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Judge Rules There Is No Right to Buy a Gun Under Bruen Standard

Judge Rules There Is No Right to Buy a Gun Under Bruen Standard

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Turning long standing precedent and last year’s Bruen ruling upside down, a federal judge in Colorado, hearing a lawsuit over the state’s three-day waiting period to purchase a gun, recently determined that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to purchase a firearm. With the Bruen ruling setting a new standard for deciding Second Amendment disputes, the case Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis seemed like a sure win for the plaintiffs. After all, the Second Amendment’s plain text does cover “an individual’s conduct” of owning a firearm, which logically necessitates a purchase. And there’s nothing in the “nation’s historical tradition of firearms regulation” indicating a three-day waiting period existed anytime around the founding era.

Not content to admit those facts, Judge John L. Kane instead chose to take a strange path in confirming the constitutionality of the waiting period. In the odd ruling, Judge Kane wrote: “[P]urchase and delivery are one means of creating the opportunity to ‘have weapons.’ The relevant question is whether the plain text covers that specific means. It does not.” In other words, according to 86-year-old jurist, the Second Amendment doesn’t protect the right to “purchase” a firearm, just to “keep and bear” one. Which begs the question: If you don’t buy a gun, where are you supposed to get it?

In explaining his reasoning, Judge Kane further stretched existing case law to justify his ruling, even though those stretches are equally outlandish. “Even if purchasing a firearm could be read into the terms ‘keep’ or ‘bear,’ receipt of a firearm without any delay could not be, as the founders would not have expected instant, widespread availability of the firearm of their choice.” Whoo boy! That’s a stretch indeed. It’s like saying the First Amendment doesn’t protect web-based news because the founders couldn’t have expected instant, widespread availability of news. Moving to the historic tradition question posed by Bruen, Judge Kane was also able to rationalize that away—albeit in a very irrational way—linking it to laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms when intoxicated.

“These measures are sufficient to show that our Nation had a historical tradition of regulating the carrying and use of firearms by intoxicated individuals,” the judge said, adding, “The Waiting-Period Act and the intoxication laws both work to prevent individuals in a temporary impulsive state from irresponsibly using a firearm.”

This ruling is yet another great example of how elections have consequences—even for generations to come. Judge Kane was appointed way back in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter, often called America’s worst president until the current Biden Administration set a new precedent. In the end, it’s hard to imagine that Judge Kane’s strange ruling won’t be overruled on appeal. Alas, we’ll have to wait and see how his decision is looked upon by a more neutral court.


About the Author

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for nearly 25 years. 


If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.




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