Orange County Shooters
News from the Orange County NY, NY State and the Nation of interest to gun owners and sportsmen
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2005 Newsletter
SPARC Coalition announces agrement with NY State over Stewart Buffer Lands suit. SPARC Coalition announces agreement with NY State over Stewart Buffer Lands suit.
2005 Election Results 2005 Election Results
4th Annual Sportsmans Banquet at Calvary Baptist Church 4th Annual Sportsman’s Banquet at Calvary Baptist Church
2005 Deer Season 2005 Deer Season
2005 Pre-Hunting Season prediction 2005 Pre-Hunting Season prediction
Monroe Chester Youth Day a great success. Monroe Chester Youth Day a great success.


Judge Weinstein lets suit against gun mfr proceed Judge Weinstein lets suit against gun mfr proceed


Congressional band to rock the troops during holiday tourCongressional band to rock the troops during holiday tour
Alito's telling dissent in machine gun case, He sought to limit reach of Congress Alito's telling dissent in machine gun case, He sought to limit reach of Congress
TIME Collection, TIME Collection, "Making of America" covers Bill of Rights
Pat Manning calling on the NY state Republican party to allow a primary to choose the next candidates for the next elections  

CoBIS or Gun "DNA" Watch

# OF CoBIS "Hits"
$19,000,000 +?


$19,333,333 +?
01 Nov, Tue, 15:xx:xx xxx.nydailynews.com 29 Nov, Tue, XX:XX:XX InternetX.irs.gov
29 Dec, Thu, 11:03:42 patny.nydailynews.com

SPARC Coalition announces agrement with NY State over Stewart Buffer Lands suit. SPARC Coalition announces agreement with NY State over Stewart Buffer Lands suit.

November 22nd, 2005
Statement by Sandra Kissam at SPARC Coalition Press Conference at Little Britain Grange
      As president of SPARC I welcome all of you today: members and friends of SPARC and coalition organizations, members of the media, and others who care about Orange County and its future.
      We are thrilled, after 18 years of hard work, strategizing, lobbying, fundraising, networking, among other things, to have arrived at this place, at this time, when we can announce to all, with intense pleasure, that we have basically achieved our goal. If only Ben Kissam were with us.
      We, SPARC, the Sierra Club, and the O.C. Federation of Sportsmen, have been pursuing legal action since our case was filed in October of 2000, continuing in the courts to the present time. But meanwhile, throughout this past summer, we have been laboriously crafting an agreement with the state agencies, the DOT and the Thruway, an agreement that would win for both sides their most important objectives. Nothing is perfect, but we've done it, and, I must say, it feels good.
      Yes, the highway project is slated to proceed, but balancing its impacts will be the impact of 1,700 additional acres that the state has agreed to add to and make part of the Stewart State Forest. This makes for a total of about 7,000 acres of preserved land, a contiguous open space second in size only to Sterling Forest, and located in the middle of our most rapidly developing eastern Orange County area. These lands are conveniently located and easily accessible to all our residents. They represent lowlands, as contrasted with ridges and mountains, lowlands that are lost to development every day, all year round. Parts of the lands are actively farmed. Every year, more people use and enjoy the land for bicycling, walking, birding, horseback riding, cross country skiing. The land is the largest public hunting area in a multi-county region. It is rich and teeming with wildlife, including rare and endangered species. It forms a noise and safety buffer for Stewart Airport and helps to clean up the environment. It is simply Orange County's jewel.
      Here are some of the highlights of the agreement.

Stewartr Buffer Lands & Stewart Airport agreement map.

