26 June 2008

WE WON, I think

CommanderJan06-1_250 Answering a 127-year old constitutional question, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a gun, at least in one’s home. The Court, splitting 5-4, struck down a District of Columbia ban on handgun possession.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion for the majority stressed that the Court was not casting doubt on long-standing bans on gun possession by felons or the mentally retarded, or laws barring guns from schools or government buildings, or laws putting conditions on gun sales.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), the Court nullified two provisions of the city of Washington’s strict 1976 gun control law: a flat ban on possessing a gun in one’s home, and a requirement that any gun — except one kept at a business — must be unloaded and disassembled or have a trigger lock in place.  The Court said it was not passing on a part of the law requiring that guns be licensed.
Source: SCOTUS Blog

Click here for the full opinion in PDF format

In the whole long struggle for gun rights, this may be the most significant day in our lifetimes. It won't overturn every gun law in the country, but it provides a powerful affirmation that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right guaranteed to all American citizens. That right is not a "collective" right of the states, and it exists irrespective of participation in a "well regulated militia."

There is some "weasel language" in the decision:

But Scalia made clear that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is "not unlimited.''

"It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose,'' he said.

Scalia said the court's opinion should not cast doubt on longstanding concealed weapons prohibitions or bans on possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in schools or government buildings. Source

Read more:

Court: A constitutional right to a gun

Possible impact of Heller on Chicago handgun ban

Obama Camp Disavows Last Year's 'Inartful' Statement on D.C. Gun Law

D.C. Attorney General: All Guns Must Be Registered

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2 comments:

Hillbilly said...

Mr. Obama wants a do-over. Is it too late?

Syd said...

Yes, it's too damned late. I could vote for him if he weren't such a gun-grabber, but nobody can run away from their own history. He was on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation for three years. Sorry, but I just can't forgive that.

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