The U.S. Court of Appeals determined on Thursday that gun owners did not have a constitutional right to own machine gun style weapons, a small victory for gun control advocates seeking to narrow the scope of the Second Amendment.

The case was brought forth by private citizen Jay Hollis who was seeking to challenge a ruling which blocked him from converting his (legal) semi-automatic AR-15 into an (illegal) Automatic M16 – a machine gun.

The modification Hollis was seeking violated federal law which bans automatic firing rifles – Hollis escalated his complaint to the 5th Circuit, claiming that in the modern day, the advanced nature of warfare and the weaponry available to the federal government means that in order to create a constitutional “well-regulated militia,” an M16 weapon should be as basic and as necessary as the musket once was to our founding fathers.

Of course, Hollis either fails to recognize or chooses to ignore the massively advanced weaponry available to the federal government, making any gun-obsessed ideas of overthrowing the government through a violent coup nothing but a wishful fever-dream.

The court cited that the most recent determination on the second amendment only guaranteed private citizens the right to the possession of handguns to protect “hearth and home.” As such, this automatic weapon was far outside the breadth of any constitutional precedent.

The court’s decision against the machine gun case was unanimous and is a positive step in the right direction for gun advocates who are seeking to more strictly define what is and isn’t categorized under the Second Amendment.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at