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Posted: 1/3/2002 4:48:03 AM EST
Hypothetical situation, but for my education... For bills that are introduced/passed using the "commerce clause" to infringe on RKBA, what constitutes "interstate commerce"? Shipment of final goods? Shipment of any goods (parts, raw materials, etc...)? Suppose one built a rifle, pistol, etc... completely within the bounds of a single state, and the gun never left that state. Would it then be immune from any laws affecting guns based on "interstate commerce"? Just curious to know. Ed
Link Posted: 1/3/2002 12:47:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/3/2002 2:19:11 PM EST
Ahh yes, interstate commerce. To see exactly how far interstate commerce can go, consider the classic case of [i]Wickard v. Fillburn[/i]. In a nutshell, a farmer grows wheat on his farm for his own personal consumption. The wheat never leaves his farm, much less the state. It is never sold, traded, or disposed of in commerce. The SCOTUS decides his activities can be regulated by laws premised on the commerce clause because that activity (growing wheat for personal consumption) if done by a large number of people at one time, would have an effect on interstate commerce (ie. reducing the market demand for wheat). The [/i]Lopez[/i] case (possession of guns in a school zone) is the most recent landmark case in interstate commerce. Because there was no significant effect on interstate commerce by the mere possession of a gun in a school zone, the SCOTUS held the law to be unconstitutional. The rub, however, is that Lopez was limited to possession in a school zone. Possession of a certain gun in general (ie. not limited to the very specific area of, say a school zone) would pass muster much more easily. Thus, regulations on possession of things like machineguns or SAWs would almost certainly be upheld. The test for interstate commerce is a little tighter for mere possession than to simply regulate an item in interstate commerce (like guns - its easier to regulate features on guns than to regulate the mere possesion of a gun, especially in a very limited area such as a school zone.)
Link Posted: 1/3/2002 11:46:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2002 11:48:26 PM EST by cc48510]
The United States Code 18 USC 44 Sec. 921(a)(2) defines what Interstate Commerce is.
18 USC 44 Sec. 921(a)(2) The term ''interstate or foreign commerce'' includes commerce between any place in a State and any place outside of that State, or within any possession of the United States (not including the Canal Zone) or the District of Columbia, but such term does not include commerce between places within the same State but through any place outside of that State. The term ''State'' includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the possessions of the United States (not including the Canal Zone).
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Link Posted: 1/4/2002 12:00:19 AM EST
Here is an interesting gun law which makes no mention of IC. Also not subsection g.
15 USC 76 Sec. 5001 -- (a) Acts prohibited It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm unless such firearm contains, or has affixed to it, a marking approved by the Secretary of Commerce, as provided in subsection (b) of this section. (b) Distinctive marking or device; exception; waiver; adjustments and changes       (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), each toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm shall have as an integral part, permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel of such toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm. Such plug shall be recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel of such firearm.       (2) The Secretary of Commerce may provide for an alternate marking or device for any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm not capable of being marked as provided in paragraph (1) and may waive the requirement of any such marking or device for any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm that will only be used in the theatrical, movie or television industry.       (3) The Secretary is authorized to make adjustments and changes in the marking system provided for by this section, after consulting with interested persons. (c) ''Look-alike firearm'' defined For purposes of this section, the term ''look-alike firearm'' means any imitation of any original firearm which was manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898, including and limited to toy guns, water guns, replica nonguns, and air-soft guns firing nonmetallic projectiles. Such term does not include any look-alike, nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed prior to 1898, or traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure. (d) Study and report The Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics is authorized and directed to conduct a study of the criminal misuse of toy, look-alike and imitation firearms, including studying police reports of such incidences and shall report on such incidences relative to marked and unmarked firearms.       (c)[1] Technical evaluation of marking systems       The Director of [2] National Institute of Justice is authorized and directed to conduct a technical evaluation of the marking systems provided for in subsection (b) of this section to determine their effectiveness in police combat situations. The Director shall begin the study within 3 months after November 5, 1988, and such study shall be completed within 9 months after November 5, 1988. (f) Effective date This section shall become effective on the date 6 months after November 5, 1988, and shall apply to toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms manufactured or entered into commerce after November 5, 1988.
