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Guns and Supreme Court: Is Second Amendment a Privilege, Not a Right?

May 13, 2014 in Economics

By Trevor Burrus

Trevor Burrus

The Supreme Court unwisely declined to review Drake v. Jerejian, last week, a case that challenged New Jersey’s discretionary system of concealed-carry permitting.

By denying review, the Court failed to resolve a nationwide split about the meaning of the Second Amendment.

Eventually, the Court will have to face the issue and decide if it was serious when it held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.

Both Heller and McDonald made it clear that the government cannot ban or effectively ban guns, but lower courts are still struggling to define what restrictions are allowed under those rulings.

In 2008, in the landmark case of D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Eventually, the Court will have decide if it was serious when it held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.”

Later, in 2010’s McDonald v. Chicago, the Court held that the Second Amendment protects citizens from not just federal prohibitions, as Heller said, but also from state and municipal prohibitions.

Since that time, the Court has not heard another Second Amendment case. Both Hellerand McDonald made it clear that the government cannot ban or effectively ban guns, but lower courts are still struggling to define what restrictions are allowed under those rulings. The Supreme Court needs to clear up the uncertainty.

Gun controllers in cities and states across the country are taking advantage of that uncertainty to test the limits of gun control. After McDonald struck down Chicago’s de facto gun ban, the city created a restrictive permit system requiring one hour of range training. But the city also banned gun ranges. The Seventh Circuit struck down the ban on ranges.

More recently, a judge struck down Chicago’s ban on virtually all sales and transfers within the city because the Second Amendment right “must also include the right toacquire a firearm.”

The current situation is similar to the politics of abortion. Roe ruled that acomplete prohibition on abortion is unconstitutional while allowing certain restrictions, and Heller ruled similarly on the Second Amendment. After Roe, Prolifer supporters immediately began enacting barriers to abortion, seeing what would stick. Subsequent guidance from the Court, however, cleared up the constitutional rules surrounding abortion.

The Second Amendment is sorely in need of similar guidance from the Court. Drake gave them that opportunity.

In 2012, in …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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