Gun Control Advocates Threaten Court-Packing Again As Americans Embrace Gun Rights

(Photo: WhiteHouse.gov)

By Larry Keane

The unauthorized leak of a draft abortion opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court has Democrats up in arms (again) about packing the U.S. Supreme Court. This isn’t a new argument and one gun-control advocates publicly pitched before.

Senators are openly calling for court-packing again and that’s before the Supreme Court has rendered a final opinion on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen or finalized the opinion of the leaked abortion draft decision. Even before the nine justices heard arguments on the New York case challenging the states’ arbitrary and restrictive “may issue” concealed carry permit criteria, there were calls for court-packing.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) filed an amicus brief in NYSRPA v. New York supporting restrictive gun control but took arguments beyond supporting the law with threats to upend the court’s structure. That case was ultimately declared “moot” by the Supreme Court after New York City altered the law to avoid the Court striking down the law.

“Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal,” Sen. Whitehouse wrote.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) led a 2019 letter excoriating court-packing threats and urged the justices to render opinions based on Constitutional interpretations, not public opinion polls. The letter was signed by 53 Republican senators.

“It’s one thing for politicians to peddle these ideas in Tweets or on the stump,” Sen. McConnell wrote. “But the Democrats’ amicus brief demonstrates that their court-packing plans are more than mere pandering. They are a direct, immediate threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans.”

It’s a fool’s errand to predict a Supreme Court ruling, but the justices’ questions offered insight that they appeared to be wary of New York’s subjective qualifications to obtain concealed carry permits. The decision will be the most significant on gun rights since the 2010 McDonald decision.

That’s got gun control groups acting like spoiled school children. They’re throwing fits. They too want to change the court’s structure. Several of these groups joined together for a discussion on how to change the rules and rig the system against law-abiding Americans and their God-given right to self-defense.

Hiding the Agenda

Igor Volsky, Executive Director of Guns Down America, Matt Post of March for Our Lives, Demand Justice’s Tamara Brummer and U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) joined together for a closed-door discussion about their desire to pack the Supreme Court. They want more gun control-friendly justices that would legislate from the bench to restrict rights. The webinar was closed to the public, forcing any tuning in to register their personal information ahead of time. There is no public video of the discussion anywhere.

Brummer believes the Supreme Court has, “always been a political battleground, and now liberals need to push for more seats that will protect progressive policy advancements,” like restrictive gun control. Matt Post exclaimed from the National Mall, “Their right to own an assault rifle does not outweigh our right to live.” True assault rifles, or automatic weapons used by the military, have been severely restricted for civilian ownership since 1934 and haven’t been commercially made or sold since 1986.

Volsky is an ardent gun control supporter. He’s not only affiliated with Guns Down America but is also vice president of the far-left think tank Center for American Progress. He fired off a Twitter meltdown when U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez struck down California’s 30-year-old ban on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in his ruling on Miller v. Bonta last year.

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Rep. Jones has never met a gun control proposal he didn’t like. He so strongly supports court-packing that he’s introduced legislation, along with fellow gun control Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), to expand the court in order to pack it.

“To restore power to the people, we must expand the Supreme Court,” Rep. Jones said. He must’ve forgotten the people elected the president who nominated justices on the current court, including the previous two Democratic presidents who filled vacancies. That doesn’t include the Highest Court’s newest justice, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was recently nominated by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate and will be seated later this summer once Justice Stephen Breyer formally retires from the bench.

Voting and Buying

These groups and elected officials aren’t just ignoring their oath to defend the Constitution, they’re ignoring their obligation to represent “We the People.” More than 40 million firearms were purchased in 2020 and 2021, including more than 14 million by first-time buyers. The firearm buying boom has meant 33 months straight of 1 million or more guns purchased. This includes historic numbers of minorities and more than 40 percent of first-time gun-buyers were women who feel empowered by taking up their Second Amendment rights.

Poll after poll shows Americans reject restrictions on their right to own a gun, including historic low levels of support for more gun control. It’s why federal legislation, including Rep. Jones’s court-packing gun control bill, has largely stalled and President Joe Biden is drawing the ire of gun control groups disappointed with his failure to accomplish more. It’s why his first nominee for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman, failed to earn even the support of Democrats in the U.S. Senate and had his nomination withdrawn. 

