The permit system was put into operation in 1919, with a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and racism, during the Woodrow Wilson presidency. It was in place for 103 years. It is a classic example of a statute that effectively chills the exercise of a Constitutionally protected right. To see how effective the statute was in chilling rights protected by the Second Amendment, consider handgun sales, as measured by the NICS system, in April 2022 and April 2023. The Bill, SB41, became law when the veto was overridden on 29 March 2023. The law’s potential chilling effect was removed for the entire month of April, 2023.
If there was a significant chilling effect on the exercise of rights protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, there should be an increase in handgun sales in April of 2023.
The handgun and long gun sales, as measured by the NICS system, in April of 2022, were:
- handguns 1,655
- long guns 12,435
The handgun and long gun sales, as measured by the NICS system, in April of 2023, were:
- Handguns 46,040
- Long guns 11,984
This is significant proof of an enormous chilling effect on the exercise of rights protected by the Second Amendment.
Handgun sales increased more than 27-fold after the law producing the chilling effect was repealed.
The total handgun sales in North Carolina were only 22,109 in 2022. After the law was repealed, in one month, handgun sales more than doubled over the entire previous year.
In the Bruen decision, the Supreme Court declared the Second Amendment is not a second-class right. The Supreme Court has held laws that chill the exercise of a right enumerated in the Constitution are unconstitutional.
In Lamont v. Postmaster General (1965), the Court struck down a postal regulation requiring individuals who wished to receive communist literature to sign up at the post office. Although the program included no sanctions against recipients, the Court said it would chill individuals who wanted the material but were afraid to make their wishes known to the government.
The purpose of those who seek our disarmament is to reduce the number of guns and the number of gun owners. Their unproven claim is: fewer firearms will reduce illegitimate violence. However, most illegitimate violence happens in countries with few legitimate firearms. Rebecca Peters headed up the successful George Soros-funded drive in Australia to emplace draconian gun control laws. She is now the director of the International Action Network on Small Arms (www.iansa.org). She published an article in the UN Chronicle explaining the strategy.
This is an excerpt. From un.org:
Reducing the domestic supply of new weapons. While most countries permit civilian ownership of small arms, they are at the same time seeking to contain it to moderate levels. What is considered a moderate or acceptable level of gun ownership in society is coming increasingly under scrutiny as governments recognize the need to strengthen their gun laws. Driven by regional and international agreements, popular pressure and expert advice, gun laws around the world are growing tighter and more uniform. The emerging norms include integrated renewable licensing and registration of firearms and owners, based on proof of a legitimate reason for possession, limits on the types and number of weapons a civilian can possess, minimum age limits, checks of criminal record and other personal information, safe storage requirements etc. As the new laws reduce the proportion of the population legally entitled to buy or possess arms, as well as the number each licensee can own, the flow of new weapons into the country will slow.
In 2022, the last year we have full statistics, there were National Instant Background Check Systems (NICS) checks for about 8.78 million handguns and 5.63 million long guns in the United States of America. Other sales and multiple sales are relatively minor and not included in those numbers. Using the same measure, in North Carolina in 2022, there were 22,109 NICS checks for handguns and 172,574 NICS checks for long guns. While the national total shows a preference for handguns over long guns of 1.56 handguns per long gun, the North Carolina total shows an enormously chilled preference of .128 handguns per each long gun or 1/12 of the national average. This confirms the chilling effect of the now-repealed North Carolina law. Laws in other states like New Jersey, which place burdens on the exercise of Second Amendment rights, are equally suspect. Some of those laws are already being challenged in the courts, such as California’s handgun roster law.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.