The Second Amendment had a Winning Month In March

 

The month of March 2023 may go down as one of the most critical months for the citizens of this country and their ability to exercise their god given Second Amendment rights in the history of this nation. We have been witness to the ripples that the Bruen decision and the subsequent tests of Historical analog and Common Use are now turning into waves. 

 On 3/3/2023 the Northern District Court of Texas granted a Preliminary Injunction in the Vanderstock v. Garland case, also known as the Frames and Receiver case. This injunction will allow the companies that produce, retail, or deal with unfinished frames and receivers to continue to do so without fear of enforcement of this unconstitutional restriction. 

In April of 2022 the ATF established new regulations that unfinished frames and receivers, such as a Polymer 80 Frame or Lower, would be considered firearms and fall under the same regulations as finished firearms. This law was to take effect in August of 2022. 

This injunction takes place immediately. This case ruling will likely be appealed to the Fifth District Court Of Appeals. The Fifth Circuit is the court that ruled on the Bumpstock Ban. The Pistol Brace Case is also going to be in these courts. 

 On 3/20/23 U.S. District Judge, Cormac Carney granted a Preliminary Injunction against the California Handgun Roster. This injunction was granted because the requirements for a handgun to have a Loaded Chamber Indicator, Magazine Cut Off, and Microstamping were found to be unconstitutional. The Roster had frozen the sale of modern handguns in California by a decade of production models. In a field of thousands of firearms available in other states, California residents were limited to about 200 choices all of them having technology no newer than a 2013 production. 

This is a huge win in the state of California. As the 2A community watches this preliminary injunction start in 14 days after it was granted it is expected to see more victories from California. The Ammo background check, Assault weapons, and  Large (standard) Capacity Magazine Ban should all have decisions coming from Judge Benitez. Generally, anything coming from him has been in favor of the Second Amendment.

 

Let’s touch on some points of interest and definitions for a better understanding of what we are seeing take place. 

A preliminary injunction is an injunction that may be granted before or during the trial, with the goal of preserving the status quo before final judgment. When a Judge has to decide to grant or not to grant a preliminary injunction, they must consider four factors.

  1. Does the  Plaintiff have a Substantial Likelihood of Success on the Merits 
  2. Does the Law cause Irreparable Harm
  3. Does the Balance of Hardship favor plaintiff
  4. That the Preliminary Injunction will not disservice public interest 

 

When we take into account the first requirement, we can see a clear path for an overall victory for the Constitution and Citizens of the United States in these injunctions being granted. Moreover, with the backing of the Bruen tests, we can also see a clear road built by The Supreme Court to reestablish our Right to Keep and Bear Arms when taking into account the Heller decision that established the individual’s right to do so. 

 

A few generalizations are being drawn here. First off, the granting of a preliminary injunction will have the ruling of the subsequent cases and appeals to follow that ruling. If we see a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff will typically get the W overall. The second generalization we draw on is as California goes so goes the Nation. Which traditionally has been tough on the 2A front, but the tables may be turning thanks to NYSRPA v Bruen.

So, with the Pistol Brace case waiting in the wings in the Northern District Court of Texas, we can put some faith in a similar Preliminary Injunction being granted, as the clock is ticking on the 120 days as of the writing of this article. The case will be looked at on similar merits and standings as the Frames and Receivers case. If the injunction is granted, it will be appealed up to the Fifth Circuit, where we can optimistically hope for a similar ruling as the Bumpstock Ruling. 

 

As far as The nation following California goes, this would traditionally be problematic. Before the Bruen ruling, the Ninth Circuit had used a two-step approach to stay (halt) the Preliminary Injunctions granted by Judge Benitez in most of these cases. Post Bruen, they cannot use these arbitrary tests any longer. 

With the expectation of the injunctions being granted by Benitez comes the expectations of those injunctions to be appealed up to the Ninth Circuit just as they were before Bruen. But now, the cases must be decided on Historical Analog and Common Use Tests. So, are these items(magazines, assault rifles) commonly used nationwide? …..Yes…..ammo background check….No. And the answers follow the same path for historical analogs. There is no historical analog to ban the use of these items, and there is no historical analog to establish background checks for ammunition. 

 

At the end of the day, these aren’t the only factors that come into play in these cases. Yet, with the recent victories for our community and clear paths visible for continued success, we can be conservatively optimistic that freedom will prevail. There seems to be a good chance that one or more of these cases may end up in the hands of SCOTUS. As we continue to see states like New York, California, and Illinois thumb their noses to the highest court in the land, but maybe at the end of the day, that will be the very best outcome for the way we would like to see these issues decided. 

 

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