The Future Is Looking Bright for Gun Rights, So Far

AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File

In today's political landscape, it seems there are millions of reasons to be skeptical about the future of the country—especially from a liberty perspective. But while the situation might seem precarious at the moment, there is at least one silver lining: The future of gun rights in America.

Yes, I know the anti-gun left and the squishy Republicans who give in to them are constantly trying to find new and inventive ways to restrict the right to keep and bear arms. But lately, there is evidence that their efforts are doomed to failure for the time being.

For starters, we have the Supreme Court's ruling in New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which was a tremendous victory for gun rights. In fact, it has already been reaping fruit when it comes to reversing many unconstitutional gun laws. 

Cody J. Wisniewski, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal at Firearms Policy Coalition Action Foundation, recently discussed the progress being made with Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms:

“We’ve seen significantly more victories after Bruen than we saw after Heller. More in one year than in the year after Heller,” Wisniewski explains.

“Bruen really just told the lower courts ‘hey, you know what we said in Heller? We really mean it. That’s what we really want you to be doing.’ And so I think that reiteration has really helped us, at least in some courts. The other side is yes, we’re seeing bad history. We’re seeing judges pointing to statutes that aren’t analogous, statutes that shouldn’t be informing the analysis, but what’s important is that they have to tangle with the history. We’ve stepped into a new era where Second Amendment litigation is in the realm of originalism. The original public meaning of the Constitution, the original public meaning of the Second Amendment; what those words meant when they were drafted and ratified in 1791, so even the courts that are coming out and making bad analogies and upholding some of these laws that should be struck down as unconstitutional are forced to tangle with the history, forced to do originalism, and they’re forced to put their cards on the table.”

Wisniewski also discussed the recent court victories he has seen over the past year:

We’re moving more and more towards a place where we’re having the right conversation. It’s easy to get disheartened when you see orders come out of certain courts that are so obviously bad, but what I’d like people to take away is that we are trending in the right direction. There are good things happening. We’re getting injunctions, we’re striking down laws, we’re tallying up wins. Every federal ATF rule that has been published in the last ten years; the bump stock ban, the frame and receiver rule, and the pistol brace rule have all been in some way either struck down or enjoined. And that’s massive.

The attorney also brought up the fact that concealed carry laws are not as restrictive as they were in the 1980s when "just about every state in the country outright banned it."

Some states had super-restrictive permitting processes, but it was really difficult to conceal carry in the 1980s. And now today we’ve got what, 27 states that are free carry states where as a matter of your right you can carry a firearm in the manner that you see fit so long as you’re not a prohibited person. That’s a huge shift over just 40 years, and that’s what we’re seeing.

Deep blue states like California and New York have passed laws designed to subvert the Bruen decision, which essentially abolished the idea of a "may issue" state where officials have the ultimate authority to decide whether someone can obtain a license to carry. Nevertheless, it is expected that many of these measures will not survive challenges based on the Supreme Court's ruling.

Secondly, we have the drastic increase in gun sales that has occurred over the past four years. More Americans—especially women and racial minorities—are becoming gun owners for the first time. FBI data shows more than one million monthly background checks for gun purchases. Even in the face of constant propagandizing coming from the anti-gunner lobby, people are waking up to the reality that they are responsible for their own protection and safety. 

The trend highlights a growing concern about violent crime rates that have skyrocketed over the past four years. People are realizing that law enforcement's ability to prevent these crimes is limited and are taking it upon themselves to ensure they have a fighting chance against criminals. 

Lastly, there is the fact that more Americans appear to have been using their firearms for self-defense purposes. In places like Indiana and Philadelphia, there has been a sharp increase in instances where people are using their guns to stop violent criminals trying to victimize them. 

This is all great news, right?

Of course, there is a caveat: This does not mean we can afford to get overconfident. The Bruen decision has struck a devastating blow to the anti-gunner lobby, but that does not mean Democrats are going to give up. If we do not continue fighting for our Second Amendment rights, the left could end up reversing this momentum. Still, the outlook is positive for gun rights, and that is something to celebrate.


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