A friend of mine who teaches social studies once pointed out to me that the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution (The Bill of Rights) are there to protect the rights of American citizens. They don’t give the government rights–they protect the citizens’ rights. In that context, the Second Amendment is there to protect the right of Americans to own guns.
The Second Amendment states:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Seems pretty clear. Well, I think we are about to have a discussion on exactly what ‘infringed’ means.
Fox News reported today that the governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, wants to raise the cost of pistol fees in Connecticut. The state has a budget shortfall, and the governor thinks this might help close the gap.
The article reports:
The five-year renewal fee for pistol permits would increase from $70 to $300, first-time five-year permits would increase from $140 to $370 and fees for background checks would increase from $50 to $75.
The plan is expected to raise nearly $12 million per year in additional revenue, CBS News and The Associated Press reported.
Frankly, if I lived in Connecticut, I might consider those rather drastic increases.
The article further reports:
Gun-rights supporters and state Republican lawmakers said this increase would preclude many people from exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, since the proposed fees would be among the highest in the country.
The National Rifle Association called the governor’s proposal “outrageous,” according to the report.
Malloy said the fees are in line with other jurisdictions and will cover the state’s administrative costs for gun permits and background checks.
To me, the size of the increase would qualify as ‘infringe.’ Making it expensive to own a gun is one way anti-gun politicians can legislate gun restrictions without actually legislating gun restrictions. I hope the governor’s idea is quickly shot down.