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The Civil Disobedience


I explained to Chief McCann my history as a freedom activist. Notably, my role in helping defeat the Communication Decency Act back in 1996.

I told him that I had been intending to speak with him for several weeks, to inform him that I intend to begin exercising my right to open carry of a firearm (quite legal in Pennsylvania and in most other states as well). I explained that I thought it best he and the local police knew of this in advance in order to avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings. See for background on this fast-growing form of civil-rights activism.

I also told him that, in the wake of the Heller ruling, I intend at some future point to deliberately violate the Pennsylvania state law forbidding concealed carry without a state-issued permit. The Heller ruling does not enumerate those among permissible restrictions, and I would be happy to be PA's test case on this point. As a citizen of the United States (I explained) I believe I have not only the right but the affirmative duty to challenge unjust and unconstitutional laws; and that since the founders of the U.S. pledged their lives and fortunes and sacred honor to sign the Declaration of Independence, merely risking imprisonment to challenge this law seems to me no more than my duty.

And by a tested and true freedom fighter.


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teqjack wrote:

"The Heller ruling does not enumerate those among permissible restrictions, and I would be happy to be PAs test case on this point.

Uh, I'd hold off a while: note that the ruling was specifically worded so as to apply to Federal laws only (D.C. qualifies as it is directly under the purview of Congress), not State. Like Kelo the courts vaguely hope State/local governments will alter their laws accordingly but will not force them to - seemingly the Second is the only amendment not applying to all governments, usually via the 14th. SCOTUS will not re-visit this for some time, and I would not count too much on Penna courts despite what appears to be a preponderance of sanity therein (outside Philly, at least).

Jay Manifold wrote:

That would be the purpose of a test case, for which Eric is expressing his willingness to become the defendant. I understand that several such cases are likely to be put forward in various (blue) states within the next year or so.

Adam Greenwod wrote:

Permitting requirements per se are almost always upheld in every context. Going after the mere fact that PA requires permits is a stupid challenge that will detract from the smart challenges that can be made based on Heller.

The only way that kind of suit wouldn't be negative for freedom would be if
(1) PA doesn't issue permits
(2) PA takes unreasonably long to issue permits
(3) PA has unreasonable and unnecessarily burdensome restrictions on issuing permits (e.g., if PA is not 'shall issue')

But I'm willing to bet large sums of money that a 'shall issue' permit requirement will be found constitutional.

Brad wrote:

I agree with Adam.

RKV wrote:

Permitting requirements are NOT almost always upheld. Let's pick the First Amendment for one example. Short of very narrow grounds, prior restraint is clearly unconstitutional.

Adam Greenwood wrote:

'Prior restraints' on speech are almost the only right where there have been limits put on permits. And even then the government can still require that you get a permit to hold you parade or whatever, as long as they're reasonable about granting it. Like I said, I'm willing to bet large sums of money on this.

I'm not happy about it, but reality is.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on June 26, 2008 3:28 PM.

Comparing People To Hitler was the previous entry in this blog.

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