Rick Perry Falsely Claims An Assault Rifle Ban Is Unconstitutional

In a speech to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council two years ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) claimed that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid all violate the Constitution. He’s now bringing that same crackerjack understanding of our nation’s founding document to the Second Amendment:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry believes that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s effort to ban assault weapons would be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

“I believe in the Constitution. I don’t think you limit free speech nor do you limit the second amendment,” Perry told ABC affiliate KTRK’s Ted Oberg on Thursday. “I think the Constitution is clear. Here we have the amendments to the constitution and we have the Bill of Rights. The Tenth Amendment says anything that’s not enumerated and not clearly laid out in the Constitution is reserved for the states and for the people. For me, just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean I will change the U.S. Constitution.”

I would suggest to you they can try, but there will be a lawsuit that goes forward to the U.S. Supreme Court that finds those kinds of things unconstitutional,” Perry added.

Perry was referring to Cuomo’s intention to pursue “the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation.”

Perry, of course, is wrong about what the Second Amendment permits. Indeed, even conservative Justice Antonin Scalia conceded in his opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller that “dangerous and unusual weapons” of the sort not “in common use” by the public can be regulated or banned.