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June 28, 2010 08:23 PM UTC

" Fundamental right to bear arms"

  • 21 Comments
  • by: NEWSMAN

Second Amendment means what it says !

Supreme Court rules that all Americans have fundamental right to bear arms


By Robert Barnes

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, June 28, 2010; 1:11 PM

The Supreme Court ruled for the first time Monday that the Second Amendment provides all Americans a fundamental right to bear arms, a long-sought victory for gun rights advocates who have chafed at federal, state and local efforts to restrict gun ownership.

The court was considering a restrictive handgun law in Chicago and one of its suburbs that was similar to the District law that it ruled against in 2008. The 5 to 4 decision does not strike any other gun control measures currently in place, but it provides a legal basis for challenges across the country where gun owners think that government has been too restrictive.

“It is clear that the Framers . . . counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the conservatives on the court.

The victory might be more symbolic than substantive, at least initially. Few cities have laws as restrictive as those in Chicago and Washington.

Alito said government can restrict gun ownership in certain instances but did not elaborate on what those would be. That will be determined in future litigation.

Alito said the court had made clear in its 2008 decision that it was not casting doubt on such long-standing measures as keeping felons and the mentally ill from possessing guns or keeping guns out of “sensitive places” such as schools and government buildings.

“We repeat those assurances here,” Alito wrote. “Despite municipal respondents’ doomsday proclamations, [the decision] does not imperil every law regulating firearms.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/…    

Comments

21 thoughts on “” Fundamental right to bear arms”

  1. That is what many conservatives will be saying to those that have disagreed with them about the meaning of the second amendment.

    Some of these arguments have been going on for the last 20 years, and likely won’t end just because the SCOTUS has ruled 5-4.

    Next….  Challenges to state and local laws that ban or restrict handguns.

    The outcome of those challenges will shape the public safety and constitutional landscape for the next several decades.  

    Let the deliberations begin.

    1. It was a Court of conservatives that decided it, so saying that the Court agrees with what conservatives have been saying for all these years is almost redundant.

      But on this one I have to agree – the 2nd Amendment says what it says.

      Now where’s my bazooka?

      1. We have a candidate for Sheriff here in El Paso county that has repeatedly stated that the only concealed carry permit you need is a copy of the second amendment, and as Sheriff that is what he will enforce.

        So if you can get it under your “Save the Planet” t-shirt, you can carry your bazooka here.

        1. I have to disagree with the Sheriff, though.

          Today’s ruling explicitly allows jurisdictions to make laws regulating gun use (and ownership), so long as they are reasonable and fair.  A Sheriff failing to enforce local and state law is not doing his sworn duty.

          1. The Sheriff candidate in question is currently a Chief of Police in a local municipality.

            He never said you could carry a bazooka (that was my exaggeration in response to yours.)

            He just says he doesn’t think you need a concealed carry permit to carry a handgun concealed if you otherwise qualify to carry a handgun unconcealed.

            I think the Constitution may agree with him.  OR this may be one of the exceptions the Justices spoke of.  We will see.

    2. Don’t get your hopes too high for challenges to other state/local gun laws, Alito says:

      The victory might be more symbolic than substantive, at least initially. Few cities have laws as restrictive as those in Chicago and Washington.

      and

      Alito said the court had made clear in its 2008 decision that it was not casting doubt on such long-standing measures as keeping felons and the mentally ill from possessing guns or keeping guns out of “sensitive places” such as schools and government buildings. “We repeat those assurances here,” Alito wrote.

      Read between the lines — Alito was basically telling folks like you, don’t start getting lawsuit-happy and challenging every gun law, because you won’t keep all 5 Justices in the Heller and McDonald majorities for a challenge to the more typical, moderate gun control laws that most places have. Specifically, Alito and Thomas and several others probably would be happy to strike more gun laws — but they’re smart guys, and they know there’s too great a chance they’d lose Kennedy’s vote if someone were to challenge a “keep your guns locked” type of law like Denver’s

    1. …”Anyone who thought the Court might have ruled  differently was not engaged with reality…”

      20 years ago this headline would have been a MAJOR shock to the conventional wisdom.

      From the early 1970’s to the end of the 20th century, gun bans and new restrictions appeared regularly.  

