2 Suits, 2 Sides of Gun Debate

Suit the First: The Georgia town of Nelson, about 50 miles north of Atlanta, recently passed a law requiring citizens to own a gun ownership that it said is mostly symbolic. The law requires every head of household in the town of 1,300 to have a gun and ammunitions. Anyone who opposes gun ownership or has certain disabilities are exempt.

Hoplophobes are, of course, somewhat upset even though people of their ilk would naturally be unaffected by the law:

The Washington-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed a federal lawsuit against the  claiming the law is unconstitutional. The suit contends the Second Amendment doesn’t require anyone to have a gun, and government cannot require citizens to arm themselves.

Suit the Second: In the wake of shootings in Colorado last year a series of laws were passed that limit the size of ammunition magazines and expand background checks. The laws go into effect 1 July but sheriffs from 54 of Colorado’s 64 counties are filing suit, claiming the regulations are unconstitutional.

The sheriffs say the new state laws violate Second Amendment protections that guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. Opponents are criticizing the lawsuit as political maneuvering.

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said he and his colleagues were “not the ones playing politics with this.”

“We believe that the Legislature were the ones who were playing politics,” he said.

Gun control opponents say the language in the regulations is unclear and doesn’t provide safeguards to prevent people from inadvertently breaking the laws.

Ammunition magazines, for example, are easily converted to larger sizes, which the bill bans. Gun rights advocates also say the law expanding background checks doesn’t provide enough exemptions for temporary transfers and that people conducting private transactions will have a difficult time getting appropriate checks.

As usual, police chiefs are opposed to the suit, claiming the new laws are “common sense”. As the article states, police chiefs are not elected. The natural conclusion is that the sheriffs represent their constituency. Reminder: the sheriffs are from 54 of Colorado’s 64 counties (84%).

Posted May 18th, 2013 Filed in Second Amendment