  • As the map shows, these are the lands that will be added to the current State Forest lands which comprise almost 5,300 acres.
  • Approximately three quarters of the acreage west of Drury Lane and between Drury Lane and Maple Avenue, which includes Buchanan Hill, the highest point of the Buffer Lands.
  • All those lands that fall on the east side of Drury Lane, south of Crestview Lake and below the boundary of the lands that had been leased to NEG as part of the airport, and extending easterly to First Columbia's International Plaza, exluding the West Point housing area and the Little Britain School.
  • The larger and more southerly portion of the lands along Barron Rd. that had been reserved as a potential industrial development site.
  • The inclusion of internal roads that were formerly reserved as ROW's for DOT development, specifically Maple Ave. and Barron Rd., to be treated as part of the preserved State Forest lands.
  • All of these parcels represent approximately 1,700 additional acres to the Forest.
  • Public access to Tenney's Pond, located within the development area, to include a 25 foot easement around the pond and the use of the pond itself for fishing.
  • The providing of access points along Drury Lane and Rt. 207 to the lands east and west of Drury Lane.
  • The requirement of a 500' setback for any buildings in the developed area, so as not to impede hunting on the adjacent State Forest Lands.
  • A firm deadline of December 2006 for the completion of the Unit Management Plan (UMP). This has been in process since 1999.
  • The provision that any advisory board related to oversight of the lands or the UMP, include a seat for each co-plaintiff: SPARC, Sierra, and OCFSC.

     In return, we will discontinue both of our lawsuits and permit the mitigation site, subject to appropriate safeguards for the purple milkweed, to be constructed.
      We remember that these lands were seized by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1971 under the laws of Eminent Domain. We hope that keeping these lands as a public natural resource will, in part, vindicate those displaced residents. We honor their forced sacrifice.
      We want to recognize and thank the numerous organizations that have at various times endorsed and supported us, including the Sierra Club, the Orange County Federation and its member clubs, Riverkeeper, The Beacon Sloop Club, the O.C. Audubon Society, the Sullivan County Federation of Sportsmen, Sloop Clearwater, Orange Environment, Scenic Hudson, Friends of the Shawangunks, AFFIRM of New Paltz, the NY/NJ Trail Conference, the Adirondack Hiking Club, the O.C. Land Trust, the Windy Hollow Hunt, to name some of them.
      Certain individuals have also been outstanding in their support of our efforts: our attorney John Caffry, Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, the late Assemblyman Jake Gunther, Legislator Tom Pahucki, former Maybrook Mayor Bill Schimpf, the late Frank Hartmann of the Conservation Council, scholarship donor Dr. Eric Singman, Michael Sussman, John Stouffer, Bob Santagata, Pat O'Dwyer, Ann Botshon, Betty Quick, Barbara Clark, Nick Zungoli, John Gebhards, and David Gordon of Riverkeeper, John Yrizarry, David Straus, Spider Barbour, Steve Gross, come to mind. There are many others.
      We deeply appreciate our Board members: Bo Eriksson, Lynn Barber, Susan Mischo, Tom Forsyth, Mike Serinsky, Ralph Grimaldi, Joan Ruffino, Linda Meyer, and former Board members Diana Krautter, Pat Williams, Lynne Delesky, Frank Carbone, Vicky Matovic, Mauro Parisi, Caperton Tissot, and of course Rudy Vallet. We thank the numerous volunteers that help with so many tasks, all because they love the land and want it saved.
      But don't assume that this is a farewell speech. Not at all. SPARC, with its partners, will continue to monitor the lands and the provisions of the agreement. The actual land transfer is due to be accomplished by June of 2006. A great deal of input must go into the Unit Management Plan Process.
      An enormous fundraising effort faces us. We must quickly pay down legal debts of almost $60, 000. This is a serious obligation and it must be tackled immediately.
      But, in the meanwhile, we are thrilled by what we have accomplished. We hope you are also. Our efforts have not been in vain. We are providing benefits to our communities now and to future generations. We have this wonderful, peaceful, place that is now saved and protected for our pleasure and for our wildlife.
      A dream realized.
      Thank you all.

2005 Election Results 2005 Election Results


     The elections have come and gone and as normally with mixed results. The most important elections for gun owners was the election for two Family Court Judge positions. Both Judges will be issuing pistol licenses. Four people were running for 2 positions with incumbent Debra J Kiedaisch was up for re-election and a new Family Court Judge position was created and so a person was needed to fill that position. The two people who got the largest number of votes won the two positions so Kiedaisch won reelection and Woods fills the new position.



