Group of Leftist Attorney Generals Conspire to Prohibit Commonly-Owned Firearms
A group of left-leaning Attorney Generals from sixteen states and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by the State of Hawaii asserting that state power to prohibit commonly-owned firearms is of the essence. On August 7, 2023, the Ninth Circuit ruled that knives, especially “butterfly knives” or “balisongs,” fall under the category of bearable arms. Thus, the Second Amendment protects these items. In addition, the court ruled that the Hawaii state government did not have the power to prohibit these knives.
On September 20, 2023, the State of Hawaii appealed to Teter v Lopez, asserting that the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit engaged in a mistaken application of the law, calling for a new panel or a hearing en banc.
On September 22, the plaintiffs, Teter and Grell, were instructed to file a response to the appeal within 21 days.
On October 2, 2023, a coalition of 14 state Attorney Generals and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief supporting the motion to appeal. Dean Weingarten of AmmoLand noted that the arguments put forward by the State of Hawaii, the 14 attorney generals from blue states, and the District of Columbia are quite similar. He observed the following about these arguments:
- The Heller and Bruen decisions did not clarify that all bearable arms are preemptively covered by the Second Amendment (they carefully do not mention the unanimous Caetano decision, which says the opposite.)
- The Heller and Bruen decisions only protect arms shown to be in common use for self-defense.
- Common possession of arms is not the same as common use. The Second Amendment does not protect arms that are commonly possessed, only those arms that are commonly actually used for self-defense. The state can claim an arm is unusual and dangerous. It is the burden of the person challenging the law to prove an arm is commonly used for self-defense.
Leftist attorneys general are clearly still angered by the Bruen decision of 2022. They see it as a major blow against their leftist agenda.
What’s transpiring in the US, as evidenced by the filing of this amicus brief, is a growing degree of political polarization. As it stands, blue states are where the Second Amendment goes to die and red states where there will be a nominal respect for gun rights.
That’s the reality of politics in hyper-polarized USA.