Duncan v. Becerra(Bonta) 17-cv-01017 a history

The Ninth Circuit has a history of ruling against The People in Second Amendment cases. I heard that they are 0 for 50. Not verified.

This is the story of just one 2A case. It is very long. About 4 hours of writing and research. Even if you don’t want to read my description of the history of this case, please take the time to read the dissents. (link updated to work.)

(3900 words)

In May 2017, a hero steps forth to do battle with the great leviathan which is the California anti-gun state.

Virginia Duncan files a lawsuit challenging California’s magazine ban. Since 2008, when the Heller Court stated that the Second Amendment protected an individual, the rogue courts had been rubber-stamping every gun control regulation the states could dream up.

She was just another Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, hoping to accomplish something. There was little or no chance of winning. Even the most inferior courts, the district courts, would be against her.

A judge was pulled at random and assigned to her case. Judge Roger T. Benitez was his name. Luckily for Virginia, he was a rogue judge.

A rogue judge or court is a court that mouths the words of their superiors, yet finds ways to disobey even the clearest of instructions.

Judge Benitez was just such a man. In the plaintiff’s motion to dismiss, they state it bluntly, California’s magazine ban is unconstitutional.

First, a total ban on the possession of magazines “in common use” by law-abiding citizens for self-defense plainly violates the Second Amendment. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 627 (2008). The state can point to no justification—let alone one sufficient to withstand heightened scrutiny—for banning magazines lawfully and safely owned by tens of millions of Americans to defend themselves.
ECF No. 6 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017, slip op. at 9 (S.D. Cal.)

It is important to note that they are using the most powerful case law available to them, Heller. In particular, they make the claim that “in common use” means that it can’t be banned. If the item is an arm that is in common use today, then it is protected under the Second Amendment.
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Federal Firearms Act — June 30, 1938

A look at an early 20th century firearm regulation.
(700 words)

I Am Not A Lawyer. I’ve never taken a prelaw course, I’ve never attended a Law School. My interactions with lawyers have been few and far between. What I am is a geek that enjoys understanding. I will often spend far too much time figuring something out that I will never use again. Until I need it.

In looking at the history of firearm regulation, the first federal firearm regulation is the National Firearms Act of 1934. It was my understanding that the next major firearms regulation was the Gun Control Act of 1968. This was followed by the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act in 1985, The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in 1993, the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994(AWB) and a few others since then.

At the state level, there were few from 1791 through the 1850s. The first real infringements on the state level happened after the War of Northern Aggression. The first major state level bill was New York’s Sullivan Act of 1911.

I completely missed the Federal Firearms Act of 1938.

Because Robert Spitzer cited the Federal Firearms Act, I became aware of it. I found the original text.

Constitutional Basis For the Infringement

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How to hide the lead, 2nd Cir. and 3rd Cir.

Back in December 2022 in the case of Antonyuk v. Hochul the state didn’t like the District Court enjoining the New York State CCIA. New York’s Bruen spam response law.

Appellants request a stay pending appeal of the district court’s order dated November 7, 2022 (N.D.N.Y. 22-cv-986, doc. 78), enjoining Appellants from enforcing certain aspects of New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (“CCIA”). Having weighed the applicable factors, see In re World Trade Ctr. Disaster Site Litig., 503 F.3d 167, 170 (2d Cir. 2007), we conclude that a stay pending appeal is warranted. Accordingly, upon due consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion for a stay pending appeal is GRANTED and the district court’s November 7 order is STAYED pending the resolution of this appeal. To the extent that the district court’s order bars enforcement of the CCIA’s provisions related to persons who have been tasked with the duty to keep the peace at places of worship, airports, and private buses, such categories are EXCEPTED
from this order. Appellees’ motion to expedite the resolution of the matter is GRANTED.
ECF No. 6 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017, slip op. at 9 (S.D. Cal.)

This is the entirety of the order granting the stay. This was in response to 180+ pages that the District Court wrote explaining why the CCIA was a crap law and that the state was likely to lose on the merits.

