Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #21
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    Apr 2007
    Pittston, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: SCotUS Rules: 2nd Amendment Secures An Individual Right

    Wilkes barre times leader.

    June 27
    Local gun owners cheer court ruling

    By Tom Venesky
    Sports Reporter

    Gun owner Jerry Schutz was thrilled with Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the right to own firearms under the Second Amendment.

    But he wasn’t surprised.

    After all, Schutz reasoned, the amendment is worded so conclusively that it can’t be misinterpreted.

    “There was never a doubt in my mind that this is the ruling they would hand down,” he said.

    Schutz is president of the Luzerne Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and a lifetime National Rifle Association member. He said the ruling – the first time the court had conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment -- sends a simple but important message to gun owners.

    The high court’s 5-4 ruling struck down a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., reaffirming Americans’ right to keep guns at home for self-defense.

    “It tells them they have the right to own a gun for self-defense,” Schutz said. “It’s stated in the amendment in plain English. It’s an individual right, and we’ve been advocating that all along.”

    Carl Mozeleski, chairman of the Northeast PA Friends of NRA, had a similar reaction.

    He said the ruling will clear up questions pertaining to how the amendment should be interpreted and put the onus on areas with restrictive gun laws.

    “What’s going to happen now is every state and municipality is going to have to look at their gun laws,” Mozeleski said.

    Mountain Top resident Don Pry, who said he has owned guns most of his life, said he was relieved by the ruling because it will make it nearly impossible to challenge the amendment in the future.

    Locally, Pry said, the issue is important to gun owners and hunters who should all benefit from the interpretation.

    “The Supreme Court is as high as you can go, so it’s going to be very tough to challenge now,” Pry said. “The amendment is written very plain and simple, so I don’t see how anybody can interpret any other way.”

    Mozeleski agreed with Pry and added the only surprise for him was that four Supreme Court justices went against the ruling.

    “It was a little scary that only one vote decided this,” he said.
    Candidates agree

    All four candidates for the two congressional seats in the region favored Thursday’s Second Amendment ruling.

    U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke - “For the first time in history, the Supreme Court has finally acknowledged a freedom which many of us have always known – that our Constitution protects the right for Americans to bear arms. I joined many of my colleagues in expressing this opinion to the Court. Protecting one’s individual liberty is a fundamental American right, as the Supreme Court today recognized.”

    Republican congressional candidate Lou Barletta – “It is a great day for the Second Amendment. It is a great day for Americans. I believe this decision was proper.”

    U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-Dimock Township - “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for responsible gun owners everywhere. The Second Amendment applies equally to us all. The right to bear arms is paramount, and no local, state or federal government should be able to compromise that right.”

    Republican congressional candidate Chris Hackett – “This ruling protects the individual freedoms guaranteed in the Second Amendment, which for 32 years has been denied to Washington, D.C., residents. The Court has kept laws intact that are meant to protect citizens from unnecessary gun violence, but also guaranteed the individual rights that are explicitly written in our Constitution."
    troll Free. It's all in your mind.

  2. #22
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    Apr 2007
    Pittston, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: SCotUS Rules: 2nd Amendment Secures An Individual Right

    Wilkes barre citizens voice.
    Gun ban ruling has Chicago thinking it's next

    Associated Press Writer

    CHICAGO (AP) -- As news spread of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the handgun ban in Washington, D.C., one thing was clear in Chicago: The city's own ban now faces a challenge as serious as any in its 26-year history.

    From a visibly angry Mayor Richard Daley to a federal lawsuit filed within hours that challenges Chicago's ban as unconstitutional, there was no mistaking that the high court's opinion Thursday puts the city's law squarely in the middle of a long legal fight.

    While swift, the lawsuit wasn't a surprise given that Justice Stephen Breyer, in his dissenting opinion, noted "Chicago has a law very similar to the District's."

    "In the sense the Supreme Court has found this is an individual right to bear arms, we recognize (the ruling) is a significant threat," said Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city's law department. "It gives people an opening to challenge the ordinance in a way it hasn't been challenged in many years."

