The 7th Circuit Holds That AR-15s Aren't Protected By The Second Amendment

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Nov 06, 2023 - 02:30 AM

Authored by Andrea Widburg via American Thinker,

Illinois desperately wants to ensure that, within the state’s borders, only criminals have guns.

When it comes to law-abiding citizens, the state will do anything to disarm them.

That includes passing a law that pretty much bans “assault weapons” (a non-existent category that really covers AR-15s, America’s most popular gun) and large-capacity magazines (which really do exist). A federal district court issued an injunction against that part of the law, but a three-judge panel reversed the injunction on grounds that are so asinine and juvenile that they could come only from judges.

The three-judge panel in Barnett v. Raoul (Case No. 23-13530 consisted of a Reagan appointee, a Clinton appointee, and a Trump appointee. Only the latter supported the trial court. The other two judges came up with some astounding logic. I’ve summarized the judges’ logic, along with my commentary (in bolded text).

  1. The Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, which protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms irrespective of active involvement in a formal militia, said that the Second Amendment is not a completely unlimited right. This is true. Heller said that.

  2. The Heller decision said that the arms meant to be protected under the Second Amendment were those that were not dedicated solely to military use but were of the type that ordinary citizens would ordinarily have. To that end, the court held that “the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes….” America’s law-abiding citizens own around 20 million AR-15s, which they use for law-abiding purposes.

  3. In the military, there is a weapon known as the M16.

  4. M16s, because they are military weapons, can be calibrated to function as fully automatic weapons (they keep firing as long as you keep your finger on the trigger) or fired in three-round burst modes per single trigger pull. AR-15s are semi-automatic weapons. This means that you don’t have to manually place a new bullet into the chamber after every shot. Instead, after you fire a shot, a new round is automatically chambered. Every shot requires the user to pull the trigger.

  5. Bump stocks can turn the AR-15 into a fully automatic weapon.

  6. Both M16s and AR-15s use the same ammo and “deliver the same kinetic energy.”

  7. Therefore, the court held that the AR-15 is essentially an M16, making it a weapon of war that can be denied to ordinary civilians.

A few things need to be said here:

First, all civilian weapons can be used in war.

By this logic, because all civilian weapons can be used in war, all civilian weapons are weapons of war and, therefore, are not protected under the Second Amendment. This is insanely stupid logic.

Second, the ammo used for AR-15s and M16s isn’t very powerful.

That’s why the AR-15 is not a good hunting weapon for medium to large game—it’s cruel to the animals because it may injure them without killing them. The reason the military opted for 5.56 ammo is because it meant that soldiers wouldn’t be so weighed down by their ammo. In other words, civilians aren’t using military ammo; the military is using civilian ammo.

Third, the court is saying that the possibility that a weapon can be augmented to become more powerful (i.e., military-esque) removes it from the reach of the Second Amendment.

Again, that’s insane.

Of the 20 million AR-15s in use in America, it’s impossible to imagine how small the percentage is of people who use bump stocks. Most Americans don’t want automatic weapons. They chew up ammo, which means that their time-utility is limited, and the average citizen would have to be weighed down with hundreds of bullets.

Image: A civilian’s long guns.

I’m unsurprised that a Clinton judge would be behind this risible “logic.”

I’m saddened that a Reagan judge would be, and I can’t even guess his motives.

However, given my very deep disrespect for judges, I’m ready to be very unimpressed by both judges’ intelligence.