The entire explanation exists somewhere on page 170 of a 2007 2nd Cir. Opinion.

Digging down the rabbit hole, we find:

The four factors to be considered in issuing a stay pending appeal are well known: “(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits;[1] (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.” Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776, 107 S. Ct. 2113, 95 L. Ed. 2d 724 (1987); see Cooper v. Town of East Hampton, 83 F.3d 31, 36 (2d Cir.1996). We have applied these same factors in considering whether to vacate a stay. See Mohammed v. Reno, 309 F.3d 95, 100 (2d Cir.2002). We have also noted that the degree to which a factor must be present varies with the strength of the other factors, meaning that “`more of one [factor] excuses less of the other.'” Thapa v. Gonzales, 460 F.3d 323, 334 (2d Cir.2006) (quoting Mohammed, 309 F.3d at 101).

Having heard the interlocutory appeal after full briefing, we are in a position to evaluate the Appellants’ probability of success in a more focused way than could the motions panel. Although we are not prepared at this time to resolve all of the many issues arising on the merits of the appeal, we can conclude that there is now a lesser probability than might have previously appeared that the Appellants will succeed in preventing at least some of the Plaintiffs’ claims to proceed into at least the discovery stage of the litigation.

The second factor — irreparable injury to the stay applicants — remains the same as before: any proceedings in the District Court pending appeal will irreparably impair, at least to some extent, their alleged claim to immunity from suit. The third factor substantial injury to the parties opposing the stay has increased in significance with the passage of time since among the Plaintiffs are many people with life-threatening injuries, some of whom have died since the litigation began.

This effect of the passage of time upon the Plaintiffs’ interests also has a bearing on the public interest, which is to be considered as the fourth factor, although there are public interest considerations on both sides. On the one hand, there is a public interest in having any of the Plaintiffs who might be entitled to recovery receive compensation while still living and able to use it to cover medical costs and improve the quality of their lives. On the other hand, there is a public interest in vindicating the immunity of any of the Defendants who might be entitled to immunity from suit. At this point, we cannot predict whether any Plaintiffs will ultimately obtain compensation if immunity from suit is not available to the Defendants, nor are we prepared to adjudicate the jurisdictional challenges and immunity claims without a thorough consideration of the substantial issues presented to us. Nevertheless, a decision whether to maintain the stay must be made. On balance, we conclude that the public interest favors permitting pretrial proceedings to resume, *171 thereby hastening the trial that might result in compensation for at least some Plaintiffs during their lifetimes, even though that course will impose upon the Defendants the burdens of pretrial discovery, thereby denying them immunity from suit during the interval from now until such time as it might ultimately be determined that their claims for immunity from suit are valid.
ECF No. 28 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017, slip op. at 3–5 (S.D. Cal.)

The first paragraph in the quote is the standard reasons for why an injunction is granted because that is the same reason for a stay to be granted stopping an injunction.

we can conclude that there is now a lesser probability than might have previously appearedECF No. 87 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017, slip op. at 15 (S.D. Cal.) That wording, applied to the Antonyuk reads like “we know better than the District Court because we said so.”

It also seems to say that the question of irreparable injury fails. While we know that any constitutional right denied is an irreparable injury, the courts have often balanced the Second Amendment injury away. In the Court’s mind, it is better for a gun owner to be denied their rights than to have the state’s legislation enjoined.

Finally, it seems to say that a delay is not really a problem because “PEOPLE WILL DIE IF THIS LAW ISN’T ALLOWED TO STAY IN PLACE!!!”

The point being, that we had to dig into a different opinion and need to guess at what the 2nd Circuit Court’s reasoning is. Because we are guessing, it is much more difficult to say “you are wrong” when taken up by the Supreme Court.

In addition, in the cited case, World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation, the 2nd Circuit did not actually cite to the Supreme Court. All of their citations, in the quoted work, are back to themselves. Or, as my mother said on more than one occasion, “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times.” That doesn’t mean her reasoning was any better this time than it was in the previous 999 times.