Debra J Kiedaisch


Lori J Currier Woods
  Christine M Krahulik
  Carla Wise

     Judge Kiedaisch has done a very good job in issuing pistol licenses in the past and has issued some unrestricted licenses. Judge Woods sounded like she would be issuing licenses and unrestricted licenses in a similar manner to Judge Kiedaisch. Carla Wise was the only person in the election who refused to answer any questions on issuing pistol licenses even to say that she would issue them in a timely manner. It is good that she was last. Christine Krahulik was very positive and it would have been OK if she had won.


           It is hard to describe how our Judges are elected to the State Supreme Court. The State is divided up into 12 Judicial Districts and the local county political machines are allowed to pick who will run for any open positions. Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester make up the Ninth Judicial District. Because of their large population, the Democratic controlled Westchester and Rockland have the majority vote in deciding who will be elected and in order for someone from any of the other counties to be elected their has to be an agreement between the local county Republican and Democratic leaders on who gets endorsed by each party. This year, as you would expect, the two candidates with the highest vote count were on the ballot lines for Republican, Democratic, Independent, and Conservative party. The next two were on the Democratic line and the last two were on the Republican line.
     Current Orange County Judge Stewart Rosenwasser ran again for a seat in the 9th Judicial District. Because of some political back room stuff that has happened over the past several years, he failed to get the backing of the Democratic leaders and while it was very close, Rosenwasser lost again. Judge Rosenwasser got 145,120 votes but unfortunately that was 1,726 less than Judge Lewis Lubell who won the fourth open seat.

4th Annual Sportsmans Banquet at Calvary Baptist Church 4th Annual Sportsman’s Banquet at Calvary Baptist Church
Jan 7th 2006 at 6pm
5 Wisner Rd.
Warwick NY 10990

     This year's banquet will have the great food that it is noted for and Charles Asheimer will give a great presentation on white-tail deer. They only have room for 125 people so make your reservations early. It is a great way to start the year. Call Call 986-2137 or e-mail me at sobek@optonline.net for more information.
     Charles Alsheimer is a noted hunter, author and wildlife photographer. As a field editor for Deer and Deer Hunting magazine and a regular contributor to several other leading outdoor publications, Charlie Alsheimer is committed to providing the latest insights on whitetail behavior and deer hunting strategies. In recent years, Alsheimer's writing has helped fuel the emergence of quality deer management and has shaped the debate over the moon's impact on deer behavior. Charlie Alsheimer conducts several dozen speaking engagements throughout the United States each year.
     Charlie Alsheimer's Ultimate Deer Hunting Seminar is a high-energy, information-packed session that covers all of the latest deer research and hunting tactics. Each seminar includes a multi-media presentation that focuses on the whitetail and features Charlie's photography. When speaking to a church audience, Charlie combines a spectacular multi-media presentation with an inspirational message.
     I have been to 2 of the 3 dinners and they have all been great. I expect to attend this one and will have pictures in Jan. newsletter. HERE ARE SOME PICTURES FROM THE 2004 EVENT

2005 Deer Season 2005 Deer Season

     If you have your deer you are happy, if not all you can say is this is a lousy year with the weather not helping and the Deer laying low in most of the public hunting locations. Only a few 4 pointers and a 6 pointer came out of Stewart during bow season and most of the take during the first week of gun season were small does. The snow kept the deer under cover and when I when out, I could not even find deer tracks.
     I have talked to several people who did well with those hunting on private land having the advantage. If you have a good picture or story e-mail them to me.
     I was at Sterling Forest on opening day and while I did not see any deer, I did see about a 350 lb. black bear come running through the woods and a lot of bear poop.

If you have private land that I can hunt on that is close to Washingtonville please e-mail me.

