In its Supreme Court brief, the District asserts that an exception for self-defense at home "is fairly implied in the trigger lock requirement," but it does not explain how. Courts reasonably could read the law's specific "safe storage" exceptions to mean there are no other exceptions.We've made arrangements to get a feed of the SCOTUS oral arguments as soon as they end on Tuesday, which we'll IMMEDIATELY port in toto to DRTV — Marshal's runnign tests tomorrow to make sure we're good to go. We'll be doing extensive coverage of the arguments — Jim Shepherd from the SHOOTING WIRE will be our man on the floor (his credentials cleared; mine got "wait-listed," since I've never had Congressional media credentials). I've also spoken with David Hardy and Dave Kopel on giving me their expert commentary on the oral arguments (I'm waiting to hear back from John Lott), and we'll be gathering other interpretations as they become available. We want you to be as up to speed as we are on this critically important day.
As Bellingham, Washington, attorney Jeffrey Teichert notes in a friend-of-the-court brief, D.C. courts have convicted residents of violating other gun regulations even when they used their weapons for self-defense. In one such case, the District argued that "self-defense would only excuse the use of the weapon, not the possession of the weapon."
This sort of uncertainty would be considered intolerable in the exercise of any other fundamental right. Could a law requiring that books in the home be kept under lock and key be redeemed by arguing that courts probably would give it a "narrowing construction"? If the right to keep and bear arms means anything in practical terms, it means that someone who uses a gun to defend himself in his own home should not have to throw himself on the mercy of the courts.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Countdown to SCOTUS Oral Arguments
This interesting piece from Reason.com: