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Knife Rights: Notice of Supplemental Authority Filed in California Switchblade Ban Case

The recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in United States v. Rahimi bears on our lawsuit challenging California’s ban on switchblade (automatic) knives with a blade 2-inches and greater on Second Amendment grounds. Plaintiff’s have filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority with the District Court hearing the case.

As you may recall, during our recent hearing, the Court was focused on the baseless argument put forth by the State that in interpreting the plain text of the Second Amendment’s “the right to keep and bear arms,” the term “arms” somehow is limited to only arms “commonly used for self-defense” as opposed to all bearable arms.

Plaintiffs’ attorney, John Dillon, forcefully argued that the “plain text” of the Second Amendment does not say that and in Bruen and Heller the Supreme Court repeatedly stressed that the “plain text” is what matters. Simply put, neither the State, nor the Court can read additional conditions and qualifications into the Second Amendment’s plain text that are not there.

While common sense would seemingly take care of the plain meaning of the term “arms” mentioned in the Second Amendment, the recent decision in the Rahimi case further clarified for those states and courts still struggling with this concept. Among the multitude of instances in the Court’s majority opinion and its concurring opinions in support of reading the Second Amendment as is, not adding any additional made-up layers, was Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion, “[t]he American people established an enduring American Constitution. The first and most important rule in constitutional interpretation is to heed the text—that is, the actual words of the Constitution—and to interpret that text according to its ordinary meaning as originally understood. … As a general matter, the text of the Constitution says what it means and means what it says. And unless and until it is amended, that text controls.”

Justice Kavanaugh provides additional insight, “when the ‘framers of the Constitution employed words in their natural sense; and where they are plain and clear, resort to collateral aids to interpretation is unnecessary and cannot be indulged in to narrow or enlarge the text.'”

Stay tuned for the next installment of Knife Rights Unconstitutional Switchblade Bans Chronicles.

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