Senators Cruz (R-Texas) and Feinstein (D-California) squared offÂ during a Senate Judiciary Hearing today, and it was a good one.
The exchange below shows exactly how the Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban will be argued, something I have been paying very close attention to, because that’s what actually matters. Listen closely as Feinstein tries to explain exactly how her proposed legislation is Constitutional under the 2008 Heller ruling. She had the following to say, emphasis added:
Iâ€™m not a lawyer, but after 20 yearsÂ I’veÂ been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it. ThisÂ doesn’tÂ mean that weapons of war and the Heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here.
So what are these exceptions she’s talking about, and do they actually apply?
Reading through the Heller decision, I think we can clearly see the exceptions Senator Feinstein is referring to (emphasis added):
Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Courtâ€™s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Millerâ€™s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those â€œin common use at the timeâ€ finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
So unless Feinstein is again off in deep left field where she seems to spend a lot of time, here are the three exceptions (limitations) that are, in the Supreme Court’s opinion, Constitutional:
- Prohibiting the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill
- Forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places
- Imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms
It seems clear to me that Feinstein thinks she can argue the legality of banning standard capacity magazines and semiautomatic firearms under the guise of “imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
This fight is far from over.
Watch the exchange here.