A GOP appointed judge over in CT just upheld the idiotic gun control passed by the legislature.

First, the decision (PDF) and then some select quotes.

What the Heller court did make clear, however, is that weapons that are “in common use at the time” are protected under the Second Amendment. Heller, 554 U.S. at 627.37 The court explained that the determination is “fairly supported by the
historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 627 (citing U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 179 (1939)).38 Whether legislation substantially burdens a Second Amendment right is heavily dependent on the firearms in question being in “common use.”

So there’s groundwork to show that the AR15s and other firearms banned by the Connecticut legislation are in common use at this time. (I’m not talking about the select fire firearms listed at the link but the items listed under subsection A.)

The Connecticut legislation here bans firearms in common use. Millions of Americans possess the firearms banned by this act for hunting and target shooting. See Heller II, 670 F.3d 1244, 126140(finding “[a]pproximately 1.6 million AR–15s alone have been manufactured since 1986, and in 2007 this one popular model accounted for 5.5 percent of all firearms, and 14.4 percent of all rifles, produced in the U.S. for the domestic market”).

So, that SCOTUS decision (Heller)? Meh….it doesn’t REALLY mean common use right?

The court concludes that the firearms and magazines at issue are “in common use” within the meaning of Heller and, presumably, used for lawful purposes. The legislation here bans the purchase, sale, and possession of assault weapons and LCMs, subject to certain exceptions, which the court concludes more than minimally affect the plaintiffs’ ability to acquire and use the firearms, and therefore levies a substantial burden on the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights.

Oh, I guess common use actually does mean common use. Then how is the ban constitutional?

Connecticut has carried its burden of showing a substantial relationship between the ban of certain semiautomatic firearms and LCMs and the important governmental “objectives of protecting police officers and controlling crime.” Heller II,
670 F.3d at 1264. The relationship need not fit perfectly. Obviously, the court cannot foretell how successful the legislation will be in preventing crime. Nevertheless, for the purposes of the court‟s inquiry here, Connecticut, in passing the legislation, has drawn reasonable inferences from substantial evidence.

I’d love to see this evidence. Last time I checked, the FBI has shown that “assault weapons” [shotgun/rifle] as defined by the Connecticut legislature are involved in an extremely small subsection of firearm related homicides. First, the link.

Firearms are broken down into handguns, rifles, shotguns, other guns, and not stated.

Rifles are what most think of when people mention assault weapons: AR15s, AKs, Tommy guns (the semi-auto kind), etc. Yet the rifle category in the FBI table has consistently been under 400 related homicides from 2008 to 2011 (and 2007, it was 453). Compare this to the total amount of firearm related homicides and you see the extremely small percentages that rifle (and shotgun for that matter) are involved in. (I rounded the numbers below to the nearest whole percent.)

Type 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Rifle 4% 4% 4% 4% 4%
Shotgun 5% 5% 5% 4% 4%

I’m leaving out the numbers for other guns/type not stated since we don’t know what they are.

So we’ve established the fact that shotguns and rifles are used in an inordinately small amount of firearm related homicides. Here’s the thing: those shotguns/rifles that were classified as assault weapons by the CT legislature are an even SMALLER number than that which I posted above.

For example: the shotguns used in the more recent mass shootings wouldn’t fall under the definition of assault weapon that the CT legislature has put forward. The shotgun used during Columbine wouldn’t have qualified either.

How in the world does this apply?

“Connecticut has carried its burden of showing a substantial relationship between the ban of certain semiautomatic firearms and LCMs and the important governmental “objectives of protecting police officers and controlling crime.

I just don’t get it.

But wait, isn’t there an assault weapons definition that applies to pistols in the legislation? Sure there is.

(B) A semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:
(i) An ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;
(ii) A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip or silencer;
(iii) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned;
(iv) A manufactured weight of fifty ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and
(v) A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; or

I’d like to point out that NONE of the mass shootings that I’m familiar with have been committed with an “assault weapon” pistol. (If I’m wrong, please add in comments below.) These features above make the firearm bulky and not easily concealed. I have absolutely no idea what the numbers are for this type of handgun but I can’t imagine them being too big. But hey, we need to ban cosmetic features that look scary and a useful item (looking specifically at the threaded barrel).

While the act burdens the plaintiffs‟ Second Amendment rights, it is substantially related to the important governmental interest of public safety and crime control.

I’ll have to quote a fellow LGCer here:

The judge determined that it was an important governmental interest to sustain the ban, regardless of actual constitutionality, because it was in the .govs important interest.

Right right. Let’s put it a different way. Even though the NSA spying is unconstitutional, it’s substantially related to the important governmental interest of public safety and crime control, so it’s fine if it just keeps on trucking….

After going through this whole thing, I’m going to declare this judge a freakin’ genius. Using the arguments he did, getting appealed is a no brainer. The fact that he basically said “yeah, Heller says this but really…” means that it will most likely wind its way to the SCOTUS. His whole there are other options available position was discarded in McDonald and Heller. The burden on a fundamental right position should put this higher than intermediate scrutiny when it gets to SCOTUS. If Heller/McDonald aren’t discarded as precedent, I predict an overturning of this legislation.

It’s going to take a long time to get to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, I’m glad I don’t live in Connecticut.