When it was announced Monday that the District of Columbia had agreed to pay $75,000 in legal bills to the Second Amendment Foundation for its win in the Palmer case, SAF founder Alan Gottlieb made an observation that should have caused shudders among anti-gun municipal politicians everywhere.
Quoted by the Washington Free Beacon, Gottlieb said about the settlement, “I wish the District of Columbia City Council members had to pay the $75,000 out of their own pockets instead of making the taxpayers cough it up. If they had to pay the legal bills themselves these unconstitutional laws would never get passed.”
Gottlieb made the remark 48 hours before the popular syndicated Armed American Radio does a broadcast from SAF headquarters in Bellevue later today. It’s part of host Mark Walters’ summer-fall live broadcast tour that will also include the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference, co-hosted by SAF and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, in Phoenix late next month. Walters goes on air at 1 p.m. Pacific time/4 p.m. Eastern.
Gottlieb, who also chairs CCRKBA, is onto something. If you want to play games, you need to pay when you lose. Elected officials who push an agenda that defies law or the constitution should bear the financial burden, not the taxpayers when their decisions are challenged and struck down.
That’s an idea that might appeal to residents of several cities that SAF and other gun rights groups have had to successfully sue over the years. Those cities would include Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans and other places on the map, including Washington, D.C.
Walters arrived in Seattle Tuesday on the first stop of his tour, joining Gottlieb for a briefing on various gun issues that will likely become grist for his radio show. He’ll be broadcasting from several cities over the next few weeks. Yesterday’s Outdoor Wire published the full schedule here. Gottlieb’s remark about making politicians pay for their own legal errors got his attention.
Maybe the idea should extend to state legislators. In that case, South Carolina State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, a Charleston Democrat, would have to pay attention. On Monday he announced a 2016 legislative agenda that includes proposals for state registration and permitting of all firearms, a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” a requirement to report lost or stolen firearms, and background check completion before any firearms transaction can be completed, according to The State.
Why is it so important for the state to have a gun registry? Why does Kimpson believe a citizen should need a permit to exercise a constitutionally-affirmed civil right?
Sen. Kimpson is hardly alone in his views, and according to the story in The State newspaper, like so many other gun control proponents he insists this is not an attack on law-abiding gun owners. He told the newspaper that this is not about “penalizing people who lawfully own guns.” Unfortunately, it’s the law abiding gun owners who invariably bear the brunt of these schemes as criminals simply ignore them.
Maybe if the rules were changed to make politicians financially responsible for these schemes, it would make them reluctant to play the games. They might even be compelled to just go after bad guys and leave the good guys alone.
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