Newsletter: Gun-Rights Activists Lose Another Hardware Ban Case

Opponents of magazine limits suffered a new setback in court this week after a federal appeals court upheld Rhode Island’s ban.

The loss is just one in a series where gun-rights activists have tried to undo restrictions on popular guns, ammo magazines, or even knives in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision. While there have been some court successes on that front, there have been even more failures. And, as Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman explains in a piece for members, those losses are likely to continue for the foreseeable future due to a simple fact of geography.

But that wasn’t all the action in the courts this week.

A federal judge found the ban on illegal immigrants owning guns violates the Second Amendment, at least as applied to the non-violent defendant in the case. That ruling continued the debate courts have been having on who can and can’t be barred from owning guns while sparking a fight among some gun-rights proponents. As Jake explains in his second Member Exclusive, the Supreme Court will probably have to settle part of that debate soon given the increasing divide in the lower courts.

The ruling against California’s one-gun-a-month rule was much more universally accepted, at least by gun advocates.

Speaking of California, the state released a report this week showing an uptick in its efforts to disarm people who’ve done something, like commit a felony, after previously buying a gun. But even the uptick leaves tens of thousands the state hasn’t been able to reach yet.

Plus, we answer Reload Members’ questions on the podcast!

A collection of magazines on display at the 2023 NRA Annual Meeting
A collection of magazines on display at the 2023 NRA Annual Meeting / Stephen Gutowski

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Rhode Island Ammo Magazine Ban
By Jake Fogleman

Rhode Island’s ban on possessing ammunition magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds doesn’t violate the Second Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

A three-judge panel for the First Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s denial of a motion for preliminary injunction against Rhode Island’s magazine ban. The panel did so after ruling that “large capacity magazines” (LCMs) are rarely used in self-defense, and the state’s ban imposes “no meaningful burden” on Rhode Islanders’ ability to defend themselves. It also held the magazine ban was relevantly similar to historical gun restrictions, as required by the Supreme Court’s test in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.

Click here to read more.

An AR-15 rifle on display at the 2024 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada
An AR-15 rifle on display at the 2024 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: Why Gun-Rights Litigants Keep Losing Hardware Ban Challenges [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

A federal appeals court last week dealt gun-rights advocates another blow in a lawsuit over a state arms ban.

The way states and the federal courts that oversee them have ideologically segregated themselves in the modern era of hyperpolarization means the losses are likely to continue piling up. That means a circuit split is unlikely to occur anytime soon. In turn, that reduces the chances the Supreme Court weighs in–though not to zero.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read more. If not, buy a membership today for exclusive access!

Handguns on display at a gun show during December 2023
Handguns on display at a gun show during December 2023 / Stephen Gutowski

Gun Ban for Non-Violent Illegal Immigrant Found Unconstitutional
By Stephen Gutowski

The Second Amendment protects people’s ability to own a gun even if they’ve entered the country illegally.

That’s the ruling handed down by US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman on Friday. She found the federal prohibition on illegal immigrants owning guns is unconstitutional, at least as applied to Heriberto Carbajal-Flores. She ruled the ban did not fit with America’s historical tradition of gun regulation as required under the Supreme Court’s landmark New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen ruling.

“The noncitizen possession statute, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5), violates the Second Amendment as applied to Carbajal-Flores,” Judge Colman wrote in US v. Carbajal-Flores. “Thus, the Court grants Carbajal-Flores’ motion to dismiss.”

Click here to continue reading.

An attendee examines a pistol at the 2024 SHOT Show
An attendee examines a pistol at the 2024 SHOT Show / Stephen Gutowski

Federal Judge Strikes Down California Gun Sale Rationing Restriction
By Jake Fogleman

The Golden State cannot limit how many firearms a lawful buyer can purchase in a month.

That’s the ruling U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes handed down on Monday. In his ruling, he struck down California’s one-gun-a-month (OGM) restriction. He found it fell outside the scope of the nation’s historical tradition of gun regulation and, therefore, violated the Second Amendment.

