Monday, December 12, 2005

On a side note

They recently banned guns in San Francisco.  I'm a bit bothered by that, as we have already discussed the unconstitutionality of gun bans.  However, it is also a violation of the Ex Post Facto clause of the Constitution.  Let's hop on that gravy train today :)
First, let's have a read of this clause within the Constition.
Article I, Section 9, Clause 3:
"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. "
This is a very concise sentence, but it isn't entirely clear.  So let's look up some of these words:
ex post facto - Formulated, enacted, or operating retroactively
attainder - In the ancient common law, the state of an offender who had been sentenced for a capital offense.
I think these are pretty clear.  Congress cannot pass a law that creates a debt for someone sentenced to capital punishment (the death penalty) and cannot pass a law that acts retro-actively.  Therefore, when they required all those who had purchased handguns in San Francisco to turn them in within 90 days or face a "yet to be determined" punishment, they acted very Unconstitutionally.  We're getting pretty close to discussing whether or not Unconstitutionality is ok, so get psyched.  I'm hoping we can conclude our discussion before the end of this coming year.

America needs fewer laws, not more prisons. – James Bovard

1 comment:

Marc said...

Keep up the good work!
-A fellow libertarian!