Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gun Control's Constitutional Nemesis: Ex Post Facto

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The gun control lobby has been trying to piecemeal confiscation of firearms by going after certain kinds of guns, and in California to even pass a piece of legislation requiring background checks and registration in order to purchase ammunition.  When it comes to targeting certain guns, the claim has been that their laws are not unconstitutional.  They don't see owning certain kinds of guns as being a fundamental right, and they offer that even the founders would want to keep "military style assault weapons" off the streets, right?

An American's right to keep and bear arms does not exist because the 2nd Amendment says so, or because the government "allows" us to have our guns.  The right exists because it is inherent, a God-given birthright.

The anti-gun lobby argues definitions and interpretations, clouding the discussion with the biased opinions of leftist judges on whether or not "shall not be infringed" truly means what it says.  In this world of postmodernism where the Democrats have basically come to the conclusion that there is no absolute truth, or absolute definition, the reality is that even when they lean on the courts, there is one more argument that they fail to consider in their blind anti-gun rage.

Ex Post Facto.

In Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution the federal government is prohibited from passing any Ex Post Facto laws.

In Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution the States are prohibited from passing any Ex Post Facto laws.

The message is clear, there is definitely no room to wiggle, yet the anti-gun Democrats constantly pass gun control laws that ignore and defy the Constitution's prohibition on any kind of Ex Post Facto laws.

What does Ex Post Facto mean?

In Latin "Ex Post Facto" means "after the fact."  Ex post facto Law is literally retroactive law, or a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions committed or relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. Ex post facto law criminalizes actions that were legal when committed. Generally speaking, ex post facto laws are seen as a violation of the rule of law as it applies in a free society. Ex post facto laws are expressly forbidden by the United States Constitution.

In 2012 voters in California passed Proposition 30, which "temporarily" raised some taxes (like sales tax), and made some taxes higher retroactively back to January of that year.

First of all, when it comes to government and taxes, there is no such thing as "temporary."  Second, the "retroactive" part of it was unconstitutional.  As it states in Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, States cannot pass ex post facto (retroactive) laws.

In the gun debate the Democrats are outlawing guns they believe to be "dangerous" and of a class they call "assault weapons."  They have also, in many places, outlawed large magazines that hold more rounds of ammunition than they feel comfortable with.

I was once asked, "why do you need a ten-round magazine?" as if I should be ashamed of myself.  I responded, "I need ten rounds when nine rounds is not enough."

After passing these laws against "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines, the liberals have also included in that law not only that you cannot purchase these items anymore, but you can't own them.  In other words, if you purchased a gun legally the anti-gun liberal left now believes is now an "assault weapon," or you legally purchased a high-capacity magazine they believe you shouldn't be allowed to have, the new laws indicate you can't own those items anymore.

Wait a second.  If I bought them legally, and they were legally obtained by me at the time of purchase (or perhaps at the time of inheritance), because there were no laws against them at the time, they cannot be made retroactively outlawed.  The Constitution says so.

In Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution the federal government is prohibited from passing any Ex Post Facto laws.

In Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution the States are prohibited from passing any Ex Post Facto laws.

How is it that if someone has a particular firearm that they obtained legally, the next day some bureaucrat can suddenly make it illegal, and it must be confiscated?

If it was bought legally, it is being owned legally.  No ex post fact law of any kind is allowed by the United States Constitution.

Yet, somehow, the eyes of the anti-gun folks, the politicians, the lawyers, and the judges have glossed over that part of the U.S. Constitution.

While I am not downplaying the fact that I have a natural right to keep and bear arms, anyway, and no government can legally pass laws infringing on that right, why are we not also zeroing in on the fact that the government has completely disregarded the Constitution when it comes to the prohibition against both the federal government, and the States, of passing ex post facto laws?

Do we need to begin ex post facto committees to train these idiots in Washington or at our State Capitals regarding what "ex post facto" means?

Have they simply and conveniently ignored that portion of the Constitution. . . or worse, know about it but don't care?

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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