2005 Pre-Hunting Season prediction 2005 Pre-Hunting Season prediction

From Big Game Briefs:
Buck Take Objective = 3.3 bucks harvested per square mile
Area = 749 square miles
      Orange County, which makes up the bulk of WMU 3M, is in the top 5 counties in the state for human population growth. Much of the land that was formerly accessible for hunting is now excluded due to development. The 2004 buck take was decreased to the objective for the first time since 1996. The 2005 buck take is expected to remain steady at the BTO. The 2005 DMP target for WMU 3M of about 21,000 permits is designed to harvest approximately 2300 adult females and hold the deer population at the BTO. All applicants have a high chance of receiving their first DMPs in this unit. Only residents with preference points will have a chance at a second permit.

BTO = 2.5 bucks harvested per square mile
Area = 125 square miles
      This relatively small WMU consists primarily of West Point (United States Military Academy) lands and Black Rock Forest, and most of the hunter harvest originates from these two areas. Both have well established hunting programs, and it is believed that the buck take for 2005 will drop to the objective. The target number of about 1600 DMPs is intended to harvest approximately 125 adult female deer. Resident hunters have a high chance of receiving a first DMP. No second permits will be available.

Monroe Chester Youth Day a great success. Monroe Chester Youth Day a great success.

     Monroe Chester sponsors a "YOUTH DAY" twice a year at their club and the last event of this year was held on October 16th. This year over 100 kids of all ages attended and they ate 55 lbs of hotdogs, shot 5,000 rounds of 22 cal. ammo, (3,500 of which were donated from Bob's Gun Exchange,) and shot 12 cases of shotgun shells and thousands of .177 pellets on the pellet gun range. All of the members of the club who helped deserve a big thanks.
     These events are a great way to introduce a young shooter into the sport in a pleasant and safe environment. The club members provide one on one instruction to new shooters and keep a close eye on all. Safety is #1 and stressed at every event.




FROM Jacob J. Rieper's BLOG: Gun Legislation & Politics in New York

NYSRPA in the news

Times Herald-Record, “Gun dealers balk at proposal to hold them liable”:

“They’re trying to hold gun dealers liable for criminal misuse of firearms,” but that’s prohibited by federal law, said Jacob Rieper, legislative director of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. “They’re just doing it as harassment.”

The Daily Star, “State lawmakers work on gun-trafficking bills”:

The Assembly proposal calls on gun retailers to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance, affix new and lengthy warning labels to all guns, and to cancel a sale if it “appears,” or there is a “reasonable suspicion,” that the guns could end up being resold to criminals. “They (retailers) have to be clairvoyant as well,” said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.


     Is it the weak drug laws in other states that cause the drug problems in NY? Is it the weak liquor sales laws in other states that cause DUI and DWI in NY? I could bring a truck load of handguns and machine guns into NY or NY City and if no criminal decided to buy a gun then I would have no one to sell the guns to. The real problem is that NY and NY City is EXPORTING its criminals and crime into the other states. It is the NY and NY City Criminal who goes to other states and talks other people into breaking Federal and local laws by buying guns for the criminal that is the problem. What Sheldon Silver and the other anti-gun forces want is for all of the other states to pass gun control laws like NY City has but unlike NY and NY City, most states trust their citizens and respect their citizens rights including the Second Amendment.
     The anti-gun forces complain that it is the weak gun laws in other states that is causing the gun problems in NY. What else do you expect from people when they cannot enforce NY law in NY? In case they forgot, each state gets to set their own laws and all of the states have to follow Federal law. Under Federal law each gun sold by a dealer has to have Federal approval in the form the NICS check and the dealers have many other laws and regulations they have to follow like not selling guns to "straw purchasers."
     It is a unforgivable for Sheldon Silver and his anti-gun supporters to try to use the death of police officers to try to pass gun control laws that will end gun sales in NY and further restrict, penalize and criminalize the legal, law abiding gun owners in NY. Silver and his anti-gun friends will not be happy until all guns are banned in NY and all states across the nation are forced to adopt NY's laws.

UPDATE 12/21/05

    Both of Pataki's bills passes and I will post more info when I get it. None of Sheldon Silver's bills passed but the death penality was left out so it looks like we dodged a bullet for now.

