A federal court has just ruled very strongly in favor of gun rights advocates on several important issues. In a fairly surprising court ruling, a United States District Court judge has ruled favorably on five different Second Amendment rights issues. Gun rights groups praised the decision and pointed to the ruling as being an example for other courts to follow.
The case was brought by Paul Murphy, a retired United States Army Ranger who claimed that local laws violated his Second Amendment rights. Specifically he challenged, “(1) the requirement that he obtain a license and register his weapons; (2) the restrictions on how he may store his weapons at home; (3) the ban on large capacity magazines (“LCMs”); (4) the ban on rifles in calibers above .223; (5) the ban on “assault weapons”; (6) the ban on transporting operable firearms; and (7) the $1,000 excise tax imposed on handguns.”
Well, Ramona Manglona, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, ruled on most of those items and in an almost always favorable outcome for Murphy and other gun owners.
First, Manglona ruled that the ban on so called assault weapons as well as limits on rifle calibers were unconstitutional. She also ruled against registration requirements.
In regards to rifle caliber ammunition bans, she said those limitations “burdens the core Second Amendment right to armed self-defense” and “must fall.” She also struck down the “assault weapons” ban as regards the following rifle accessories: “(1) pistol grips that protrude beneath the action; (2) thumbhole stocks; (3) folding or telescoping stocks; (4) flare launchers; (5) flash suppressors; and (6) forward pistol grips.” She explained the decision against the “assault weapons” ban by stressing the possibility that having forward grips and other accessories might actually make it easier to shoot a firearm accurately, thereby limiting the danger of stray or misplaced rounds.
Manglona also ruled against laws that limit open carry saying “the Second Amendment secures a right to bear arms for self-defense in public.” Observing that “because SAFE completely destroys that right, it is unconstitutional regardless of the level of scrutiny applied, and the Court must strike it down. She concurred with precedent that finds certain “limitations” on carry to be constitutional, but observed that being subject to limitations does not translate into being “subject to elimination.”
The U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands falls under the jurisdiction of the 9th court of appeals, which is generally not the friendliest federal courts for gun rights, so there is a chance this decision will be overturned on appeal later on.