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Supreme Court Rules on Guns

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Jun 26, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    Breaking News...

    Supremes Overrules DC law

    Court rules in favor of Second Amendment gun right

    WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court says Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

    The court's 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

    The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

    Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for four colleagues, said the Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."

    In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

    He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

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    Heller quotes from the majority

    Thursday, June 26th, 2008 10:27 am | Tom Goldstein |

    Quotes from the opinion:

    “Logic demands that there be a link between the stated purpose and the command.”

    “We start therefore with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.”

    “the most natural reading of ‘keep Arms’ in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.”

    “The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity.”

    “Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”

    “Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose.”

    “The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting.”

    “It was plainly the understanding in the post-Civil War Congress that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to use arms for self-defense.”

    “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

    “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms

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    Court rules in favor of Second Amendment gun right

    By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history

    The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

    The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

    Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for four colleagues, said the Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."

    In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

    He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

    Joining Scalia were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The other dissenters were Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.

    The capital's gun law was among the nation's strictest.

    Dick Anthony Heller, 66, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection in the same Capitol Hill neighborhood as the court.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Heller's favor and struck down Washington's handgun ban, saying the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to own guns and that a total prohibition on handguns is not compatible with that right.

    The issue caused a split within the Bush administration. Vice President Dick Cheney supported the appeals court ruling, but others in the administration feared it could lead to the undoing of other gun regulations, including a federal law restricting sales of machine guns. Other laws keep felons from buying guns and provide for an instant background check.

    Scalia said nothing in Thursday's ruling should "cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."

    The law adopted by Washington's city council in 1976 bars residents from owning handguns unless they had one before the law took effect. Shotguns and rifles may be kept in homes, if they are registered, kept unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.

    Opponents of the law have said it prevents residents from defending themselves. The Washington government says no one would be prosecuted for a gun law violation in cases of self-defense.
     
  2. Sgt. Mike

    Sgt. Mike TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    301
    Joe,

    You were right on the money. What's next? Michael
     
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