David Codrea at The War on Guns writes “Bush Administration Reverses Ashcroft Interpretation of Second Amendment.”
I found the full text of the DOT Rules here, and I agree with David. The FAA indeed appears to be codifying constitutional interpretations of the Second Amendment into federal regulations.
The paragraph in question is included my letter sent to the Department of Transportation email@example.com below:
Your rules for Human Space Flight Requirements for Crew and Space Flight Participants which were issued on December 15, 2006 include language that unnecessarily creates a government endorsement of unconstitutional principles.
“Additionally, nearly all courts have also held that the Second Amendment is a collective right, rather than a personal right. Therefore, despite the Second Amendment collective right to bear arms, the FAA has the authority to prohibit firearms on launch and reentry vehicles for safety and security purposes.”
If you insist on having such a rule, I propose revised language as follows:
Additionally, nearly all courts have also held that the Second Amendment is a collective right, rather than a personal right. Therefore, despite the Second Amendment collective right to bear arms,The FAA has the authority toprohibits firearms on launch and reentry vehicles for safety and security purposes.
Clearly the FAA was not formed to interpret Constitutional law. Editorializing within this rule is unnecessary and outside the bounds of the FAA’s charter.
[Federal Register: December 15, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 241)] [Rules and Regulations] [Page 75615-75645] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr15de06-10]
II. Description of Final Rule and Discussion of Comments
C. Launch and Reentry With a Space Flight Participant
6. Security Requirements
Rules like this are presumptive of an authority to restrict a protected right of the people; furthermore the wording in the Rule apparantly seeks to reinforce that authority. They must not go unchallenged.
Update: DOT responded that “Your best option is to contact the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation at: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/contact/.”
There I found this contact:
Dr. George C. Nield
Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation
There was an Instapundit link to a follow-up story that said:
IS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION flip-flopping on the Second Amendment?
UPDATE: Here’s the original source, which I really should have linked here earlier. Sorry!
The “Permalink” now links to
A SADDAM HUSSEIN EXECUTION ROUNDUP from Pajamas Media.
The ‘new’ permalink is http://instapundit.com/archives2/2006/12/post_1331.php but oddly enough post_1331 does not appear on Glen’s page, nor is it picked up in Instapundit’s RSS feeds for December 29.
The renamed, redirected post can still be seen at http://instapundit.com/archives2/2006/12/ if you pick the post by number.
It is not a part of the ‘regularly indexed / viewable” Instapundit materials.
Update 2: (2/24/2007 – A Post from Kim du Toit)
You will recall the fuss which attended an ill-advised statement by the FAA which, when prohibiting the possession of weapons on board space flights, alluded to the Second Amendment as a “collective” rather than “individual” right.
Seems as though the FAA has changed that nonsense
The FAA’s new requirements for commercial human space flight include a rule on security mandating that operators “implement security requirements to prevent any space flight participant from jeopardizing the safety of the flight crew or the public” and prohibiting a space flight participant from carrying on board “any explosives, firearms, knives or other weapons.” 14 CFR 460.53. In explaining this rule in response to a comment, the FAA characterized the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the Constitution as “a collective right.” 71 FR at 75626. The FAA now withdraws that characterization of the right to bear arms.
…and well they should, because the “collective right” interpretation was, and is, total bullshit.
Of course, you still won’t be allowed to carry your trusty Ruger Blackhawk on board a commercial space flight, but I don’t have a problem with that (and I’m not interested in re-opening this argument, thank you—all comments in that vein will be deleted).
But it does show that when we gunnies get our act together and yell hard enough, we can get our Gummint to respond. And that’s a Good Thing.