The Weekly Reload Podcast

Gun Law Professor On Why Firearms Restrictions Are Still Hard to Fight

January 8th, 2024

This week, we're discussing some of the incongruities that make it so difficult for gun-rights advocates to beat new gun restrictions even after the Supreme Court's Bruen ruling.

To do that, I got a leading Second Amendment scholar to join the show. Robert Leider, an associate professor at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia School of Law, explains why even broad gun restrictions continue to make it into law, and challenges have been less successful than many might have expected. He lays out the "asymmetry of legal liability" at the center of the dynamic.

Leider argues lawmakers, like the ones behind California's expansive new "gun-free" zones, are engaging in what he calls "loopholing." He said they are attempting to disregard the Supreme Court's purpose in Bruen by finding ways to create the same effect as the laws it declared unconstitutional by using slightly different tactics. He argued there are some ways to address this beyond normal challenges, such as removing qualified immunity protections for those enforcing the new laws.

But he also said gun-rights advocates are relying too much on court action in their push against new restrictions. Enforcement of California's new law has been barred again since we recorded the show, but Leider argued the outcome of the fight over the preliminary injunction is not nearly as important as people make it out to be.

Plus, I explain the implications of Wayne LaPierre stepping down as head of the NRA.