If we needed to know more about the reasoning, we would have to go read those other opinions.

We see the same sort of general waving of hands in Koons v. Platkin. The Court’s entire reasoning is expressed as as we conclude the applicable factors warrant such a stay, see In re Revel AC, Inc., 802 F.3d 558, 568 (3d Cir. 2015)Virginia Duncan V. Rob Bonta, No. 19-55376 (9th Cir. Nov. 30, 2021). We have to look at the cited opinion and then guess at what words out of that page were being used to justify this stay.

The Sliding-Scale Approach to Balancing the Stay Factors

Under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 8007, a party can move to stay the effect of a bankruptcy court order pending a resolution on appeal. See Fed. R. Bankr.P. 8007. The factors considered “overlap” the familiar ones courts look to in ruling on applications for preliminary injunctions. See Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 434, 129 S.Ct. 1749, 173 L.Ed.2d 550 (2009) (observing that “similar concerns arise whenever a court order may allow or disallow anticipated action before the legality of that action has been conclusively determined”). To repeat essentially what was already noted above, the following factors come into play:

  1. whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that [it] is likely to succeed on the merits;
  2. whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay;
  3. whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and
  4. where the public interest lies.
ECF No. 153 -Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017 (S.D. Cal.)

We see the same language as the 2nd Circuit Court used, that’s because it is common across all jurisdictions. Guessing makes me think that where the public interest lies might hold more weight with the Court.

Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776, 107 S.Ct. 2113, 95 L.Ed.2d 724 (1987). In order not to ignore the many gray shadings stay requests present, courts “balance[e] them all” and “consider the relative strength of the four factors.” Brady v. Nat’l Football League, 640 F.3d 785, 789 (8th Cir.2011) (quoting Fargo Women’s Health Org. v. Schafer, 18 F.3d 526, 538 (8th Cir.1994) (internal quotation marks omitted)); see also 16A Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 3954 (4th ed. 2008) (“The four factors should be balanced; thus, for example, if the balance of harms tips heavily enough in the stay applicant’s favor then the showing of likelihood of success need not be as strong, and vice versa.” (footnotes omitted)).

Here, the 3rd Circuit brings up “balance” multiple times. This almost always results in the court balancing rights away.

“[T]he most critical” factors, according to the Supreme Court, Nken, 556 U.S. at 434, 129 S.Ct. 1749, are the first two: whether the stay movant has demonstrated (1) a strong showing of the likelihood of success and (2) that it will suffer irreparable harm — the latter referring to “harm that cannot be prevented or fully rectified” by a successful appeal, Roland Mach. Co. v. Dresser Indus., 749 F.2d 380, 386 (7th Cir.1984) (Posner, J.). Though both are necessary, the former is arguably the more important piece of the stay analysis. As Judge Posner has remarked, it isn’t enough that the failure to obtain a stay will be “a disaster” for the stay movant but only a “minor inconvenience to the defendant,” as “[e]quity jurisdiction exists only to remedy legal wrongs; [thus,] without some showing of a probable right[,] there is no basis for invoking it.” Id. at 387.
ECF No. 2, Virginia Duncan v. Rob Bonta, No. 23-55805 (9th Cir.)

As I dig through this litigation, I find that concerns that we have about Second Amendment Rights are echoed by other groups, and we see the same sorts of things happening. I don’t know anything about the case cited here. What I find interesting is that the Court pulled a small amount of text from a Supreme Court Opinion, Nken but then turned to the 7th Circuit Court to find an interpretation of those words that this Court approves of.

It appears that the Court is saying that winning on the merits is more important than the harm being caused to either party. That sounds good…

And finally, For our Court, a sufficient degree of success for a strong showing exists if there is “a reasonable chance, or probability, of winning.” Thus, while it “is not enough that the chance of success on the merits be `better than negligible,'”, the likelihood of winning on appeal need not be “more likely than not,”District of Columbia v. Heller, 467 U.S. 837 (2008) internal citations omitted.