Sheldon Silver's Press Release: ... "While we have locked the front door on gun traffickers, the NRA's influence in Albany keeps the back door open." ... The People's House will call on the governor and the Senate to set aside their strident support for the NRA - ... - and support measures that call for all employees engaged in the retail sale of guns to be at least 21 years of age and to receive adequate training and that weapons be displayed, stored and shipped in a secure manner. These comprehensive measures also were proposed and supported by state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, to stop guns from coming into the hands of criminals. "




To All,
Over the course of the last few days I've read many accounts regarding the proposed anti-gun trafficking legislation proposed by the Governor.  To date it has been all speculation.  As of today the bills have been released and are numbered S50001 & S50003. Remember while reading these bills, that the firearms enumerated in these bills are "Illegal Firearms" not the firearms that you and I own legally.
     More importantly, we must stop the bills being proposed by The Assembly under Speaker Sheldon Silver.  Speaker Silver is trying to incorporate his usual yearly garbage can full of bills in this special session.  You know, the bills that take rights away from legal gun owners rather than punishing the criminals. 
      Remember, the Senate bills are placing the blame and penalty where it belongs on "illegal firearms" they are not trying to take away our legal firearms as the Assembly Democrats are trying to do with their bills.
      Please contact your legislator and the Governor and tell them you want the criminals punished not the legal and lawful gun owner of New York State. Better yet, everyone call, email, fax or write The Speaker and let him know how displeased you are. Please keep all letters coherent and gentlemanly.  Nothing that could be construed as a threat.
Sheldon Silver, Speaker
NYS Assembly
932 Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York, 12248
email: speaker@assembly.state.ny.us
Merry Christmas and Thank you for your support.
Tom King
The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association

Assembly Speaker Says Senate, Pataki In Pocket of NRA

     ALBANY--On the heels of Gov. George Pataki's announcement that he was calling the state Legislature into special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21 to address new legislation dealing with gun trafficking and other criminal justice issues, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced that the Assembly was introducing new legislation (A.9083) to combat illegal gun trafficking that would provide the same penalties as legislation proposed by the governor and the additional initiatives contained in Assembly bill 2345, sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, which previously passed the Assembly.
      "[The] special legislative session provides an ideal opportunity to move forward with a comprehensive approach to combating gun violence," Silver said. "Clearly the fact that 29 out of the 35 members of the Senate Republican Conference receive an A rating from the NRA cannot be allowed to dictate public policy in New York State. The Senate and governor continue to protect loopholes that allow gun traffickers to evade detection and contribute to the illegal gun market in this state where criminals can obtain devastating weapons that threaten our safety. Being in the pocket of the NRA, which stridently opposes common-sense measures to end gun trafficking in our state and nationally, is the only explanation for their failure to enact Assembly measures this year to crack down on the illegal trade in guns."
      Silver said the bill he is introducing reflected the best proposals put forward by all of the parties on the gun-trafficking issue and called for the measure to be the first order of business in the upcoming special legislative session being called by Gov. Pataki.
      "Our new legislation would both crack down on illegal gun traffickers and stop guns from falling into the hands of criminals to begin with," said Silver. "In it we have agreed to adopt all of the penalty provisions advanced by the governor and the Senate on the gun-trafficking issue. This legislation eliminates all differences on the penalty issue between the governor and the bill passed earlier this year in the Assembly.
      "However, the governor's proposal does not do enough to provide the full protection New Yorkers deserve. Its penalties, in the absence of any other measures, would be an inadequate solution to the problem of illegal gun trafficking in New York. The governor and the Senate must agree to do more," Silver said.
      Silver cited a statement released by Jim Brady, former press secretary to President Ronald Regan and chair of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, that called on the Senate and governor to adopt the approach contained in the new legislation. Speaking of legislation previously passed by the Assembly on the gun-trafficking issue, which are carried over into this newly introduced legislation, Brady said: "The governor and the state Senate should adopt [Speaker Silver's] approach. New York should toughen the penalties but also take real steps to dry up the sources of crime guns."
      Silver also called on the Senate and governor to pass other bills to combat gun violence previously passed by the Assembly, including legislation to outlaw lethal, armor-piercing "cop-killer" bullets and ban exploding bullets. The Assembly passed such a bill, A.2837, in May of this year.
      Silver says he remains committed to continuing to work with the governor and the Senate to attain agreement on legislation that cracks down on gun violence in the strongest, most comprehensive way possible.
      To view a copy of the Brady Statement in Support of Assembly Majority Legislation to Crack Down on Gun Violence, see http://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/20051216a/brady.html 12-18-05
      © 2005 North Country Gazette