“Defendants have not met their burden of producing a ‘well-established and representative historical analogue’ to the OGM law,” Judge Hayes, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in Nguyen v. Bonta“The Court therefore concludes that Plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment as to the constitutionality of the OGM law under the Second Amendment.”

Click here to read the rest.

American and California Flags outside of a government building Downtown San Diego on a sunny morning.
The California flag flies alongside the U.S. flag / Photo by Craig Marolf on Unsplash

Report: California Seized Guns From Thousands of Prohibited Possessors, Tens of Thousands Remain at Large
By Stephen Gutowski

The Golden State managed to take firearms away from a significant number of people who weren’t legally allowed to have them last year, but more than 20,000 more remained beyond the state’s reach.

On Monday, California’s Department of Justice (DOJ) released its 2023 report on the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS). In it, the state laid out the details of its efforts to round up guns from people it knows once bought guns but who have since been barred from owning them. Law enforcement officials were able to remove more people from the list, by rounding up their guns or verifying they didn’t have any, than new prohibited possessors were added to it for the second year in a row. All in all, they removed more than 9,000 people from the APPS and seized more than 1,400 firearms.

Click here to read the full piece.

Podcast: Answering Your Firearms Questions
By Stephen Gutowski

This week, we’re answering your questions on the show!

That’s right, it’s time for another Q&A episode of the podcast. The questions are submitted by Reload Members, then Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman, and I do our best to answer them.

As expected, this episode features a lot of great questions that really stretch our knowledge. We tackled a wide variety of topics.

Plus, I describe how speaking to a group of Columbia University students earlier this week went.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the episode is available on our YouTube channel. Here’s an auto-generated transcript as well.

Police stand guard outside the Supreme Court
Police stand guard outside the Supreme Court / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: The Felon-in-Possession SCOTUS Collision Course [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

A new federal appeals court ruling has widened the circuit split among courts grappling with whether felons can be permanently disarmed. That may force the Supreme Court to weigh in soon.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a previously convicted drug trafficker’s challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the federal ban on felons possessing firearms. The panel determined that the Supreme Court’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen decision did not upset its precedent upholding the federal felony gun ban’s validity.

“Because the Supreme Court ‘made it clear in Heller that [its] holding did not cast doubt’ on felon-in-possession prohibitions, and because the Court made it clear in Bruen that its holding was ‘[i]n keeping with Heller,’ Bruen could not have clearly abrogated our precedent upholding section 922(g)(1),” Judge William Pryor, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in US v. Dubois. “Indeed, the Bruen majority did not mention felons or section 922(g)(1).”

The ruling makes the Eleventh Circuit the latest court to weigh in on the question, but it is far from the first to issue a decision on the constitutionality of § 922(g)(1) in light of Bruen.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read more. If not, buy a membership today for exclusive access to this piece and hundreds of others!

Outside The Reload

Mass gun violence down 48% so far this year, top criminologist says | The Center Square | By David Mastio

Nepotism Lives on At the NRA | Only Guns and Money | By John Richardson

US appeals court questions bid to block Delaware assault weapons ban | Reuters | By Nate Raymond

A surge of illegal homemade machine guns has helped fuel gun violence in the US | AP News | By Lindsay Whitehurst

3 Kansas City men face firearm trafficking charges related to Chiefs Super Bowl parade shooting | AP News | By Jim Salter

Colorado lawmakers to tackle slew of gun bills, including prohibition of guns in ‘sensitive’ places | Colorado Politics | By Marianne Goodland

Michigan Vows to Destroy Buyback Guns After Resale Uproar | New York Times | By Mike McIntire

U.S. Dominates Foreign Weapons Market as Russian Exports Plummet | Wall Street Journal | By Brett Forrest and Michael R. Gordon

Gov. Youngkin vetoes first set of gun control bills | Virginia Mercury | Graham Moomaw

Judge rejects challenge to Washington state law that could hold gun makers liable for shootings | AP | By Gene Johnson

Everytown Sues ‘ghost gun’ kit maker JSD Supply | Detroit Free Press | By Clara Hendrickson

That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear expert analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get our exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Stephen Gutowski
The Reload

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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