Friday, December 29, 2006

Bush Administration's Flipping on the 2nd Amendment

I've heard this in a couple of places, and the context is just strange. I'm really wondering if some policy pencil pusher put this out and back doored the Administration. The declaration that the 2nd Amendment is a collective right is a complete flip from what Ashcroft originally stated, and this inconsistency strikes one as one pencil pusher going independent.

This is the wording of the document posted at The War on Guns.
As in the NPRM, under Sec. 460.53, a space flight participant may not carry on board any explosives, firearms, knives, or other weapons.

XCOR inquired whether the FAA had the authority to impose security requirements under its statute and the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment to the Constitution provides that "[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.'' This right is not unfettered. Nearly every statute restricting the right to bear arms has been upheld. For example, in 1958, Congress made it a criminal offense to knowingly carry a firearm onto an airplane engaged in air transportation. 49 U.S.C. 46505. Additionally, nearly all courts have also held that the Second Amendment is a collective right, rather than a personal right. Therefore, despite the Second Amendment collective right to bear arms, the FAA has the authority to prohibit firearms on launch and reentry vehicles for safety and security purposes. [Emphasis added-DC]
I left in the emphasis that David Codrea placed in his blog.

This seems like a very odd place to be making this level of policy, especially when the original AG took a completely conflicting stand. One would hope that this sloppy legal stand will be rectified, but that said, I'm not confident.

1 comment:

David Codrea said...

I'd like to believe it's an oversight too, but I can't ignore what Laura Montgomery, Sr Atty, office of Chief Counsel for FAA, who is listed as the legal information contact told me via email:
"This rule, including its security requirements, underwent coordination and review within the executive branch. It was reviewed and approved by the Executive Office of the President."

Ms. Montgomery's contact info is public record, so you can verify what I have posted for yourself:
Laura Montgomery
Senior Attorney
Office of the Chief Counsel
Federal Aviation Administration
(202) 267-3150

And the thing is, this is all so unnecessary, because Ashcroft left them an "out" as far as regulating goes when he cited "compelling state interest" as authorizing precedent in his now famous letter to NRA.