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BTF/PTM
04-13-2009, 10:43 AM
Taken from the Second Amendment Foundation website verbatim:

"...States Without Specific Constitutional Provisions:

Only six states fail to enumerate a Right to Keep and Bear Arms Clause. Of these states, Iowa and New Jersey have a general "defending life and liberty" clause for self-protection.


California: Nothing.

However, the California Constitution provides for "inalienable rights" including "defending life and liberty ... and protecting property..." Article I, Section 1 reads:

All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

Furthermore, once the Second Amendment is properly defined as an individual right (hopefully in the Emerson Case), then Article III, Section 1 of the California Constitution would apply the Second Amendment to the State Laws of California. Article III, Section 1 reads:

The State of California is an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land..."

The operable part of my query is the final phrase, "The State of California is an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land". If the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme law" of our state, how has gun ownership been so severely limited? Thoughts?

TheBundo
04-13-2009, 10:47 AM
I wouldn't say gun ownership has been "severely limited", except by the city-slickers themselves who don't have any interest in buying them. Gun "buying" is a pain with the 10-day wait, but that doesn't limit ownership.

yellowfin
04-13-2009, 11:08 AM
I wouldn't say gun ownership has been "severely limited", except by the city-slickers themselves who don't have any interest in buying them. Gun "buying" is a pain with the 10-day wait, but that doesn't limit ownership. The obstacles have a great deal to do with why there are fewer gun owners. Ever heard of denial by run around? There is almost nothing else you can buy that has the deterrence by delay, additional expense, complicated procedure, special rules, limited access to use, and comparative scarcity of places to purchase. It becomes a virtual ban for a very large percentage of people, which is precisely why the politicians that put it in place did so. They don't give a crap about it preventing crime, which it doesn't. They care about reducing the number of legal gun owners.

nick
04-13-2009, 11:42 AM
The obstacles have a great deal to do with why there are fewer gun owners. Ever heard of denial by run around? There is almost nothing else you can buy that has the deterrence by delay, additional expense, complicated procedure, special rules, limited access to use, and comparative scarcity of places to purchase. It becomes a virtual ban for a very large percentage of people, which is precisely why the politicians that put it in place did so. They don't give a crap about it preventing crime, which it doesn't. They care about reducing the number of legal gun owners.

All good points. It may not look like much to the people who've been dealing with guns for a while, but to new gun owners it may be a show stopper.

My girlfriend and I bought our first guns about a year ago. We've decided that it was a good idea to own guns (we've been supporting gun and other rights, but never gotten around to actually owning guns). So, the first trick was to find a gun store. We didn't know of any in our area (as it turns out, for a good reason - there aren't any). Normally, you know where to go to get pretty much anything. If you haven't bought it before, you must've passed it on your way to somewhere else before. Not so with gun stores.

Finally, once we've located a few gun stores (thanks to the Internet. Yellow Pages wasn't much help :)), we went to see what they had. One of the first thigns that greets you at allof them (and for a good reason, that being another problem) was the book that most of you know, titled How To Own A Gun In California And Stay Out Of Jail. Quite an encouragement for a person who considers buying his first gun, eh? Needless to say, we bought that book and read and re-read it while on the 10-day wait. Then we went on he Internet and read up on those laws and actual problems gun owners might face. It was even less encouraging. What we got out of this was that:

a) Gun owners are generally considered second-class citizens by the government, media, etc. Basically, the non-apprehended criminals.
b) Just mentioning the word 'gun' is likely to bring numerous civil rights violations upon the second-class citizen in question.
c) A lot of the reasons for buying gunhave already been prohibited by the government with little regard, once again, for our civil rights.

Not being particularly trustful of our government and its respect for our civil rights, we were quite discouraged. We're both quite busy and don't need the extra hassle the government in this state, especially in L.A. County where we live, loves to dish out to gun owners at any opportunity. The benefits of having a gun at least at home and the dislike of being told what to do by some elected and unelected morons in the government outweighed the potential hassles to us, and it went downhill from there once I found Calguns in the course of my research on the gun laws in this state (this site isn't conducive to fiscal responsibility :)).

We were quite determined to get a gun, so we got it. How many people think it might be a good idea to have one, but are/would be discouraged by what I wrote above, and a host of other obstacles the government creates to gun ownership. Heck, I balked at the handgun registration, as with all of the above I had (and still have) a problem with the government knowing I have one, thus putting me into the second-class citizen category.

