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DC v. Heller
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oral arguments were made today in DC v. Heller, the District of Columbia's gun ban case, in which the appellate court held that the 2nd Amendment protects and individual right to bear arms. SCOTUSblog has full coverage of the oral arguments.

In addition, the Court's transcript of the arguments can be found here (PDF).

It looks, based on the oral arguments, that the individual rights view will be held by Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy, and perhaps Breyer, depending on the actual opinion, and the standard of scrutiny the Court devises for local gun regulation.
 
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It’s about time. I have an on going argument with a colleague about this issue, and he has agreed that if the court rules that it is an individual right, he’ll drop his claim it’s only state militias. It does appear likely the court will rule that way, though obviously they will allow regulation. But the Court has ducked these cases for too long.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The last case, Miller (1940), cited Aymette, a Tenn state case that held that it was an individual right.

Aymette presents an argument that the right to bear arms is an individual right, but that only military arms or suitable replacements are protected. Weapons only useful for brawls are not protected. In Miller, the weapon was a short barreled shotgun, which may or may not have been suitable for militia duty, at least in the courts view.

However, there are serious flaws with Miller. For one thing, Aymette was a Tennasee case based upon the very odd wording (or at least different than the federal version) of the Tenn version of the 2nd. But however you cut it, even in Miller it was viewed as an individual right.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I noticed that much of the media coverage only refers to the handgun portion of the DC law. It is my understanding that other weapons (i.e. rifles, etc.) must be kept in a non-functioning form.

If it is a given that there is an individual right to firearms, keeping the non-functioning does make a whole lot of sense. Additionally, given the reference to the militia in the amendment, shouldn’t individuals have access to the modern weapons of war, not merely handguns or bolt-action rifles ?

It’s bit hard to quickly scale up one’s experience from a non-functioning bolt-action rifle to semi-automatic of automatic weapon without a heavy risk of peril in the heat of battle.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
If it is a given that there is an individual right to firearms, keeping the non-functioning does make a whole lot of sense. Additionally, given the reference to the militia in the amendment, shouldn’t individuals have access to the modern weapons of war, not merely handguns or bolt-action rifles ?
The justices dealt with these issues. There were questions asked about trigger locks, etc., how long it takes to ready a firearm, etc., and also about full auto weapons.

The anti argument seems to have been (infering from questions, etc.):

1) We are risking removing bans on machine guns (oh no!).

2) Trigger locks can be quickly removed, so the residents of DC are fine with their shotguns and hunting rifles.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Anti gun argument: “Trigger locks can be quickly removed, so the residents of DC are fine with their shotguns and hunting rifles.” ( no handguns allowed, so self defense is via shotgun or long gun by defination)

Well I have had experience with that one time. My 9mm semi had a trigger lock. There was a laud noise which sounded like someone what trying to kick in my front door. In the dark I tried to find my keys and unlock the lock. I did not succeed until some time after I had turned on the bedroom light. Fortunately it was a car accident, not a home invader. I no longer have trigger locks on my firearm for home defense. I have a gun safe for the others.

My state mandates the locks when there are children in the household; I had always trained my children in firearms safety, had loaded weapons in my bedroom before the new law enacted when my youngest was a teenager and never, with 4 children, had ever had a problem with home gun safety. But because of careless and me first parenting, one size must fit all, it seems.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://

 
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