Vermont, Florida, Hawaii, and Illinois in raising the age from 18 to 21. Eighteen states require that anyone buying a long gun – whether from a licensed dealer or not – be 18, with another nine merely requiring parental consent for those who aren’t.
Of course, while gun purchase and possession ages are, perhaps, the most egregious of the infringements, as it keeps entire sections of the population wholly disarmed, they aren’t the only violations. Open carry is banned entirely in seven states, eight have gun registries, and 18 either prohibit private sales or require them to be overseen by law enforcement, which includes background checks. Only 27 of the 50 states have “stand your ground” laws, which means that in 23 states – nearly half those in the country – you’re required to attempt to retreat, if possible, before defending yourself – even in your own home!
It has been said many times that if one must first obtain permission from the government to do something, then it isn’t respected as a right. Of all 50 states that are supposed to stand beholden to the Constitution, too few allow any form of “Constitutional” carry. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, and West Virginia are the only states in which anyone legally allowed to get a gun by the laws of that state is allowed to carry it, concealed or openly, without first obtaining a permit. Though even in some of these states, there are disputes as to what the law actually allows, making it potentially dangerous to carry.
A Tightening Grip
While the phrase “gun control” likely brings California, Illinois, and perhaps Maryland to mind first, every state has at least some restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms that are clear infringements – and are, therefore, entirely unconstitutional. There isn’t a state in the Union that hasn’t, in some way, contributed to the Second Amendment’s death by 1,000 cuts. Some are just worse than others.