A long time correspondent and reader alerted me several days to a newly-filed lawsuit which seems to be rapidly promoted and both praised and condemned across the nation.
Many of us have long protested that the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA-1934) was not just unconstitutional but a massive affront to human liberty and a congressional repudiation of their supposed commitment to freedom: precisely the reason that Virginia, Kentucky and people across the States had pushed for a Bill of Rights way back in the 1700s.
Now, someone with the standing, ability, and financing available seems to be pushing for the courts to decide that.
I think that AmmoLand provides a pretty good explanation of how this BATFE v. Erwin lawsuit is proceeding. Anyone familiar with the BATFE’s record will not be surprised at how the agency and the people who run it and work in it think or act. (Like so many other alphabet agencies; FBI, DEA (the old FBN), NTSB, CIA, and many more.)
This time is different because of the recent Bruen and WV v EPA decisions. This time the guys and gals defending the “perp” targeted by the BATFE think they have a chance this time to win – and win big. As in declare the entire 1934 law unconstitutional. An interesting guest editorial over at USSANews by Dr. Ted Noel explains the case well. It is not just a possibility of reining in the BATFE but of outlawing it.
If the BATFE victim wins in front of SCOTUS? Well, my friend explains this might indeed be akin to blowing the barn doors wide open – and even to blowing the whole structure up!
Related to that, and also gaining traction, another effort is originating in Florida, where US Rep Daniel Webster (no relation, I suppose) is pushing Congress to get rid of an NFA-1934 loophole. No, not the hoary old “cry wolf” gun-show and flea-market business. Rather, the infamous “AOW” (Any other weapon) one that is a loophole for the G-men thugs to attack honest and peaceful men and women. Webster wants to end that, which has been used to abuse many people over the years.
Hmmm – a second front: Congress AND Courts. What are the chances of that getting through Congress? Before or after the new Congress takes office in January 2023? I’d say NONE before then, and slim afterwards. Several respected commentators think that Democrat control of the Senate – even by a whisker as we have now – is virtually a certainty, unless the Dems totally goof up everything.
BUT a SCOTUS decision to kill the NFA-1934 (which I don’t think has the usual “severability” clauses of today’s legislation) is distinctly much more likely. (Severability means that part of a law may be null and void but the rest hangs on.) Perhaps not as likely as some of our optimistic fellow-libertarians believe, but still much better than Congress.
ANOTHER BUT – we NEED to remember what is happening right now across the nation after the Dobbs decision on abortion. Unlike the Roe v Wade, or the decisions on homosexuality and so-called “gay marriage,” there is no massive, within days or weeks, ending of abortion across the nation. Part of this stems (as several people have pointed out) from the very nature of the system SCOTUS is tearing down: it is not prohibitions by States that were ended, but rather a restriction by the courts on States’ attempts to greatly restrict abortion. (And in a few cases, prohibit it. Despite the daily claims by pro-choice protesters and mouth-pieces to the contrary, most States are NOT completely banning it, just restricting it.) But homosexual “marriage” was rammed down the throat of every State and every county incredibly quickly, without in many cases bothering to change the laws that were now officially unconstitutional.
The situation we see now – most recently in Louisiana by a State judge – is just the opposite. Like Lee after Petersburg and Richmond, the pro-abortion forces (especially in the courts and in States and jurisdictions controlled by so-call progressives) are fighting delaying action after delaying action. We can’t even tell at this point if the anti-abortion forces are going to find their Appomattox or not.
This is already the case with the Bruen decision: for example, New York State and New York City are not being made to start “shall issue” concealed carry permits or stop their system of gun licensing and registration. Indeed, they are already fighting rear-guard actions: WITH the support of far too many fearful judges and States’ attorneys.
We can expect the same thing if the Ervin case has a result of declaring the NFA 1934 unconstitutional. And along with the other cases, the final court of appeal may NOT be SCOTUS, or the court of public opinion, but trial-by-combat.