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Link Posted: 1/4/2002 12:01:08 AM EST
(g) Preemption of State or local laws or ordinances; exceptions The provisions of this section shall supersede any provision of State or local laws or ordinances which provide for markings or identification inconsistent with provisions of this section provided that no State shall - (i) prohibit the sale or manufacture of any look-alike, nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed prior to 1898, or (ii) prohibit the sale (other than prohibiting the sale to minors) of traditional B-B, paint ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure
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Link Posted: 1/4/2002 6:44:15 AM EST
cc - I think you're mixing apples and oranges...or maybe I have, depending on exactly what Squib meant. The term "interstate or foreign commerce" is used throughout 922 and therefore was defined for purposes of 922, but thats not necessarily the same as the term "interstate commerce" as used in constitutional law. When Congress passes a law, there has to be some constitutional basis of authority on which that action is based - the power to tax, the power to regulate interstate commerce, the power to declare war, the power to raise and support armies, etc.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 4:52:59 PM EST
The key for whether congress can regulate certain activities is not whether the activity is "interstate commerce", but rather whether the activity "affects interstate commerce". It's a huge distinction. We all remember studying Wickard v. Fillburn in Con Law in school and shaking our heads saying... you've got to be kidding me. The commerce clause as interpreted by the Supreme Court has greatly increased federal power. An argument can be made by nearly anyone that almost any activity can "affect interstate commerce".
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 7:23:17 PM EST
Interstate commerce as referenced in the Constitution means only commerce(exchange of goods, services and/or money) that crosses state lines. Not "has an impact on", "affects", "related to", or has anything indirectly to do with commerce. Not commerce that happens totally within the boundaries of a state. Regulating as reference in the Constitution means "make regular; to remove impediants". Not to ban. Not to restrict. But to ensure that trade is free and open. The current definition has no basis in fact or Constitutional law. It is totally the opposite of the original meaning of it. That clause was there to prevent the states from regulating commerce, to allow a free trade zone within the borders of the US, not to expand the Federal Government beyond the size of the British Empire the just defeated.
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 2:37:26 PM EST
I agree with your definition of what the words in the Constitution were meant to mean. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has come up this their own (and unfortunatley controlling) meaning. Although the commerce clause was meant to ensure free trade between the states, it HAS been used to greatly increase federal power. Why are we suprised? If you have studied the orgin of, and commentaries on, the Second Amendment, it is clear that it is an "individual right", for each citizen to protect himself from the overreaching of the federal government. However, many courts have defined it differently. We will have to wait to see what the SC does with this issue.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 4:14:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/8/2002 4:19:36 PM EST by SCR1]
Interstate Commerce...this recently has been the most abused 'power' by the congress as of late. They have defined IC to an extent that would allow the gov't the power to control anything. Specifically the Machine Gun ban and the AW ban 922(o) and 922(r) I believe, disturbs me because it uses crimes that are under the jurisdiction of the states like assault and murder to create some 'nexus to Interstate Commerce' to allow the federal gov't to 'regulate' err Ban certain firearms. The Feds Ban weapons bemoaning that the crimes committed by people with these weapons are 'affecting Interstate Commerce'. Of course criminals, bandits, and pirates can affect commerce, that is their nature to Steal and Pillage, and Murder. [b]Where is Regulate defined to mean total Ban?[/b]
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 5:11:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2002 5:51:00 PM EST by Happyshooter]
Prior to Lopez the Supremes defined IC as anything. If you grew food in your backyard for your family to eat.....IC! If you had your kid work in your home to fix it up...IC! Hell...if you breath air, and the wind blows into another state, IC. Then with Lopez the big three managed to say that driving in the vincity of a public school with a gun in your trunk was not IC. R-S-T!!!!!! Expect a return to it meaning whatever the congress wants to pass as soon as the Dems recapture congress. The libs on the current court are actually worse than the evil priest Blackmun, who used the court as his personal fiat factory with no regard for law or constitution.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 6:21:18 PM EST
I just hope Jean Paul Stevens kicks soon. God, the guy is 80 something. Then, Bush gets to replace him. I hope he does better than his pa did appointing Souter. Well, at least he also got Thomas out of it. Hopefully, Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens, and Souter will leave with a Rep. in charge. That way we can take 100%. Stevens is old enough he should be gone soon. Breyer and Souter are young, so I won't count much on them dying. Ginsburg is in her early 70s if I remember correctly and assuming her lifestyle isn't good, she may be gone soon. One can only hope. Once Stevens and Ginsburg are gone, the court will return to reading the constitution rather than making laws.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 6:22:48 PM EST
OH, and Dubya said a while back that he intends to make Aschcroft Chief Justice. Hmm, I'd like to see that one get by the Senate.
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