Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Order here, from the Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg. It’s pretty straightforward. The Virginia statute that establishes a governor’s powers in an emergency specifically says these powers do not allow the governor to “in any way limit or prohibit the rights of the people to keep and bar arms” as protected by the Virginia Constitution and the Second Amendment.

I would’ve expected the governor to concede, given the clear language, but his attorneys try to get around it, without success. They appear to have argued that shooting is not “bearing,” that the court should defer to the governor, given the emergency, that the court should use a standard of review and go for intermediate scrutiny, and that the court should apply First Amendment standards allowing regulation of the time place and manner of expression. The court’s response is to the point: we don’t need to get to the constitutional issues, the statute itself says he cannot “limit” arms rights “in any way.” The court adds, “It is regrettable the Governor only one time in a footnote cited the statute on which this case turns.”

The governor’s arguments would pass the red face test… on second thought, let’s not go there…