Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett would be a stalwart defender of the Second Amendment if confirmed to the court, according to a gun rights group.
The legislative counsel for the Gun Owners of America, one of the country’s largest pro-gun advocacy organizations, said Barrett appears to be a strict constitutionalist.
He also pointed to a dissenting opinion the judge wrote in 2019 in favor of a nonviolent felon seeking to restore his gun rights.
“She comes out, in my opinion, as a person with a strong Second Amendment leaning. I would consider her to be as much of a constitutionalist as you can get,” Michael Hammond told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a phone interview.
“Let’s say [Democratic nominee Joe] Biden becomes the president and Democrats control the Senate, we’re going to see gun bans,” Hammond continued.
“I think it would be much safer in that we can determine that Barrett is likely to vote the way the Constitution defined.”
Hammond pointed to Kanter v. Barr, a case before the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which included Barrett.
The court considered whether Rickey Kanter, a convicted felon, should have his firearms rights restored.
Kanter, a Wisconsin resident, was sentenced to about a year in prison for knowingly selling diabetic foot inserts that were not the correct thickness, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. He collected thousands in Medicaid purchases without changing the dimensions of the inserts to comply with government regulations.
His motion to restore his gun rights was ultimately denied, but Barrett wrote a 36-page dissent in defense of Kanter and the Second Amendment.
“History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous,” Barrett wrote.
“Founding-era legislatures did not strip felons of the right to bear arms simply because of their status as felons,” she continued.
“Neither Wisconsin nor the United States has introduced data sufficient to show that disarming all nonviolent felons substantially advances its interest in keeping the public safe,” she added.
“Permanently disqualifying Kanter from possessing a gun violates the Second Amendment.”
Gun Owners of America and other gun groups throughout the country have advocated for nonviolent felons to have their firearms rights restored.
“So the question is, if you are a serial killer in most states, you can petition for your rights … but an individual who sold soles can never have his rights restored?” Hammond asked. “What danger does he impose for selling the wrong soles?”
Hammond, despite the outcome of the case, was nevertheless pleased with Barrett’s commitment to Kanter’s cause.
“I think the fact that she went to such an elaborate analysis of the Second Amendment is a good thing, and it indicates that she is going to vote as the founders intended,” Hammond told the DCNF.
Hammond considers Barrett’s understanding of the Second Amendment to be even stronger than that of Chief Justice John Roberts, who has come under fire after recent court decisions cast doubt on his initial leanings.
The Supreme Court under the direction of Roberts refused to hear 10 Second Amendment cases in June, according to The Atlantic. The cases may have resulted in landmark decisions regarding the right to self-protection.
Hammond called the upcoming presidential election a possible “turning point” for gun rights.
Biden’s campaign website calls for bans on “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” in addition to red flag legislation and universal background checks.
Hammond also believes the confirmation of Barrett would lead to a 5-4 pro-gun majority on the court at a minimum, which could potentially strike down sweeping gun bans if Biden were to take office, he said.
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