The Third Circuit Court doesn’t think there is a high enough probability of the plaintiffs winning to allow the injunction to remain in place. They believe that the sensitive places language of Chapter 131 will be found constitutional.


District of Columbia v. Heller, 467 U.S. 837 (2008)
Winter V. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 172 L. Ed. 2d 249 (2008)
Mcdonald V. Chicago, 177 L. Ed. 2d 894 (2010)
Caetano v. Massachusetts, 136 S. Ct. 1027 (2016)
Virginia Duncan V. Xavier Becerra, No. 19-55376 (9th Cir. Aug. 14, 2020)
Virginia Duncan V. Rob Bonta, No. 19-55376 (9th Cir. Nov. 30, 2021)
New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. V. Bruen, 142 S.Ct. 2111 (U.S. 2022)
ECF No. 28 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017 (S.D. Cal.)
ECF No. 153 -Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017 (S.D. Cal.)
ECF No. 2, Virginia Duncan v. Rob Bonta, No. 23-55805 (9th Cir.)
ECF No. 6 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017 (S.D. Cal.)
ECF No. 87 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017 (S.D. Cal.)

Kolbe v. Hogan 4th Cir (2017)

B.L.U.F. Does bad law live on? What happens to all the opinions issued by circuit courts on Second Amendment cases before Bruen.

On June 23, 2022, a year ago, the Supreme Court issued the Bruen decision. The Bruen reaffirmed Heller. The Second Amendment is an individual right, it is not a second class right. The way to properly adjudicate a Second Amendment challenge is we hold that when the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. To justify its regulation, the government may not simply posit that the regulation promotes an important interest. Rather, the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.ECF No. 6 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017, slip op. at 9 (S.D. Cal.) This fantastic opinion opened the gates to regaining our Second Amendment protect rights.

The court then proceeded to GVR four other Second Amendment cases. One of those cases was in the 4th Circuit Court.

The Forth Circuit Court has not found an infringement that they couldn’t find a reason to find constitutional. They are horrible on Second Amendment rights. While the Ninth Circuit gets all the news, the Fourth is actually worse.

Affirmed by published opinion. Judge King wrote the opinion for the en banc majority, in which Chief Judge Gregory and Judges Wilkinson, Motz, Keenan, Wynn, Floyd, Thacker, and Harris joined in full; Judge Diaz joined in part as to the Second Amendment claims and joined as to the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection and due process claims; and Judges Niemeyer, Shedd, and Agee joined as to the Fourteenth Amendment claims only. Judge Wilkinson wrote a concurring opinion, in which Judge Wynn joined. Judge Diaz wrote an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment as to the Second Amendment claims. Judge Traxler wrote a dissenting opinion as to the Second Amendment claims, in which Judges Niemeyer, Shedd, and Agee joined. Judge Traxler also wrote an opinion dissenting as to the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection claim and concurring in the judgment as to the Fourteenth Amendment due process claim.
ECF No. 28 - Duncan v. Becerra, No. 3:17-cv-01017, slip op. at 3–5 (S.D. Cal.)

There are fourteen judges on the panel. Only one of them found that there was a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear modern semi-automatic rifles. Thank you, Judge Traxler.

Why is this case important?

The United States jurisprudence is based on common law. Once a law is passed, it is up to the courts to apply that law in a common way across all instances. Since the laws as written often have edge cases or might just be poorly written, the courts are required to say what happens in those edge cases or badly worded situations.

Consider the following. A government employee is granted a security clearance. They gain access to some classified material. Because they are pressured to complete some work regarding that classified material, they copy that material on to a thumb drive and take it home with them.

At home, they copy the documents on to their home server, stored in the spare bedroom. At a later time, they leave government employment. In the process of debriefing, they mention that they had a copy of a paper on their computer that they would remove.

