Supreme Court Nominee
Samuel Alito�s Views Could Imperil Most Federal Gun, Ammo, and Explosives
Laws, New Violence Policy Center Backgrounder Shows
Violence Policy Center (VPC) today released a backgrounder
on Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito.
Key aspects of the
- Supreme Court
nominee Judge Samuel Alito voted to strike down the 1986 federal machine
gun ban in the case U.S. v. Rybar, [103 F.3d 273 (3d Cir. 1996)]. Judge
Alito was the lone dissenter in the decision upholding the conviction
of a gun dealer who sold illegal machine guns at a Pennsylvania gun
- Application of
Judge Alito�s unusual and extremely restrictive view of Congressional
regulatory power could imperil virtually every federal law that currently
regulates firearms, ammunition, and explosives.
- Judge Alito�s opposition
to the machine gun ban mirrors that of the National Rifle Association.
In 1986, following passage of the ban, then-NRA Institute for Legislative
Action Executive Director, now NRA Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre
stated, �Repealing the machine gun amendment...will be a high priority,�
and promised the NRA�s members that the organization would �actively
work toward the repeal of the recent machine gun ban and will take all
necessary steps to educate the public on the sporting uses and legal
ownership of automatic firearms.� The NRA�s efforts at the time failed.
- A brief history
of machine gun regulation: from the restrictions imposed by the National
Firearms Act of 1934 in response to the violence stemming from Prohibition
to the banning of the possession and transfer of new machine guns by
civilians in 1986 under the Firearms Owners� Protection Act.
The backgrounder concludes,
�If Judge Samuel Alito�s views on firearms and public safety, as expressed
through his minority opinion in U.S. v. Rybar, became the law of the land,
all Americans would be at greater risk from virtually uncontrollable firearms
proliferation. The federal government would be almost powerless to keep
firearms, ammunition, and other deadly commodities out of the hands of
criminals and even terrorists. In a time of increased concern regarding
homeland security, such views are not only counterintuitive, but exceedingly
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x109