As you well know, gun control and laws to limit our Second Amendment rights have become much more prevalent in recent days, thanks to the continued push by Democratic President Joe Biden. Back in February, in typical liberal fashion, Biden used the anniversary of the tragic Parkland, Florida, high school shooting as a podium to spout off about the need for increased gun control in the US.
Among the three proposals Biden is making, one is to allow gun manufacturers and retailers to be punished for selling “weapons of war” to people who later use them in crimes – as if they were somehow involved and encouraging such crimes.
Currently, the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act or PLCAA prevents such from happening, as long as the weapon was legally bought and sold.
Biden would apparently like to see this law repealed, making it possible for any gun sale in the US to become something that could end an arms manufacturer or retailer’s career.
Thankfully, those plans haven’t been able to be pushed through yet.
And a recent Texas Supreme Court decision proves why it’s so important we don’t let it become a reality.
The case in question regards the aftermath of the Sutherland Springs, Texas, First Baptist Church shooting in 2017. If you remember, a Colorado man entered the church filled with parishioners one Sunday morning, carrying a Ruger AR-556 rifle. Twenty-six churchgoers were killed.
And while the shooter was killed while being pursued by police, naturally, some are still more than willing to point the finger of blame.
One of the places blame is being directed is at Academy Sports and Outdoors. In this San Antonio area store, the rifle and ammunition involved in the shooting were sold to shooter Devin Kelley.
Plaintiffs in four lawsuits against the store alleged that the sale of the weapon, as well as ammunition and an additional 30-round magazine, should have been illegal.
Why? Well, because, while it occurred in Texas, the license used for the purchase was from Colorado. And in Colorado, magazines holding more than 14 rounds are banned. So, according to the Gun Control Act, they allege this to mean that any protection from the above-mentioned PLCAA would be voided, as the laws of Colorado were not considered.
However, the Texas Supreme Court doesn’t see it that way.
According to a unanimous decision on Friday, the court ruled that the store is, in fact, under PLCAA protection, basically because the Gun Control Act applies to firearms only.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann wrote in her opinion, “Indeed, although the transaction between Academy and Kelley on April 7, 2016, encompassed the sale of two Magpul large-capacity magazines – one packaged as a stand-alone product and one packaged with the Ruger AR-556 rifle – the plaintiffs do not contend that the sale of the stand-alone magazine along with the rifle rendered the transaction unlawful even though it could not have taken place legally in Colorado.”
She added that the plaintiffs, in trying to make this about the large-capacity magazines when the law is only concerned with the rifle itself, were “essentially seek(ing) to rewrite (the law),”
Additionally, Lehrmann noted that if anyone should be blamed beyond Kelley himself, it should be the US Air Force.
As the Associated Press reported, Kelley was dishonorably discharged from the military branch in 2014 after being court-martialed for abusing his wife and stepson. He served a full year in confinement for his crimes. As he was essentially in prison and a felon, the Air Force should have reported the conviction to the FBI, who would have then banned him from ever purchasing a firearm through legal avenues such as Academy Sports and Outdoors.
But they didn’t.
Lehrmann remarked that a case against the Air Force for this failure is still “ongoing in federal court.”
However, this case does far more than release Academy from any responsibility.
Instead, it stands as a reminder of just what could happen should Biden’s gun control proposals be passed as law. Firearm manufacturers and retailers would fall like flies in a bug zapper, leaving the American people without any legal means of arming themselves.
And that would be the end of our freedom…