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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Gun Laws & Gun Crimes

There are a few arguments advanced by the anti-Second Amendment crowd that have always been too frivolous to take seriously.  The first was the now-defunct "collective right" theory that said the Second Amendment wasn't an individual right, despite being right there in the Bill of Rights will all the other individual rights.  That argument was put to rest (finally) in the Heller case.

The other argument people advance is that the Second Amendment protects only those arms in existence at the time the Second Amendment was written.  If applied to the First Amendment as well, only hand-printed newspapers would have First Amendment protection.  Television, radio, the internet, and any other form of communication requiring electricity wouldn't be protected, since they didn't exist when the First Amendment was written.

That second argument has now been put to rest by the Supreme Court in Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U.S. ___ (2016). 

In this case, the State of Massachusetts (a notoriously hostile state to the Second Amendment), ruled that the Second Amendment didn't protect a woman (Jaime Caetano) who wanted to carry a stun gun for her protection.  The Supreme Court of Massachusetts twisted all sorts of logic to come to that conclusion, but SCOTUS finally set them straight. 

 MORE:

Open Carry of a Firearm Isn't PC to Detain, Says 4th Circuit

Do Homeless People Have The Same 2nd Amendment Rights As Homeowners?

Have You Been Denied a Weapon Carry License in GA? Sue The Judge!

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Posted by on in Criminal Defense Blog

Law enforcement is quick to post mugshots of people they arrest, even when those people are later found not guilty. But what happens when an arrestee posts a picture of the officer?  Well, that gets removed by court order.  Know your place, Citizen.   While the ACLU hypocritically refuses to advocate the Second Amendment, at least they will still fight for the First Amendment.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/31/you-cant-put-a-video-of-me-online-im-a-police-officer/

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Recent 2nd Amendment cases have focused on citizens' right to keep firearms in their homes.  But what if you don't have a home?  Do you still have 2nd Amendment rights?

If you don't have a home, you still have your other rights (free speech, free expression, free press, religion, etc), but what about firearms?  Does the 2nd Amendment apply to a person or to that person's residence?  Is the 2nd Amendment limited only to those citizens wealthy enough to own a home?  Why should homeless people be denied the Constitutional right to defend themselves as is enjoyed by homeowners?

A Boston case may answer the question: 

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/2014/11/28/homeless-womans-stun-gun-spurs-2nd-amendment-case/19639585/

So there are two questions here.  First, does the Second Amendment cover stun guns?  Most people think of firearms when they think of the Second Amendment, but the Amendment says "arms" not "firearms."  That means the Amendment covers all sorts of arms, possibly including stun guns.

The second issue is whether a right to keep "arms" in your "home" confers to homeless people the right to keep arms on their person (since they have no home). 

Noticeably absent here is the ACLU.  They claim to be the defender of the Bill of Rights and are frequent advocates for the homeless, but when it comes to the Second Amendment, the ACLU wants to pretend it doesn't exist.  Why?

Considering how the Supreme Court has dodged the issue of Second Amendment jurisprudence for almost a century, it's an exciting time for court watchers.  A 200+ year old right is being defined as we go. 

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In the recent case of Perry v. Ferguson the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Clayton Probate Judge Ferguson was wrong to deny Perry's application for a Georgia weapon carry license because of his 1971 moonshining conviction that was later pardoned.  Perry was so offended, that he sued Judge Ferguson.  The case has worked its way through the court system to this eventual victory for Mr. Perry. 

But the story may not end there.  You see, Georgia law has recently changed to allow the recovery of ATTORNEY FEES against judges who wrongfully deny a carry license. 

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In a good federal case for open carry of firearms, the 4th Circuit holds that the open carry of a firearm, alone, does not constitute probable cause to detain someone absent some other evidence that the person is engaged in criminal activity. 

Gun rights are civil rights, from right there in the Bill of Rights beside freedoms of Speech, Press, Expression, Religion, etc.   Anyone who considers themselves defenders of the Bill of Rights (like the ACLU claims) and individual freedoms should applaud this ruling.  But don't hold your breath for the normal civil rights crowd to cheer.  When guns are the issue, some people want to pretend the Second Amendment doesn't exist.

Note, however, that Georgia is NOT an open carry state, so this may not help Georgia residents directly.  Don't carry openly in Georgia without a weapons permit. 

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Criminals target each other, trend shows.

Since the US murder rate is such a hot topic right now, let's remember that a vast majority of intentional homicides are between people who know each other and people who have criminal records. This is one of
the best reasons to avoid hanging out in the "wrong crowd" as we'll as avoiding BEing the "wrong crowd."

This is why I would often prefer to go to trial on a murder case than a DUI. With murders, there is almost always a history between the deceased and the accused. Often, but not always, they are mutually
engaged in some activity and having a dispute that they can't solve through the legal system. (One can't sue another for failing to pay for drugs, for example.)  Maybe the deceased initiated the conflict. Maybe the defendant acted in self-defense.

I often wonder how many fewer murders there would be from legalizing drugs. Buy/sell drugs on the courthouse steps. If there is a dispute over price or quantity, call the police. If it's not a police matter, file suit.

As always, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the criminal justice system, call us.

-John

 
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From USA Today

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Justice Department review has identified at least 175 federal prisoners who must be released or resentenced because they have been locked up improperly.

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