LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Feinstein bill violates Fifth Amendment

Story Topics
Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Emily Miller’s article on high-capacity magazine bans (“The high-capacity magazine myth,” Comment & Analysis, Monday) does not address a critical concern about these anti-gun bills: the violence they would do to Fifth Amendment protections by depriving Americans of their property without due process.

While the ban proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, would allow current owners to continue to possess magazines owned before the law went into effect, it would not permit these magazine to be resold or transferred. They would literally “die with their current owners.” This constitutes a novel, uncompensated federal taking, since current owners would be unable to either recover the value of a legal investment they made or will it to their heirs. Whether people favor or oppose gun control, they should be very concerned about the sweeping precedent this would set.

For example, what would stop some future Environmental Protection Agency from declaring older cars — including valuable antiques — to be “gas guzzlers” and banning their resale for anything other than scrap? It’s the same principle of mandated destruction of something for a public purpose without compensation to the owners.

Mrs. Feinstein should know her bill violates Fifth Amendment tenets, since her 1994 ban specifically allowed resale of grandfathered firearms and magazines in part to avoid this very concern. The likely reason she is avoiding discussion of this issue is that the cost of implementing her ban legally could top $1 billion, given the courts have held that compensation is determined by market value when the taking occurs. If most Americans were given that price tag upfront, they would probably question what they are getting for their money. Legislators should ask the same question.

DAVID NORISS

Herndon

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts