David Marks didn’t have a lectern to speak to his fellow Manteca Tea Party Patriots from on Thursday night.
So he improvised.
After the group failed to reserve the banquet room at Angelano’s restaurant for their annual monthly meeting and a discussion on the Second Amendment and recent legal decisions that impact it, Marks – one of the group’s founding members and an engineer by trade – held court out in front of the restaurant with those who wanted to stay and discuss the topic that has been front-and-center since the group was formed to offer conservative commentary and fellowship for those who appreciate it.
Marks, who has talked to the group in the past about things like global warming, brought up the multiple recent Supreme Court decisions that have drastically altered the way that gun rights are viewed in this country – Heller v. District of Columbia which asserted the right of gun ownership in the home for lawful purposes and McDonald v. Chicago that asserted that Second Amendment rights extend to the individual states – as the inescapable reassurance that the right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally protected.
Beyond that, he said, the work to preserve those rights continues daily despite other court decisions – like Peruta v. San Diego which was recently heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and reaffirmed California’s right to prompt those who wish to carry a concealed weapon to supply justifiable reason as to why they need to – that may not necessarily be in line with what he feels is the prevailing constitutional sentiment.
While the topic of gun control has been at the forefront of group meetings in the past – representatives from Gun Owners of California have been featured guest speakers, as have the owners of Elite Arms in Manteca, Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion, and the San Joaquin County Undersheriff – Thursday marked the first time that marks would have discussed the matter since recent terrorist attacks kicked off a firestorm of litigation that seeks to limit access to weapons like the AR-15 assault rifle and the easy access to bullets.
California has taken the strictest steps since the gun control debate was reignited – passing legislation that will outlaw new weapons, like the AR-15, that have a “bullet button” magazine release and ordering people with high-capacity magazines to turn them into authorities.
Marks said that they may revisit the topic in the future to give those who were unable to attend the makeshift huddle meeting the chance to hear about the matters and discuss what sorts of things are on the horizon for gun owners in California and in the country in the coming year.
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