Blacknell.net

Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

You Have An Individual Right to Bear Arms in the United States

So says the U.S. Supreme Court, 5-4.

Brace yourselves.

Majority opinion and dissent here. (PDF)

Held:
1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Pp. 2–53.
(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but
does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative
clause.

[ . . . ]

2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.
It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any
manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed
weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment
or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not 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. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those
“in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition
of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
Pp. 54–56.

And there go the triggerlock laws:

Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the
home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible
for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and
is hence unconstitutional.

Mayor Fenty says his office “has a Plan B.”  Umkay.  It’ll be interesting.

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3 Comments

  1. MB

    Thinking about this – now that we’ve removed any possibility of a legal basis for confiscation of guns (the NRAs favorite nuclear bugaboo), I wonder whether registration seems more reasonable. It strikes me that it wouldn’t be at all inconsistent with the idea that self-defense is the core basis of the 2nd Amendment.

  2. Catzmaw

    Not an unexpected result, but hardly the end of the world. Right now the NRA is celebrating, but I have to agree with MB. All of a sudden the terrible bogeyman of the NRA – the slippery slope from registration to “someday they’ll take all our guns” has been banished. The battle now shifts to the reasonable and permissible limitations on ownership and carrying of guns. It shouldn’t take too long for the Brady campaign to reorient itself and start focusing on such issues.

  3. selila

    Considering the NRA is a fine academic exercise, but frankly, the idea of more gun deaths is what is bothering me more today, be they accidents in the home, or as a result of a gun stolen and turning up on the street.

    Further, this decision validates the false fear many Americans have that they are minutes from becoming victims of a home invasion.

    Expect many more Keith Washington incidents.

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