Steve G.

US Supreme Court upholds right to possess and carry a gun

In Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Law, Libertarian, Second Amendment on June 26, 2008 at 8:13 pm

From ScotusBlog:

The opinion can be downloaded here. Relevant quotes from the majority opinion can be found here, and a replay of our LiveBlog can be found here. Tom’s commentary is here.

Answering a 217-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. Although times have changed since 1791, Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority, “it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

Examining the words of the Amendment, the Court concluded “we find they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weaons in case of confrontation” — in other words, for self-defense. “The inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right,” it added.

The individual right interpretation, the Court said, “is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment,” going back to 17th Century England, as well as by gun rights laws in the states before and immediately after the Amendment was put into the U.S. Constitution.

What Congress did in drafting the Amendment, the Court said, was “to codify a pre-existing right, rather than to fashion a new one.”

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

Read the rest of this article on ScotusBlog.

  1. Technically, the Supreme Court upheld the right of District of Columbia residents to have a handgun in their home. No carrying, and no decision if the Second Amendment applies to state government action.

    See here for more analysis and a link to the actual decision.

  2. See http://muddythoughts.blogspot.com/2008/06/its-heller-va-ruling-and-its-not-what.html for my own analysis of the holdings.

    Short form, we got screwed again!

    BTW, Mr. X, Holding 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.”

    That’s keeping (possessing) and using (bearing) arms, so you may want to revisit your analysis.

  3. Not really.

    Section 1 of the Holdings does cover both keeping and bearing arms.

    But Section 2 does a Kelo on “shall not be infringed”.

    We got screwed. Again.

    See http://muddythoughts.blogspot.com/2008/06/its-heller-va-ruling-and-its-not-what.html

  4. Not really.

    Section 1 of the Holdings does cover both keeping and bearing arms.

    But Section 2 does a Kelo on “shall not be infringed”.

    We got screwed. Again.

    See http://muddythoughts.blogspot.com/.

  5. Not really.

    Section 1 of the Holdings does cover both keeping and bearing arms.

    But Section 2 does a Kelo on “shall not be infringed”.

    We got screwed. Again.

    See http://muddy thoughts. blogspot.com/2008/06/its-heller-va-ruling-and-its-not-what.html

  6. Sorry, double posted again, connection was flaky!

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