David Kopel writes that “background check” laws pushed by the Bloomberg anti-gun campaign in states like Colorado and Washington have weird effects, whether intended is not entirely clear, on such topics as safe storage of firearms, the sharing of firearms during informal target shooting, and the legality of handgun possession by 18-21 year olds. This might be a sub-instance of a related problem noted by Glenn Reynolds at USA Today: “Gun-control laws have a tendency of turning into criminals peaceable citizens whom the state has no reason to have on its radar.”
- Manufacturing while foreign: Holman Jenkins compares Department of Justice’s handling of General Motors case with those of Toyota and Takata [WSJ, paywall]
- “Electronic surveillance by the Drug Enforcement Administration has tripled over the past 20 years, and much of that increase has involved bypassing the federal courts.” [Brad Heath, USA Today via Balko]
- Sen. Hatch: criminal justice reform needs to include reform on issue of mens rea/criminal intent [John Malcolm, Daily Signal]
- Clinton administration tended to embed its anti-gun gestures in its then-popular carceral-state enactments [Jesse Walker on the 12-year lull in anti-gun legislation and whether it’s ending]
- New DoJ policy on corporate criminal prosecutions risks scapegoating [Thaya Knight, Cato] Despite transient surge early in Obama years, federal white-collar crime prosecutions have now fallen to 20-year low [TRAC Reports]
- A legal remedy should federal law enforcers falsely malign you in a press release? Dream on [Scott Greenfield]
- If you oppose high U.S. incarceration rate, but wish more corporate executives went to prison, check your premises [Matt Kaiser, Above the Law]
On this site, constitutional experts interact with each other to explore the Constitution’s history and what it means today. For each provision of the Constitution, scholars of different perspectives discuss what they agree upon, and what they disagree about. These experts were selected with the guidance of leaders of two prominent constitutional law organizations — The American Constitution Society and The Federalist Society.
The writers include many familiar names and every contribution I’ve read so far, on both sides of questions, has been of high quality.
The topic came up again at Tuesday’s Democratic debate, and even if Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) hesitated to defend his vote in favor of the gun-lawsuit-curbing Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), I’m happy to defend it for him at Cato. More: David Freddoso, Washington Examiner, Adam Lidgett, International Business Times. Earlier on PLCAA and Hillary Clinton last week and more generally on the law.
P.S. Although some critics of PLCAA describe it as if it were some sort of absolute and across-the-board bar to liability, the law in fact is carefully crafted to permit liability across a range of situations. Taking advantage of one of those exceptions, plaintiffs just obtained a $6 million verdict against a Wisconsin gun dealer that they argued had winked at evidence that a customer was really a “straw buyer” purchasing a firearm for someone else. More: Jacob Sullum; George Leef/Forbes.
- Surprised this story of interstate lawsuit exposure hasn’t had national coverage: “Texas docs threaten to stop seeing New Mexico patients” [Hobbs, N.M., News]
- More on the Daraprim episode and the fiasco of FDA generic-drug regulation [Watchdog, earlier here and here] More: Ira Stoll/N.Y. Sun;
- Warrants, HIPAA be damned: Drug Enforcement Administration agents pose as Texas medical board to get at patient records [Jon Cassidy/Watchdog, Tim Cushing/TechDirt via Radley Balko]
- Litigation finance and champerty: the reaction is under way [MathBabe, earlier on pelvic and transvaginal mesh surgery speculation]
- No longer alas a surprise to see JAMA Pediatrics running lame, politicized content on topics like “youth gun carrying” [Jacob Sullum]
- “Shame, blame, and defame”: in alcohol regulation as in other public health fields, government-funded research can look a lot like advocacy [Edward Peter Stringham, The Hill]
- More adventures in public health: study finds dry counties in Kentucky have bigger problems with methamphetamine [Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post “WonkBlog”]
“Stop and frisk” in New York City has a Right valence; “getting guns off the streets,” a Left. But what if in practice they mostly amounted to the same thing?
“Kentucky man shoots down drone hovering over his backyard” [Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica]
I write at Cato about the accomplishments of Ida Wells (1862-1931), who after being born into slavery in Mississippi became the leading voice documenting the horrors of lynch law in late nineteenth century America, as well as a free speech heroine (a mob in Memphis attacked and destroyed her printing press). Wells is also the subject of today’s Google Doodle. And as I learned from Nicholas Johnson’s post last year at Volokh, she was a notable figure in the history of the Second Amendment as well.