BTF/PTM
04-13-2009, 12:25 PM
To add to the concept of denial by run-around, this applies not just to gun owners but to gun makers. Have you seen the new Ruger semi-auto that's in stores? The thing is absolutely ridiculous - it's bristling with warnings, safeties and indicators, all it needs is a safety net and a diaper included in the packaging and it'll be the safest device ever built if labels and indicators are what make a device safe. California has so oppressed the gun builder market that many manufacturers have simply dropped out of the race.

Unfortunately, I must admit, the U.S. Constitution doesn't dictate what type of arms citizens are allowed to bear. Technically California could be quite in their governmental right by allowing nothing but muskets and single-action revolvers and still say they're upholding the Constitutional right to arms.

Librarian
04-13-2009, 1:16 PM
Furthermore, once the Second Amendment is properly defined as an individual right (hopefully in the Emerson Case), then Article III, Section 1 of the California Constitution would apply the Second Amendment to the State Laws of California. Article III, Section 1 reads:

The State of California is an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land..."

The operable part of my query is the final phrase, "The State of California is an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land". If the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme law" of our state, how has gun ownership been so severely limited? Thoughts?
Asked before; it seems that during the debates on the California Constitution, that phrasing came up. Apparently it did not mean to the delegates the same thing as it seems to mean to us. The difference is the context - many of the delegates had just come through the Civil War. They distinguished 'the land' and 'State of California' as different.

At least, that's what I get from reading the debates and a couple of law review articles about them from the early 1900's.

And of course, the 'bill of rights does not apply to the states' decisions - the Slaughterhouse cases of 1873 - just preceded the 1879 California Constitution.

Flopper
04-13-2009, 1:57 PM
. . .
Unfortunately, I must admit, the U.S. Constitution doesn't dictate what type of arms citizens are allowed to bear. Technically California could be quite in their governmental right by allowing nothing but muskets and single-action revolvers and still say they're upholding the Constitutional right to arms.
thankfully, this is incorrect, and was clarified by the heller ruling.

in a nutshell, the opposition actually tried to say that's what we were limited to using. the court said that was ridiculous, and that we have the right to keep AND bear any personal, small arm in common military or civilian use. this basically means weapons that can only be operated by more than one person are not necessarily protected.

the court further clarified that handguns are THE most popular and commonly used small arm in america, and as such, cannot be prohibited.

recently, Alan Gura (the Heller attorney) said that by extension, this also applies to ar15's, since they are one of the most commonly owned rifles in the US.

ETA: the post above mine talks about the Slaughterhouse cases. i can't remember how that applied to the Heller case, but if memory serves, slaughterhouse was basically held to be bad law, which is good for us for obvious reasons.

GuyW
04-13-2009, 2:32 PM
Technically California could be quite in their governmental right...

In the US, governments don't have "rights". They have authority and power (delegated by us).

...allowing nothing but muskets and single-action revolvers and still say they're upholding the Constitutional right to arms.

They could say the same regarding newspapers printed by computerized machinery, vs quill pens on papyrus...
.

BTF/PTM
04-13-2009, 2:55 PM
GuyW, you're right on both counts, that's well said. I guess it's no coincidence that various forms of media have had assassination attempts made on them.

Flopper, thanks for clarifying. More good info for the thread. This is one case where I'm glad to be incorrect.

RomanDad
04-13-2009, 4:24 PM
thankfully, this is incorrect, and was clarified by the heller ruling.

in a nutshell, the opposition actually tried to say that's what we were limited to using. the court said that was ridiculous, and that we have the right to keep AND bear any personal, small arm in common military or civilian use. this basically means weapons that can only be operated by more than one person are not necessarily protected.




I had to correct a gun store employee on this very point not two weeks ago.... He was telling customers that the 2nd amendment doesnt apply to BULLETS because they didnt exist at the time of the framing.....

I nearly choked to death on my own spit.

I have a love hate relationship with gun stores..... I love their products, I just hate dealing with the people who work in them.

KylaGWolf
04-13-2009, 10:16 PM
And of course, the 'bill of rights does not apply to the states' decisions - the Slaughterhouse cases of 1873 - just preceded the 1879 California Constitution.

EGADS I had to read the slaughterhouse case for my one criminal justice class. The instructor thought it would be a good idea for us to read it. I am so going to have nightmares tonight now.

KylaGWolf
04-13-2009, 10:18 PM
As biwise said in another thread its a shame we have to counteract the FUD from the gun dealers.