Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Second Amendment - Rights (not privileges)

On June 26, 2008, the US Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a right to own firearms for self defense and hunting. It was the first major Supreme Court pronouncement on the right of citizens to own firearms in US history. 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 June 26 ruling (5-4) struck down the District of Columbia's 32 year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with firearms rights under the Second Amendment.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia (a personal hero of mine) said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by the historical narrative both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted. The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self defense in the home," Scalia wrote. The court also struck down Washington DC's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled.


Opus #6 said...

5-4 is a narrow margin. We need to pray for their health.

LL said...

In favor:
Chief Justice Roberts, Justices Scalia, Alito, Kennedy and Thomas

Justices Ginsburg, Souter, Breyer and Stevens

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