A court in Pennsylvania has ruled that the Stroud Township can not ban private home gun ranges as it violates the 2nd Amendment.
This ruling is a major win for conservatives, the entire 2A crowd, and residents of the area who have been affected by the ban.
The first trial court that the case went to ruled in favor of the township and upheld the ban on private gun ranges, the Court of Appeals sent the case back to the first judge and instructed that judge to carefully consider all of the plaintiff’s arguments. This same judge once again ruled in favor of the township, but this time the Court of Appeals made it very clear why they sent it back to that judge in the first place. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the resident that brought the suit forward, Judge P. Kevin Brobson wrote an opinion clearly outlining why it was that this ban violated the 2nd Amendment.
Judge P. Kevin Brobson’s opinion reads:
The Ordinance imposes a burden on the Second Amendment right to maintain proficiency in firearm use by essentially imposing an outright ban on target shooting everywhere in the Township except two specific zoning districts. The Township did not meet its burden under the intermediate scrutiny standard to justify such an outright ban on personal shooting ranges at one’s residence, because it did not establish that the Ordinance “does not burden more conduct than is reasonably necessary.”
In reaching our conclusion, we do not discount the importance of regulating target shooting in a residential environment and the important policy reasons for the Ordinance, nor are we holding that every person needs to have the ability to have a personal shooting range on his property. To the contrary, a municipality clearly may regulate such activity. This Court has recognized that Second Amendment rights are “not unlimited” and “may be restricted in the exercise of police power for the good order of society and [the] protection of citizens.” Perry v. State Civ. Serv. Comm’n, 38 A.3d 942, 955 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2011).
Yet, as we have previously held: It must be remembered . . . that the police power delegated by the state is not infinite and unlimited. The action taken thereunder must be reasonable, it must relate to the object it purports to carry out, and it must not invade the fundamental liberties of the citizens. It must also be remembered that even legitimate legislative goals cannot be pursued by means which stifle fundamental personal liberty when goals can be otherwise more easily achieved.
This case is a victory for the whole 2A crowd, while it helps those in this relatively small township get back to practice it shows that even the more creative forms of gun control can be beaten out in court.
Shall Note Be Infringed!