Ehline Law Firm’s president, Michael Ehline, had the opportunity to attend oral augments in the case of Hollis v. Lynch, et al, Civil Action No.3:14-cv-03872-M in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“As a victim’s rights advocate, gun rights are extremely important to our constituents in Los Angeles, California. This is partly because the US Supreme Court has ruled in Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), that municipal police have zero duty to protect private individuals. Therefore, it is down to the heads of households to select the most efficient and safest bearable arms to protect ourselves” said Ehline. “It is the birthright of all Americans to keep and bear arms.”
The anti self-defense lobby is terrified that law abiding citizens will have their hands on select fire weapons like M16s. But in reality, many people own automatic firearms who are not the government. Legally owned machine guns have been used in a statistically insignificant amount of crimes. To be clear, there are many varieties of so called “machine guns.”
There are light machine guns, heavy machine guns and full auto pistols, etc. So understand that not all machine guns are bearable arms per se. To be a bearable arm, the rifle in question needs to be that of the ordinary militia member or infantry soldier. All citizens 16 and older are automatically ordinary militia (Source.) The common infantry soldier of the U.S. military carries an M16 as his standard rifle. This is generally a select fire rifle. The main idea here is that with one trigger squeeze, the operator can send a three round burst of 5.56 rounds downrange to suppress an attacker. It basically keeps the aggressor’s heads down so the people being protected can flee to a place of safety, whilst the villain is being suppressed.
The so called machine gun at issue here also has a semi automatic sister, which happens to be the rifle of choice for irregular militia, target shooters, hunters and self- defense advocates. Its name is the AR15. The AR15 and its variants, is in fact the most commonly used self-defense rifle in the United States. Again, what makes the M16 different than an AR15, is that the M16 has a “select fire” switch that allows a three round burst with one trigger squeeze.
Marines, such as the Marine reservist petitioner in this case, usually feel more comfortable using the same self-defense implements as they trained upon. The three round burst feature is used for self-defense when a defender needs to use suppressing fire to escape multiple hostile attackers and be able to maneuver. Examples of times and places where this could be a very effective self-defense weapon would be to protect a single defender surrounded in a remote area like the Texas/Mexico border.
Larger weapons such as a Howitzer Canon, or 50 caliber machine gun are typically “crew served” firearms. This means they are not bearable arms per se. A bearable arm is one that can be carried by one individual without the assistance of a crew. So this case is very narrowly applicable to a standard infantry rifle being licensed to and used by a USMC reservist, and law abiding citizen.
The time, place and manner in which the rifle can or could be used is not at issue, despite the erroneous arguments of the government. In fact, it can never be certain when or if a firearm may need to be used in defense of self or others. What is certain is many people wish to retain their common law and unalienable rights to keep and bear arms of their choice for a lawful purpose.
In the case at bar, the government issued a permit for the petitioner so he could build his own M16, and then it was later revoked without authority. To date, no discovery has been granted to illustrate why, or for what good cause this fundamental right was simply revoked. The government argued that M16s are “dangerous” and therefore can be regulated, apparently under a “rational basis” type of standard.
When called to the carpet by the Court that dangerous “and unusual” was actually the regulatory standard, the government acted in disbelief that “unusual” would have to be used when weighing whether or not the government can regulate the carriage of a dangerous, bearable arm.
Again, the issue was not when, where or how the firearm would be used. That is all “dangerous and unusual” means. All to be decided here is whether or not a protected right was violated. Clearly, the petitioner had the right to bear this arm absent proper notice and opportunity. Attorney Stamboulieh was quick to point out that this common law standard (“dangerous and unusual”) adopted at the formation of this country was in fact a time, place and manner restriction.
It has nothing to do with whether or not an arm can be owned, or carried. It only deals with when, where and how the weapon can be used once it is in the possession of a citizen. In essence, all weapons are dangerous. For example, all cars and even kitchen knives are dangerous too. This is why it would be unusual to see a car driving through a crowded shopping mall, and also unusual to see a woman walking through a shopping mall wielding a butcher knife.
It would be just as unusual for a man to openly carry a slung rifle at a California shopping mall. It may not be unusual at an “open carry convention” at a Texas shopping mall. But it would not be unusual in most cases to see a man on a nature hike in Colorado carrying an AR15. Again, the AR15 is the most commonly used rifle in the United States.
Bureaucrats and many judges, even with the guidance of Heller, have tried to not apply “strict scrutiny” as the standard to weigh these cases. Strict scrutiny is the only logical standard to weigh an enumerated right. There are also equal protection rights involved in the instant case.
Why is Ehline Law Firm Supporting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for the Law Abiding?
Michael Ehline is a California personal injury and civil rights lawyer here. So why would he be flying to New Orleans to assist Alexander Beck, Stephen D. Stamboulieh and Dick Heller of the Heller Foundation instead of working on a purely California matter?