Judge Weinstein lets suit against gun mfr proceed Judge Weinstein lets suit against gun mfr proceed
from Of Arms and the Law blog

     Posted by David Hardy · 4 December 2005 03:37 PM

     The NY Times reports that Judge Weinstein has refused to dismiss NY City's suit against gun manufacturers. (BTW, as far as bias goes, I believe he's the one who, in one trial against a gun mfr, agreed that plaintiffs had not proven a case at close of their evidence, then outlined what case he thought they should proven, and told them he was reopening their case so they could prove it.
     The rationale appears to be that the gun mfr liability protection statute makes an exception where the gun sale violated the law, and the allegation here is that the sales in general violated NY's nuisance law. I gather that the sales complained of did not occur in NY, but involved sales in other states where the eventually wound up in NY. I'm not entirely clear how a NY nuisance law can be applied to events that do not occur in NY.

(george rogero The suit does not seek money but wants the court to take full control of all gun mfr and gun sales in the US so that the anti-gun people do not have to get a law passed, they only have to have an anti-gun Judge like Weinstein make a new rule or regulation.)


Congressional band to rock the troops during holiday tourCongressional band to rock the troops during holiday tour

Sam Hananel
Associated Press
Dec. 23, 2005 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON - They may be politicians, but they're also a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.
      An all-congressional band known as the Second Amendments will perform for U.S. troops over the holidays during a trip to the Middle East and Europe.
     The bipartisan rock and country band features Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., on guitar and lead vocals; Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., on lead guitar; Dave Weldon, R-Fla., on bass; Jon Porter, R-Nev., on keyboards; and Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., on drums.
      While the name sounds political - the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms - it actually is the second incarnation of an earlier band Peterson formed a few years ago called the Amendments.

"It's always nice to have a double meaning," Peterson said. "We are all in favor of the Second Amendment."

Alito's telling dissent in machine gun case, He sought to limit reach of Congress Alito's telling dissent in machine gun case, He sought to limit reach of Congress
The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer, November 2, 2005