They have just admitted to a crime. There is an investigation and they go to jail.

Any government employee who did a similar action, take classified material out of a secure location and put it on an insecure home server, would be guilty of the same crime and would be punished in the same way.

Common law is what makes this possible. Every court in the land has access to the law, as written, to the court cases involving that law, and what the holdings were for each of those cases. The courts then apply the law in a common way across all people.

This is true of the G.S.-5 who was charged with editing her bosses classified memo as to the S.E.S. former Secretary of State. The law is applied in a common way across everybody.

Kolbe is one of the fundamental pieces of case law that controls how Second Amendment challenges are adjudicated within the 4th Circuit Court. It is also used in other Circuits, though it is not binding on other circuits. Many cases on the East Coast were resolved based on Kolbe.

The Question

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Quote of the Day

The Second Amendment provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” We explained in Heller and McDonald that the Second Amendment “guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Heller, supra, at 592, 128 S.Ct. 2783; see also McDonald, supra, at 767-769, 130 S.Ct. 3020. We excluded from protection only “those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” Heller, 554 U.S., at 625, 128 S.Ct. 2783. And we stressed that “[t]he very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon.” Id., at 634, 128 S.Ct. 2783 (emphasis deleted).

Instead of adhering to our reasoning in Heller, the Seventh Circuit limited Heller to its facts, and read Heller to forbid only total bans on handguns used for self-defense in the home. See 784 F.3d, at 407, 412. All other questions about the Second Amendment, the Seventh Circuit concluded, should be defined by “the political process and scholarly debate.” Id., at 412. But Heller repudiates that approach. We explained in Heller that “since th[e] case represent[ed] this Court’s first in-depth examination of the Second Amendment, one should not expect it to clarify the entire field.” 554 U.S., at 635, 128 S.Ct. 2783. We cautioned courts against leaving the rest of the field to the legislative process: “Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad.” Id., at 634-635, 128 S.Ct. 2783.

Based on its crabbed reading of Heller, the Seventh Circuit felt free to adopt a test for assessing firearm bans that eviscerates many of the protections recognized in Heller and McDonald. The court asked in the first instance whether the banned firearms “were common at the time of ratification” in 1791. 784 F.3d, at 410. But we said in Heller that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.” 554 U.S., at 582, 128 S.Ct. 2783.

The Seventh Circuit alternatively asked whether the banned firearms relate “to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” 784 F.3d, at 410 (internal quotation marks omitted). The court concluded that state and local ordinances never run afoul of that objective, since “states, which are in charge of militias, should be allowed to decide when civilians can possess military-grade firearms.” Ibid. But that ignores Heller’s fundamental premise: The right to keep and bear arms is an independent, individual right. Its scope is defined not by what the militia needs, but by what private citizens commonly possess. 554 U.S., at 592, 627-629, 128 S.Ct. 2783. Moreover, the Seventh Circuit endorsed the view of the militia that Heller rejected. We explained that “Congress retains plenary authority to organize the militia,” not States. Id., at 600, 128 S.Ct. 2783 (emphasis added). Because the Second Amendment confers rights upon individual citizens—not state governments—it was doubly wrong for the Seventh Circuit to delegate to States and localities the power to decide which firearms people may possess.

Lastly, the Seventh Circuit considered “whether law-abiding citizens retain adequate means of self-defense,” and reasoned that the City’s ban was permissible because “[i]f criminals can find substitutes for banned assault weapons, then so can law-abiding homeowners.” 784 F.3d, at 410, 411. Although the court recognized that “Heller held that the availability of long guns does not save a ban on handgun ownership,” it thought that “Heller did not foreclose the possibility that allowing the use of most long guns plus pistols and revolvers … gives householders adequate means of defense.” Id., at 411.