Ehline says when he grew up in Orange County, California, almost all his neighbors owned firearms. His father, a U.S. Marine twice combat vet also owned arms. When the Crips and Bloods started shooting each other with AK and AR15 variant rifles in the 80’s, Ehline saw how the hostile press and leftist leaning courts exploited this as a tool to restrict the gun rights of the law abiding people like him and his neighbors. The gang-bangers never gave up their arms and they never will.
Now, Ehline says: “Our political correctness policies are allowing people hostile to our values into the U.S. Take the San Bernardino shooters for example. They illegally purchased two rifles from their next door neighbor, who they radicalized with a form of Islam prevalent in Syria, Libya, Egypt and Iraq. These jihadists then altered their AR15 variant rifles and the magazines in a garage where they also made bombs. Then they went on a killing spree. None of their victims was carrying a firearm.”
Soon afterwards, Gavin Newsom and the other anti gun zealots in Sacramento decided that we need to ban standard capacity magazines, even for people like Ehline who was grandfathered, since has possessed them since he was a small child. Mind you, the shooters altered their weapons to be able to do all these things. In other words, gun laws do NOTHING to stop a determined criminal.
But the guy “who has lived here all his life is basically going to have his lawfully owned magazines confiscated, altered, moved or destroyed. And the San Bernardino shooters would still have gotten everything they needed with a machine shop and some spare time. In other words, I am less safe, and people trying to harm me or my people can effectively remain illegally armed, and at large.”
Ehline went on to say that: “No one would have predicted when I was 16 that the most commonly used rifle in America (AR15), would be illegal to own in California. Anti gun zealots are using the dangerous situations they have created with sanctuary cities, and political correctness to push their pre textual anti self defense rights agenda. They are trying to make possessing a firearm and ammo so expensive and scary that no one who respects the law would dare own a gun. They are even tying firearms ownership with mental illness. At government prompting, even doctors are asking on their patient intake sheets if anyone in the home owns a gun. No warrant required.”
None of these gun laws would have stopped any Jihadists or mass killers. In fact, Ehline says:
France has the toughest gun laws in the world and Jihadis have turned Paris into a killing zone. The only way to stop a lawbreaker with a gun quickly is to stop the attacker before the police arrive …. with a gun.
Gun free zones are an invitation to kill innocents. Will appointed and elected officials give up their armed security? The real victim of gun legislation is the law abiding citizen. Criminals will always have access to guns and ammo. Education of our youth is the only way to take back the self defense rights initiative. We already have the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). This program was started by President Eisenhower. Unfortunately, this program has had trouble in the past 7 or so years due to DC basically starving it to death.
“In the old days, our public schools taught basic firearms safety and love of country. They also taught civics and respect for the law in the public schools. The narrative being pushed now is that self defense with use of a gun only applies to the government and NOT ‘we the people.'”
Ultimately, Ehline started supporting Dick Heller of the Heller Foundation, so he could raise awareness about self defense rights and the loss of individual sovereignty. Ehline has a thriving personal injury law practice in Los Angeles, California, and he represents many disaffected California voters.
Ehline also lobbies congress on behalf of cruise ship victims and he teaches a women’s rape defense course in California. Ehline also works privately with law enforcement and members of the armed forces in furtherance of our firearms rights as law abiding citizens. Ehline became a lawyer on the California State Bar Law Office Study Program. Ehline also earned a juris doctorate from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law (UWLA.)
The legal team responsible for making the trip to New Orleans is Alan Alexander Beck and Stephen D. Stamboulieh.
Alan Beck helped with the legal research, drafting, editing and arguments. Alan is one of the best Second Amendment rights attorneys in the country. Alan is an attorney licensed in Hawaii and California. Alan has extensive experience litigating municipal liability and A.P.A claims. He is received his juris doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law and his B.S. from the University of San Diego of California. Prior to law school he served in the United States Marine Corps as a tank crewman. In his free time, he competes in Brazilian jiu jitsu under the Baret Submissions banner.
Stephen D. Stamboulieh is also among the elite self defense rights advocates in the world. Stephen argued the case en banc. He is a native of Houston, Texas. He earned his B.S. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002 in Business Administration and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 2007. He represents plaintiffs and defendants in all courts in Mississippi. Stephen has extensive experience with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in various firearms related cases across the country and is often consulted on cases.
Additionally, Stephen lends his expertise to various firearms related legislative issues, including open carry in Mississippi and most recently, suppressor de-registration in his home state. “I am proud to stand with Mr. Hollis and Dick Heller in defense of the Second Amendment. Since 1986, this unconstitutional law has prevented law abiding citizens from keeping and bearing the arms they are most comfortable with. The M16 is the quintessential militia weapon of our time and it deserves protection under our Constitution,” Stephen said.
All of these lawyers agree on one thing for certain. There is no such thing as a utopian society. It is the right, and in many cases the duty, of freemen and women to keep and bear firearms, even select fire weapons, for a lawful purpose. We will keep you posted as to the outcome of the en banc decision and we wish all parties involved well.