Today, Tuesday, October 23, I sat in on a case being heard by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. A panel of three judges heard the appeal of a case represented by gun-lawyer Alan Gura (of D.C. vs Heller fame).
The case, Michelle Lane v. Eric Holder, Jr., is about overturning the federal law that prohibits a person from directly buying a handgun from a dealer who is in another state. The argument is that federal law causes financial harm to the gun owner due to an artificially small number of dealers in his home state he can use to transfer a handgun. In the case of D.C., there is only ONE dealer. That dealer is in a government-created monopoly position and can charge whatever he wants for the transfer and D.C. gun owners are stuck having to pay that fee if they want a gun.
Virginia is also being sued. The Virginia legal council told the panel that Virginia would allow a handgun to be transferred directly to an out-of-state gun owner if only the federal government would not block such a transaction. I'm glad that we have the Administration on record so that if the federal law changes due to this lawsuit, out-of-state residents will be able to start buying handguns directly from dealers in Virginia immediately. If the federal law is overturned, it would also open the door to Virginia residents buying handguns directly from dealers in other states.
Imagine being on vacation in Texas and being able to purchase and take possession of a handgun from a Texas dealer while on that trip! Currently, you could buy the gun, but would have to have it shipped to a dealer in Virginia, who would then transfer the gun to you once you show up in their store. So to have that gun in Texas, you would first have to return to Virginia to get the handgun from a Virginia dealer and then continue your vacation in Texas. :-(
More stupid gun control that needs to be thrown out.
The panel will rule on this matter at some point in the future, possibly in 2013.
Tomorrow Alan will present another case to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Raymond Woollard v. Dennis Gallagher, which is attempting to overturn Maryland's "may-issue" CHP law. That would make Maryland a "shall-issue" state, like Virginia. I will be there to watch the proceedings.