That analysis misreads Heller. The question under Heller is not whether citizens have adequate alternatives available for self-defense. Rather, Heller asks whether the law bans types of firearms commonly used for a lawful purpose—regardless of whether alternatives exist. 554 U.S., at 627-629, 128 S.Ct. 2783. And Heller draws a distinction between such firearms and weapons specially adapted to unlawful uses and not in common use, such as sawed-off shotguns. Id., at 624-625, 128 S.Ct. 2783. The City’s ban is thus highly suspect because it broadly prohibits common semiautomatic firearms used for lawful purposes. Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. See 784 F.3d, at 415, n. 3. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. See ibid. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons. See McDonald, 561 U.S., at 767-768, 130 S.Ct. 3020; Heller, supra, at 628-629, 128 S.Ct. 2783.

The Seventh Circuit ultimately upheld a ban on many common semiautomatic firearms based on speculation about the law’s potential policy benefits. See 784 F.3d, at 411-412. The court conceded that handguns—not “assault weapons”—”are responsible for the vast majority of gun violence in the United States.” Id., at 409. Still, the court concluded, the ordinance “may increase the public’s sense of safety,” which alone is “a substantial benefit.” Id., at 412. Heller, however, forbids subjecting the Second Amendment’s “core protection … to a freestanding `interest-balancing’ approach.” Heller, supra, at 634, 128 S.Ct. 2783. This case illustrates why. If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing.
Friedman v. City of Highland Park, Ill., 136 S. Ct. 447 (Supreme Court 2015)

Thank you Clarance Thomas.

Bad Judge Writes More Bad Opinions — UPDATED

The Question

Does an ordinance that prohibits possession of assault weapons or large-capacity magazines violate the Second Amendment protections?

The City of Highland Park, IL, has an ordinance that does just that. Arie Friedman filed a lawsuit challenging the ordinance in state court in 2013. The city had it removed to the District Court of Northern Illinois. This isn’t uncommon.

There the District Court heard arguments and in September 2014, Judge John W. Darrah granted Summary Judgement to the city (bad guys). From there it was appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court.

The District Court followed the presidents provided to them by the Seventh Circuit court. The gist of which was to use the two-step shuffle and to consider anything that wasn’t a handgun used in self-defense outside the core protections of the Second Amendment.

The Analysis

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Bad Judges Continue to Make Bad Opinions

B.L.U.F. Judges have history, and it is important to understand their history. We explore a series of opinions issued by one Judge that are consistently anti-Second Amendment, even though the Supreme Court has told him he is wrong.

National Rifle Ass’n of Amer., Inc. v. City of Chicago, 567 F.3d 856 (7th Cir. 2009)

Back in 2009, the NRA et al. challenged the City of Chicago’s ban on the possession of most handguns. This was after District of Columbia v. Heller, 467 U.S. 837 (2008). In an opinion, written by Chief Judge Easterbrook, the Seventh Circuit court affirmed a lower court finding that such a ban was constitutional.

He begins with:

Two municipalities in Illinois ban the possession of most handguns. After the Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller, ___ U.S. ____, 128 S. Ct. 2783, 171 L. Ed. 2d 637 (2008), that the second amendment entitles people to keep handguns at home for self-protection, several suits were filed against Chicago and Oak Park. All were dismissed on the ground that Heller dealt with a law enacted under the authority of the national government, while Chicago and Oak Park are subordinate bodies of a state. The Supreme Court has rebuffed requests to apply the second amendment to the states. See United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 23 L. Ed. 588 (1876); Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S. Ct. 580, 29 L. Ed. 615 (1886); Miller v. Texas, 153 U.S. 535, 14 S. Ct. 874, 38 L. Ed. 812 (1894). The district judge thought that only the Supreme Court may change course. 2008 WL 5111112, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98134 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 4, 2008).
National Rifle Ass’n of Amer., Inc. V. City of Chicago, 567 F.3d 856 (7th Cir. 2009)

Here the judge is saying that district courts were dismissed because the Second Amendment didn’t apply to the state nor to subordinate bodies of a state. He goes on to say that three cases from the 1800s support this because the Supreme court did not take up such cases.

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