Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Earlier this week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could lead to the overturning of state and local regulations of firearms. Supreme Court does more wrangling with gun laws - washingtonpost.com:
The same members of the Supreme Court who ruled two years ago that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to own a firearm seemed ready Tuesday to ensure that state and local gun-control laws do not interfere with it. But a majority also indicated that the states may have "broader interests" in restricting gun ownership than the federal government.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. seemed to say that ruling that the Second Amendment is "incorporated" to apply to state and local governments in establishing a fundamental right to gun ownership would be just the first step in eventually deciding myriad issues relating to gun control.
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The case, McDonald v. Chicago, was the logical follow to the court's 5 to 4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. That 2008 decision established for the first time that the Second Amendment's "right to keep and bear arms" referred to an individual right, not one related to military service. But the decision that there is a right to keep a gun in one's home did not extend beyond the federal government and its enclaves such as Washington.
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In Heller, the majority identified ownership by felons or carrying a gun into a school or government building as limitations that might be constitutional restrictions.
Sen. Russell Pearce (R-Mesa) is not waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court. He is busy trying to remove the last vestiges of any state or local regulation of firearms in Arizona. Pearce has one bill to eviscerate the requirements for a concealed carry permit (no training, no permit required), and one bill to permit the manufacture of homemade weapons not subject to state regulation. Now this - Senate votes to nullify cities' gun controls:
The Senate approved legislation to bar local governments from enacting any rules about who can carry a gun and where that are more prohibitive than state law or carry a greater penalty. SB 1168 expands existing laws already pre-empting some local rules to take in anything that a city might want to regulate, including regulations on storage, licensing and registration.
Any existing regulation that is in conflict would disappear if SB 1168 becomes law.
Most immediately, the legislation would overturn some communities' rules about people bringing weapons into city parks. Tucson and Pima County officials say they already follow state law, and Tucson restricts guns in some city parks where signs are posted.
It would not, by itself, kill regulations universities and community colleges now have keeping weapons off their campuses because a separate law specifically gives the governing boards of these institutions the power to regulate conduct on campus.
But Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who wrote the legislation, made it clear that lifting restrictions at those schools is one of his goals. He calls the campuses "no-defense zones" where people are disarmed and can't defend themselves against criminals.
Sen. Linda Lopez offered an amendment during the Senate’s Committee of the Whole to exclude universities and community colleges from SB 1168.
“To those of you who vote for this bill without my amendment to exclude community college campuses, please know that you will not be able to claim that you did not know that this bill allows guns on university and college campuses,” said Lopez. “This bill is a back door way to allow guns on university and college campuses. Neither the universities or community colleges want guns on their campuses.”
The amendment was not adopted. According to Sen. Lopez, the bill as it stands now will allow guns on university and college campuses. It still needs a “Third Read” vote to pass the Senate and move to the House.
OK, I'll just say it -- Russell Pearce is insane. Certifiable batshit crazy f#?ing insane. I can only assume the residents of Mesa who continue to elect this dangerous demagogue to office are equally deranged.
Even the conservative activist U.S. Supreme Court in Heller recognized that carrying a gun into a school or government building is a limitation that is constitutional. That's not acceptable to Russell Pearce.
I have represented victims of gun violence and have had personal experience with the lack of the enforcement of firearms regulations endangering the lives of family members. The regulations we have go largely unenforced by law enforcement now and Pearce is proposing to do away with the last vestiges of any regulation of firearms.
Pearce will not be satisfied until we are all living in an armed and dangerous Arizona like the "Armed Family" from the skit comedy show "The Edge" from the early 90s. (At the 1:13 mark).