Are firearm magazine capacity bans headed to the Supreme Court? The answer just got a lot closer to “yes.” New Jersey’s newest ban on magazines with over ten rounds was upheld at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals this week. If you own such a magazine – sometimes called a clip – you have until Monday, December 10, 2018, to get rid of it or become a felon in the Garden State.
The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs filed suit to block the implementation of the law, and they plan to go to the Supreme Court if necessary, to see Second Amendment rights respected in the state. Scott Bach, the association’s executive director, was not put off by this court decision and told Liberty Nation that the group’s “intention is to get this issue resolved once and for all, not just for New Jersey but for the nation.” He says the association is the voice of New Jersey’s one million law-abiding gun owners and calls out the state for having the worst gun control laws in the country.
Paging Chief Justice Roberts
Remember on Thanksgiving when Chief Justice Roberts decided to get involved in the news of the day? In trying to defend the entirety of the federal judiciary from a Trump tweet, Roberts said: “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” As it happens, the two Obama appointees on this case thought the law was just fine and dandy, and that no rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment were impermissibly infringed. Donald Trump appointee Judge Bibas wrote powerfully that the law was in direct opposition to our rights.
The appeals court ruled 2-1 that the ban was legal. While there were several arguments made against the law, the principal objection and that which focused the court’s attention were the Second Amendment claims. Bibas wrote both that the appellate court picked the wrong standard to apply to their analysis (intermediate scrutiny instead of strict scrutiny) and that they didn’t follow the proper standards to apply the scrutiny level they did choose:
The Second Amendment is an equal part of the Bill of Rights. We must treat the right to keep and bear arms like other enumerated rights, as the Supreme Court insisted in Heller. We may not water it down and balance it away based on our own sense of wise policy.
Thousands of New Felons Made Monday
Bach advises his fellow New Jersey gun owners to get moving because “the penalties for breaking the law are serious felonies with significant prison time and monetary penalties, and compliance must occur by the 10th.” He also pledges to fight on, mindful that the last legislation in New Jersey came with a 15-round limit, he has made a pledge to limit the restrictions there. “We’ll never be back for another bite,” Bach remembers. He says “their end game is none – somebody has to draw the line somewhere, and we’re doing that.”
What will the state do when its own laws create thousands upon thousands of new felons on Monday when the ban takes effect? There are no grandfather provisions in the law, nor exceptions for ignorance. LibertyNation will be following the case as it continues.