Monday, July 11, 2005


In Scherr v. Handgun Permit Review Board, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals took the opportunity to reject claims that an indvidual had a constitutional right to carry a gun without the necessity of obtaining a permit. The individual made the claims under both the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Maryland Declaration of Rights. The Appellant's constitutional arguments were shot down by a three-volley fusillade from the Court.

In that part of the opinion that will be of most interest to a national audience, the Court rejected the holding of United States v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 203 (5th Cir. 2001), that there is a fundamental right to own and bear arms regardless of membership or service in a militia. The Court noted that the Emerson case stands alone, with every other circuit court having considered the issue concluding that the Constitution only grants a right to states to maintain militias.

The Court also distinguished Emerson since that case dealt with a federal statute. Here, only the action of a state was at issue and the opinion holds that the Second Amendment, being a limitation on the exercise of federal power, does not limit state action.

Finally, the Court held that the Maryland Declaration of Rights did not incorporate and apply to the state the alleged rights under the Second Amendment asserted by the appellant.

Anyone who has regular contact with members of the judiciary is aware of the extent to which they feel vulnerable to personal physical attack. It is simply inconceivable that any court would, after the events of 9/11 and the bombing of the Oklahoma federal building, reach a decision that would allow all and sundry to freely carry firearms. It's far easier to prevent nuts from getting guns in the first instance, than to try to pry them out of their cold, dead fingers after they've used them to wreak havoc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you can't unholster your pistol, tax boy.