DC court equivocates on right to arms and ammunition
Discussion over at The Volokh Conspiracy. It's Herrington v. United States, a conviction under the DC Code section that outlaws possession of ammunition unless the possessor has a registered arm in the same "gauge or caliber" (so might a person with a .25 auto own .25-06 and .257 Roberts ammo?)
The court holds that the 2nd Amendment would allow a ban on ammo not suited for a registered gun (assuming, it notes, that the registration requirement were lawfully designed) but that a government cannot put the burden of proving registration of a gun on the defendant ... it can't be illegal to possess unless defendant shows he has a registered firearm in that bore, it must be illegal to possess if the government proves possession and lack of registration beyond a reasonable doubt.
A minor advance (unless you happen to be the defendant here), but every journal proceeds one step at a time. A few years ago a hope that a D.C. court might even suggest that registration might be have constitutional problems would have been unthinkable.
Posted by: Sevesteen at November 5, 2010 07:57 AM
Question 1: Which legislative body passed the statute, Congress or the DC Council?
If it was the DC council, the law is patently unconstitutional. ONLY Congress may legislate in DC. They have no authority to delegate the power. The Constitution is explicit in stating that Congress has EXCLUSIVE, though not absolute, authority to legislate in the district, etc.
Delegata potestas non potest delegari - "A delegated power cannot itself be delegated."
Again, as I have stated over and over, one man's reasonable is another's unreasonable and the word "reasonable" does not appear in the 2nd Amendment. Bogus claims by those in power continually "infringe" on the People's authority.
Posted by: fwb at November 5, 2010 10:41 AM