The Heller-Caetano One-Two Punch Is What 2A Supporters Needed


United States – -( Second Amendment supporters are rightly frustrated by the failure of lower courts to properly interpret the landmark Heller decision from 2008. However, a comment by United States District Judge Roger Benitez in his ruling on Miller v. Bonta could be a massive game-changer.

In that ruling, covered on Ammoland, Benitez took note of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Caetano v. Massachusetts. While many Second Amendment supporters are aware of the obvious ruling that advancing technology did not negate Second Amendment protection – much in the same way that freedom of the press covers news on cable or how the Fourth Amendment keeps the government from searching your emails and computers without a warrant – that ruling was a restatement of Heller, which stated, “Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. the United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

But Justice Samuel Alito’s concurring opinion in Caetano also set another bar, one that Second Amendment supporters fearing what Biden would do to 80 percent receivers and AR-15 pistols, should take a lot of heart from. Here’s the money quote: “While less popular than handguns, stun guns are widely owned and accepted as a legitimate means of self-defense across the country. Massachusetts’ categorical ban of such weapons, therefore, violates the Second Amendment.”

The figure to call stun guns “widely owned” was 200,000. Just how many 80 percent receivers and stabilizing braces for AR-15 pistols are out there? In all likelihood, more than 200,000 of each. That is something Second Amendment supporters can work with, especially against federal regulations in friendly circuits. Keep in mind, the Duncan case involving standard-capacity magazines – currently awaiting an en banc ruling from the Ninth Circuit – used the straightforward Heller test as to whether standard-capacity magazines are commonly used for lawful purposes.

The present composition of the Supreme Court is perhaps the most pro-Second Amendment alignment in decades. They could very well make the rulings that can halt a number of legislative and administrative assaults on our Second Amendment rights. That said, the HellerCaetano combination may not last if anti-Second Amendment extremists pack the court and there will still be the need to draft legislation to head off corporate gun control, which means that even after successful court challenges, Second Amendment supporters will need to support NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF to ensure that the anti-Second Amendment extremists who control the House, Senate, and the White House are defeated at the ballot box in the 2022 and 2024 elections.

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics, and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post,, and other national websites.

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