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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Northern Mariana Islands: Five Onerous Anti-Gun Laws Struck Down In Court

Second Amendment advocates are celebrating a Sept. 28 ruling by Ramona Manglona, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), which struck down five oppressive anti-gun laws. 

Based on established legal precedent, Manglona concluded that the ban on carrying handguns in public was unconstitutional because “the Second Amendment, based on its plain language, the history described in Heller and common sense, must protect a right to armed self-defense in public.” 

CNMI’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” outlawed several common rifle features. However, Manglona concluded that because the “evidence suggests that the banned attachments actually tend to make rifles easier to control and more accurate,” and thus safer, the ban fails intermediate scrutiny and was struck down. The intermediate scrutiny argument was also used in overturning CNMI’s ban on long-gun calibers larger than .223. 

Regarding CNMI’s gun registration system, which required a separate application for each weapon, Manglona determined the burden imposed was unjustified by public safety concerns. Likewise, an egregious $1,000 tax on handguns was thrown out for coming close to “destroying the Second Amendment right to acquire ‘the quintessential self-defense weapon.’”