     For John Roberts, it was a "hapless toad'' in the path of a California housing development that represented the limits of the federal government's power to regulate activities within a state. For Samuel Alito Jr., it was a machine gun.
     In a lone dissenting opinion as a federal appeals court judge in 1996, Alito argued that the federal ban on possessing machine guns was unconstitutional -- a stand described by both admirers and detractors Tuesday as one of the most revealing cases in the lengthy judicial record of President Bush's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
     "He understands the original design of the Constitution as being one of limited government,'' said Roger Pilon, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. In his opinion, Alito said the federal ban on possessing machine guns exceeded Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce, but a majority of his court disagreed, and the Supreme Court denied review. He took no position on whether the Constitution protects an individual's right to possess firearms.
     Pilon said the case showed Alito's recognition that Congress' constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce is not a license "to regulate anything and everything.''
     But Dennis Henigan, legal director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the opinion is "perhaps the most powerful evidence that Judge Alito is very much a right-wing judicial activist'' willing to disregard congressional judgment. Another critic, Douglas Kendall, executive director of the Community Rights Counsel, said Alito's opinion is disturbing for reasons that have little to do with gun control.
     The case "suggests that he will impose rather significant limits on federal authority'' over interstate commerce, the basis for a wide range of laws, said Kendall, whose Washington, D.C., organization supports regulation of the environment and public health. He said the issue of federal power is critical to two cases the Supreme Court plans to review this term testing the limits of the government's authority to prohibit pollution of wetlands under the Clean Water Act.
     The machine gun case was decided by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia a year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned as unconstitutional a federal law banning gun possession near schools. The Supreme Court said congressional power over interstate commerce does not extend to guns that might have been obtained within the state and were not being used for any commercial purpose -- the first ruling to overturn a law on interstate commerce grounds since the 1930s.
     Pennsylvania gun dealer Raymond Rybar Jr., sentenced to 18 months in prison for possessing and selling two machine guns, argued in his appeal that a 1986 federal law banning the possession or transfer of machine guns was unconstitutional because it applied to weapons that had never crossed state lines or affected interstate commerce. A 2-1 majority of the appeals court disagreed.
     Unlike the law on guns near schools, the court majority said, the machine-gun ban was supported by findings in federal gun laws since the 1930s that there was widespread interstate traffic in guns, including surplus military weapons from other countries, and that state regulation was inadequate. Another distinction, the court said, is that the 1986 law applied to all areas of the nation and not just to possession of guns in certain local areas.
     Alito began his dissenting opinion by suggesting that the majority was treating the Supreme Court's 1995 ruling as "a constitutional freak'' rather than a recognition that the Constitution "still imposes some meaningful limits on congressional power.''
     Congressional findings about gun trafficking in older laws were irrelevant, he argued, to the question of whether possessing a machine gun has any effect on interstate commerce. Whatever role machine guns play in nationwide crime, Alito said, the mere act of possessing one within a state is no more of an interstate, or economic, activity than possessing a gun near a school.
     He said the law might be valid if it was limited to machine guns that crossed state lines, or if Congress had included findings about the impact of those weapons on interstate commerce. That suggestion was derided by the court majority, which said Congress was not required to "play Show and Tell with the federal courts'' to validate a law.
     The same legal issue arose during Roberts' confirmation as chief justice in September, based on a dissenting opinion he wrote as an appeals court judge in 2003. The opinion questioned federal authority to protect a "hapless toad'' that was found only in California and had no obvious connection to interstate commerce. Roberts, at his confirmation hearing, said he had never meant to suggest that the government lacked power to protect endangered species.
     The Supreme Court is closely divided on conflicts between federal and state power, in cases ranging from environmental regulation to civil rights. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whom Alito has been nominated to succeed, has been a strong supporter of state autonomy.
     Critics of Alito's 1996 opinion point out that the machine-gun law has been upheld by every federal court that has considered it. Rybar, the Pennsylvania gun dealer, appealed his case to the Supreme Court, which denied review.
     "When conservatives decry liberal judicial activism, they purport to be talking about judges who are unelected and who second-guess the wisdom of elected legislators,'' said the Brady Center's Henigan. He said the same description applies to Alito's opinion.
     A supporter of Alito countered that the judge should not be criticized for going against the grain.
     "I think the lower courts after (the 1995 ruling) were resistant to the Supreme Court's direction. Judge Alito was not,'' said Pepperdine University Law Professor Douglas Kmiec. He said the ruling indicates that Alito, as a high court justice, would "strongly defend the federalist structure of the Constitution.''

TIME Collection, TIME Collection, "Making of America" covers Bill of Rights

     Time Inc. has a collection called "Making of America" that you can buy for $10.99 retail. It has a small section on the Bill of Rights. Under the Second Amendment it has the following;

     "Provides for the Right to bear arms. Legal scholars still debate whether this Right was meant to apply only to the now defunct state militias that once made up the bulk of U.S. Armed forces or is a general authorization to possess weapons for personal use."

     Under the Third Amendment it has the following;

     "Now dated and irrelevant, this amendment forbids the government to house soldiers in private homes during peace time without the consent of the owner."

     Is it just me or does who ever wrote this not get the point? The only reason the they can say that the Third Amendment is "Now dated and irrelevant," is that it works and no one has challenged it and it does not lend itself to varied interpretation.


Times Herald-Record
O C Shooters