Volsky’s gun control court-packing expansion discussion demonstrated why their effort is a failing one. Preaching to the gun control choir won’t do anything to make neighborhoods safer or stop criminals from committing their crimes.

Democratic President Barack Obama famously stated, “Elections have consequences.” The rules are the same for everyone and presidents get to nominate justices to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court when they arise. Americans are embracing their Second Amendment rights by the millions and gun control groups are losing their argument. Because of that, they’re now clamoring to change the rules.

Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Hondo May 14, 2022, 10:39 am

    Isn’t that just like the childish left to whine like little bitches when something doesn’t go their way. F these clowns.

  • Jerry May 13, 2022, 7:28 pm

    Hmmm… the basic thing this s.c.o.t.u.s. (tentative early-wording) “statement” seems to say is that the decision to end a life-not-yours is to be returned to the state you live in. State’s Rights! No Whining! Vote! With your ballot or your feet! As for all the predicting of what else this decision could change, slippery-slope-wise, that is merely (and predictably) the sound of demonicrats rubbing each other’s fur backwards, going far-afield to rile their fellows, “see how upset we are! our fur is all out of place! If you’re not properly upset, you’re not properly socially democrat! Get YOUR fur up, too! Hee-haw!” Curiously, they bray “socially democrat” and i hear ‘so-silly democrat’, but then i aint drunk there coolaid, and caint hear them dogwissels they keep charpin about, nor translate them code words neithner, ah’ll jes take my comfort in my bible and guns to-hand. Let it go, brandon!

  • Elmer Fudd May 13, 2022, 7:18 pm

    Would an unborn child use modern sporting rifle to stop its murder?

  • TOM PROVANCE May 13, 2022, 10:36 am

    Actually Ken, you’re wrong. The Bill of Rights, as a part of the Constitution, guarantees the right to have and bear firearms. There is nothing in the Constitution about abortion, so it is not a Constitutionally guaranteed right. And the Supreme Court justices are not elected, they are appointed by the President. So they’re not exactly the same as an elected official or hired employee. Yes, we do pay for them, but they don’t answer to the public.

  • Ken May 13, 2022, 9:20 am

    The only thing that will result in court packing is an abortion ban… a repeal of Roe v Wade.

    Both the right to abortion and the right to bear arms as we know it today have been previously declared to be “individual rights”.

    The standard of review for laws that inhibit the exercise of those rights is whether the law imposed an “undue burden” on the exercise of both the right to bear arms and on the right to abortion.

    The argument against New York is based on the theory that New York’s restrictive gun laws place an “undue burden” on the individual right to bear arms.

    Similarly, restrictive laws against against abortion are reviewed to determine if the law in question places an
    “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion.

    If SCOTUS can overturn Roe then a future SCOTUS can overturn Heller and McDonald on the same legal principles.

    The political will and the popular support to pack the court will be sky high if the current SCOTUS reverses Roe!

    We need to be pro abortion to remain pro gun. Both rights are based on the same legal foundation.
    Lose one… lose both!

    Last… the supreme court is a public institution paid for with our tax dollars. Those justices are government employees… same as the mayor of your city or a cop or the garbage man. All of them government employees. We feed them and clothe them and put a roof over their heads… And this… they don’t get to have secret drafts or secret memos. They are not a cult… they are public government employees. Don’t forget that!

    • Big Al 45 May 13, 2022, 11:39 am

      Please show us where the ‘right’ to an abortion is enumerated in the Bill of Rights??????
      That one fact is where you are dead wrong.
      Your comparison is very inaccurate, and incorrect from a legal standpoint.

    • Kane May 13, 2022, 10:43 pm

      ({[“We need to be pro abortion to remain pro gun”]})

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      Bogus!

      A corporation (the corpus) is considered a “legal person” but a fetus in NOT afforded the same protection. Never saw a corporation register for the draft though.

    • J. Locke May 14, 2022, 2:40 am

      Except they don’t answer to you, or even me; they answer to the Constitution, as it should be.

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