Why Are Anti-Gun Attorneys’ Arguments So Transparently Bad?

muzzle flash
Courtesy Hop

A recent thread by the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) tells a crazy story from one of their many lawsuits challenging unconstitutional gun control. In the process of defending Maryland’s “assault weapon” ban, the state’s lawyers made it abundantly clear that they have almost no firearms knowledge whatsoever and can’t be bothered to talk with people who do.

Let’s start with their knowledge of flash hiders:

You may be wondering how a flash hider allegedly makes a rifle more accurate at long distances. Simple. It’s because a gun without one will blind the shooter, making them less accurate.

That probably sounds reasonable to someone who hasn’t shot guns with no muzzle device at all, but for those of us who have experience with guns sold during the last “assault weapons” ban, we know perfectly well that we aren’t blinded by guns that don’t have one. And virtually no pistols have flash hiders (and very few have compensators) yet people yet perfectly well at night all the time.

Maryland’s great legal minds may have a point about the actual purpose of a flash hider (not being as visible when firing at night), but the point is very limited. If someone is looking right at your position at night and you fire, no hider is going to make you invisible. Nothing negates the need to move after firing to avoid return fire.

Another common claim that anti-gunners make is that “high capacity” magazines were invented just recently. Thus, they’re entirely too dangerous and were totally unanticipated by the Founders and those who ratified the Constitution.

Then they readily admit that 19th century guns had capacities of 11 to 15 rounds.


Maybe the most ridiculous thing they did in arguing their case (see the thread for more), is to cite a thread from ARFCOM to prove a point.


In a world where even college freshmen are treated harshly for using Wikipedia to support their work, we have to keep in mind that Wikipedia at least has some quality controls and that a number of people debate to decide what goes up and what stays on their articles.

At ARFCOM, however, anyone can post virtually anything, so it’s pretty wild to see the state’s attorneys cite an internet forum in something as important as a court case.

This is pure laziness and it was likely used because the ARFCOM result came up first on a Google search.

One more.

They don’t even bother to try to support their (demonstrably false) argument that the “assault weapons of choice” of mass shooters is “assault rifles.” It’s almost as if they’re not even trying.

Why They’re So Careless

I’m sure many readers wonder why the state’s attorneys who wrote their argument are being so careless and lazy in this case. Don’t they want to win? The truth is that they know they aren’t going to win, and they’re smarter than they appear.

To understand what’s likely the real strategy here, we have to go back to the 2022 NYSRPA v Bruen case. That decision so thoroughly gutted most legal arguments used to justify gun rights restrictions that lawyers defending these sorts of infringements know that there’s likely no chance of their being successful. It’s a matter of time (and persistence by the pro-gun plaintiffs) until the infringements end up in front of higher courts, where they’ll go to die.

So given that it’s mostly a matter of time, they’re trying to run out the clock instead rather than seriously attempting to win on the merits of their arguments. With Bruen now the law, the goal now isn’t to produce high-quality legal work that beats out the weak scholarship of an opponent. Now they’re just doing anything they can to drag cases out.

Slowing things down matters because there’s another election coming. They’re hoping Joe Biden wins again so that he or more likely whoever ends up completing his term, nominates the next Supreme Court justice(s).

Like Joe, the current justices aren’t getting any younger. Eventually, one or more will retire or die. If these court cases can be delayed and dragged out long enough, the hope is that a fresh court — with more left-leaning Justices — will be able to tilt things back more closely to the way they were before Bruen.

So, given that the goal on the current playing field isn’t to win on the merits, we can expect to see more of these kinds of embarrassingly low quality arguments. They just aren’t going to invest much time in these cases beyond the minimum needed to keep them going.


4 Responses

  1. Why bother with good arguments when the system has already decided on your favor? Sure, they hit a speed bump now and then but the uniparty and the entirely neo-feudalist system has decided gun control/bans are the future.

    Any hearing is a formality and any decision in favor of liberty is only temporary assuming it isn’t immediately quashed 9th circuit style. Funny how the system almost always defaults to letting the tyranny stand during appeal but not the liberty.

    Their shitty arguments are a big middle finger to all of us and they get off on it.

  2. Sounds reasonable, Jennifer.
    Low-quality legal arguments to defend low-quality laws.
    Lose, and write more low-quality laws and defend them with more low-quality arguments.
    Keep the persecution going.
    Run out the clock until you can replace SCOTUS justices.

  3. One has to ask – is the stupidity of their arguments evidence of ‘bad faith’ (which I used to believe, and still do in some cases – Shannon Watts, Mini Mike, etc.), or is it just an inevitable result of their abject ignorance of actual firearms?? Many “anti-gunners” really believe this kind of BS, and then when you start delving deeper, you find that they . . . simply have no effin’ idea what they are talking about.

    Many members of my immediate family are fairly hardcore anti-gun zealots – and I know from my long experience of them (and also talking to them about the details of their beliefs) that they have NO FRICKIN’ IDEA in the world how guns work. Try to explain it to them and they get exasperated because their lack of knowledge is SO deep and pervasive. Offer to take them to the range and let them experience it for themselves, and they will usually decline, because “guns are icky”. When I have been successful at getting ardent anti-gunners out to the range, it is usually transformative for them. Hard to continue believing Shannon and Mini Mike vs. you own lyin’ eyes. Several have ended by saying something like “Well, I can see why you like it, and it isn’t what I thought it was, but it’s not for me.” OK, cool – nobody else is obligated to like what I like – but they at least now had ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE (vs BS anti-gun propaganda), so I was satisfied with that.

    I even started a low-key movement by trying to persuade my shooting buddies to “Take an Anti-Gunner to the Range” movement. Those that bothered to do so reported similar results to mine. I commend it to the POTG as a useful strategy – hard to believe the BS put out by the anti-gunners when you’ve actually fired a few for yourself, and KNOW that most of the propaganda is a lie. Just sayin’.

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