The District Court correctly concluded that Defendants? belated standing defense lacks merit. In addition to the other threats, Defendants referred to the intent to prosecute Plaintiffs as ?fact.? It is pointless to argue the finer nuances of what those various statements intended to convey. If these statements did not communicate the sort of direct and specific threats of prosecution that, under Seegars, qualify as a ?polar extreme? where ?clarity prevails,? they are certainly threatening enough. To deny as much is to deny the very possibility of preenforcement challenges to unconstitutional statutes.
Here the difference between Parker and Seegars is clear. The Parker counsel put a lot of effort into establishing standing, and were able to benefit from a lot of mistakes the District's counsel and defendents made. That makes standing in this case almost a given for an honest judge, absent menuvering about whether or not the plaintiffs are actually militia members or not.
Yet the District Court erred, as a matter of law, in upholding the regulations. Logic, history, the Constitutional text?s plain meaning, and the weight of Supreme Court and circuit precedent all establish that the Second Amendment secures fundamental individual rights. At the absolute minimum, such rights guarantee a law-abiding citizen?s ability to possess a functional firearm, including a basic handgun, within the home.
That right there is a large part of why this case is such a good one. The District's gun laws are so draconian that they are vulnerable to a direct challenge without needing to weight issues of public safety against Constitutional interests. It is a lot easier to fudge the law when you start assigning weights to policies and trying to handwaving about compelling state interests than when measuring an absolute Constitutional right against an absolute prohibition. In a way, it's shocking the laws lasted as long as they have. It shows how far we have fallen, in some ways.
The opinion below should be reversed, with instructions to enter judgment for Plaintiffs on their motion for summary judgment.
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