Tag Archives: Law

Law as Performance Art?

Pity the guy’s poor students.

Critics across partisan lines assail Florida’s new gun law
Retired prosecutor and Florida law professor Bob Dekle sees no legal issue with raising the rifle-purchase age to 21, saying, the framers of the Constitution intended for 21 to be “the age of being adult.” He noted that the same age applies to voting and drinking.

Assuming this is an accurate reporting of what he said, I’d like to know in what universe he lives.  (I asked; no response yet.)

In this universe, the Constitution did not specify any age limit for voting, leaving it up to the states. Until, that is, 1971 — almost 47 years ago — when the 26th Amendment set 18 years of age as the minimum when states must allow citizens to vote. Not 21, Prof.  Dekle.

Again, assuming the report is accurate, Dekle’s incapacitation might make a good argument for a maximum voting age amendment; I’m thinking 68yo.

As for the drinking age, that isn’t in this universe’s US Constitution at all; it’s statutory: Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. Yes, 1984; not 1787 or 1789. Even then, all states did not immediately comply, and many still have age exemptions for nonpublic drinking.

One might also note that the Militia Acts of 1792 (rather close to the adoption of Constitution) mandated a minimum age of 18 years for membership in the militia (and when called were required to appear with arms and ammunition).

Is Dekle really a law professor, or is that an elaborate bit of performance art?

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About those “fugitives”

Anti-gun types are all upset now that they noticed the FBI was eliminating some folks with active warrants from the NICS database, making them eligible to purchase firearms.

Tens of thousands with outstanding warrants purged from background check database for gun purchases
Tens of thousands of people wanted by law enforcement officials have been removed this year from the FBI criminal background check database that prohibits fugitives from justice from buying guns.

The names were taken out after the FBI in February changed its legal interpretation of “fugitive from justice” to say it pertains only to wanted people who have crossed state lines.

Well… No. It isn’t so much as they changed the interpretation as that they noticed they weren’t in compliance with federal law. Again. (Kind of the inverse of the military not bothering to report felons.)

Allow me to explain, setting aside for the moment the unconstitutional prior restrain of preemptively-prove-your-innocence checks.

It appears from a search on US Code that to be a “fugitive” under 18 U.S. Code § 922, once has to have actively fled when a warrant is issued. The fact that a warrant was issued doesn’t make one a fugitive; or even necessarily aware of the warrant.

No flight, no fugitive.

I find it interesting, but not surprising, that gun controllers think people should be denied rights based on a mere warrant… when it’s Second Amendment rights. But not so much when it comes to other rights.

A federal court found it unconstitutional for for Michigan to deny welfare benefits to people with felony warrants unless they are actually fugitives.

So… same thing for 2nd Amendment rights. For once the DOJ did something half right (the other half being the whole prior restraint bit).