      But the tide has turned so much, that this announcement does not even warrant a front page promotion on this blog.  

      The left has conceded the obvious, that the second amendment applies to you and me, and  ..”the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…” means what it says.

      The debate has been won, and the matter settled. (Stare decisis)

      It was not always so.

      1. Wrong.  Being ruled against by the most anti-populist SCoUS in many generations does not mean conceeding anything.  

        The left has conceded the obvious, that the second amendment applies to you and me, and  ..”the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…”

  2. was warning this morning that now felons can buy guns and we might be able to buy tanks (You can’t make this stuff up.)

    but look what Alito says”

    Alito said the court had made clear in its 2008 decision that it was not casting doubt on such long-standing measures as keeping felons and the mentally ill from possessing guns or keeping guns out of “sensitive places” such as schools and government buildings.

    Nice post, Newsman.  Haven’t seen you on the board for a while, welcome back.  

    1. I try to only speak when I have something to say. I blog only occasionally.

      This interests me for many reasons. Mostly because it agrees almost exactly with my long held personal beliefs about the meaning and reach of our Bill of Rights.

      1. imply a personal right — as the Colorado version explicitly does.  Obviously, that right isn’t absolute and can be “well regulated” — i.e., sure you can deny guns to felons, just as some states deny them the right to vote.  But you should be willing to withstand strict scrutiny when regulating any constitionally enumerated right, including that of gun ownership.

        1. was not always the majority opinion. It is today by a one vote margin.  Which is why I choose my Presidential candidates with an eye to what kind of person they may appoint to the high court.

          If you believe in a personal right, you will be voting more conservatively than most of the Dems on this thread.

        2. The argument that the Second Amendment did not protect a personal right never made sense to me.  Heller and McDonald feel correct to me; I’ll see if further reading of them alter my opinion.  

          The fact that a personal right to firearm ownership exists does not, as even Alito reaffirms, mean the right is absolute and that at least some regulation of the right may occur.

  3. we get to keep our guns, a genuinely significant modern day right in what instance exactly, I mean beyond those countless times in the twentieth and twenty-first century when we armed citizens kept those foreign invaders at bay?

    The Second Amendment:

    1. Supplies criminals with the freedom to carry deadly force.

    2. Makes it possible for law abiding people to go into fields and shoot cans.

    Should the U.S. Marines decide to turn on Colorado, no amount of household weapons would stop them.

    Why can we not move on from this 19th century fantasy debate?

    1. A lot of guns do a lot of damage – even to Marines.  For what it’s worth.

      And, frankly, it doesn’t matter what we think of the archaic nature of the 2nd Amendment to citizen militias or as a guarantee against the future tyranny of our government – the 2nd Amendment is an Amendment to our U.S. Constitution, and if we want it changed, then we’re going to have to go through the process of re-amending the Constitution.  Arguing otherwise shows as little respect for our government as any oppression ever done by the Radical Right.

  4. Today’s decision has less to do with the 2nd amendment than it does with the 14th.

    The Heller case that decided the DC law was about the 2nd, this was about whether states had a right to make laws that limit rights that are based on the Federal Constitution.

    Generally speaking, until the civil war the federal constitution limited federal law and the state constitutions limited the several states’ laws: hence slavery could be legal one place and illegal another.

    After the 14th amendment the question has always been– what are the rights of states between the tension between the 10th and the 14th amendment.

    Today the supreme court decided the 14th is more powerful than the 10th.  Though that is a reading conservatives are unlikely to like.  

    1. I wrote in CoalCreekWildfire’s diary on the ruling that I think today’s decision is a natural extension of Heller – that by ruling the 2nd Amendment was an individual right and not a state right (organized militia), a ruling on 14th Amendment grounds was not unexpected.

      If your reading (and mine, to large extent) is right, then indeed conservatives may be grumbling in the near future as the Court is presented with basic civil rights issues like gay marriage, with cites to this case as justification to extend those rights nationally.  Of course, I’m not sure this Court will go down in history for its consistent decisions…

      1. I am still reading through the decision and I am not as familiar with the Slaughterhouse cases as I should be, but I think this is an important case on gun rights and a HUGE case on everything else if the law is consistently applied.

        But like you, I am not holding my breath.

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