Common Use

Federal court upholds machine gun ban because they’re not in “common use.” They’re not in “common use” because the ban, and the cumbersome registration process before that, have artificially limited the supply.

So, I guess this means Congress can simply ban any and every firearm designed or manufactured after today’s date because things which don’t exist obviously aren’t in “common use” yet?

And does this apply to other individual rights? Can Congress ban future, high tech publishing devices because they’re not in “common use” yet? Can they quarter troops in new homes which aren’t in “common use” yet? Pass a law authorizing searches and surveillance of all new communication devices which aren’t in “common use” yet? Or, well, you get the picture..

But, yea, it’s a good thing the Heller case didn’t happen 200 years ago. Had lower courts used Scalia’s jumbled dicta like this then, the Second Amendment would have been reduced to a right to keep and bear muskets.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Haji on 01.04.09 at 11:35 am

I think the sticky wicket for politicians, though, is the “common usage” wording. If the arms are supposed to be suitable for use by a militia, i.e. are commonly used military arms, then everything in the Class III arena falls into that description. Unfortunately, America voted stupidly over the past two elections, so a change for the positive in that area is unlikely.