    Hoyle said the high court's ruling that Americans can keep guns at home for self-defense does not invalidate Chicago's law, and attorneys are confident they can successfully fight any challenge to the 1982 ordinance that makes it illegal to possess or sell handguns in the city.

    "We have very strong legal arguments to make at every level of the courts," she said, pointing out that the law establishes reasonable restrictions for densely populated urban areas.

    Still, Hoyle fully expects legal challenges.

    In fact, even as Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, was saying his organization may give Chicago and other Illinois municipalities time to change their laws, his group and others were filing a lawsuit against the city and Daley.

    "By banning handguns, Defendants currently maintain and actively enforce a set of laws, customs, practices, and policies under color of state law which deprives individuals ... of their right to keep and bear arms," reads the lawsuit filed by the ISRA, the Second Amendment Foundation and four individuals.

    The National Rifle Association planned to file a similar complaint against San Francisco, which bars people from carrying handguns on county property, including in parks, schools and community centers.

    The quick action is welcome news to gun enthusiasts, who say such laws have chipped away at their rights.

    "The justices just ruled today to uphold the Constitution," said Deb Gales, who owns Deb's Gun Range in Hammond, Ind., just across the state line from Chicago. "We all know that these anti-gun laws have been passed to the detriment of law-abiding citizens."

    But all the talk about greater freedoms for gun owners doesn't begin to explain what the ruling means in Chicago, which has seen a recent spate of gun violence.

    Nine people were killed in 36 shootings during one weekend this spring. The next week, five people were found shot to death inside a South Side home.

    Chicago Public Schools officials say 27 students have been killed by gunfire since September.

    Pamela Bosley lost her 18-year-old son two years ago, when a bullet struck him as he helped a fellow student unload instruments outside a South Side Church.

    "If you didn't have the guns, we'd still have our children," she said.

    Annette Nance-Holt, whose 16-year-old son was killed on a city bus last spring when someone sprayed bullets inside it, was livid with the court's decision.

    "I'm still trying to figure out who we are more in love with, our children or our guns," she said. "It's crazy. I'm safer being a deer knowing people are hunting you."

    Daley was also troubled by the ruling.

    He predicted more violence and higher taxes to pay for extra police if his city's gun restrictions are lost.

    "It's a very frightening decision," said the mayor, who routinely speaks out against guns, as he did after the fatal mass shootings at Northern Illinois University and a suburban women's clothing store. "We believe every mayor will be outraged by this."

    District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty responded with a plan to require residents of the nation's capital to register their handguns. "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence," Fenty said.

    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the ruling "just flies in the face of reality. You just wish the Supreme Court could spend a week in public housing and then come out with this decision. It's very easy and comfortable to stand there with security guards and metal detectors and make these decisions."

    Back in Chicago, Nance-Holt agreed.

    "They live in safe neighborhoods," she said. "They don't have this. Until it's their family member, they're going to keep voting that way."


    Associated Press writers Michael Tarm, Ashley M. Heher, Jenny Song and Carla K. Johnson in Chicago, Daniel J. Yovich in Hammond, Ind., Tracie Cone in San Francisco, and Stephen Manning, Brian Westley and Mark Sherman in Washington contributed to this report.

    © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.
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    troll Free. It's all in your mind.

  3. #23
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    May 2008
    N/A, Pennsylvania
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    Default DOJ Press Release about DC V HELLER

    Got this by email today, its the Department of Justice Spokespersons Comments on DC V Heller

    Thursday, June 26, 2008
    (202) 514-2007
    TDD (202) 514-1888

    Statement of Brian Roehrkasse, Director of Public Affairs, on Reaction to the Supreme Court's Decision in District of Columbia V. Heller
    "The Department is pleased with the Court’s ruling recognizing that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms, including for private purposes unrelated to militia operations. The Court’s ruling is in accordance with the text of the Second Amendment, historical practice, and the Attorney General's 2001 guidance on the scope of the Second Amendment. The Department is also pleased that the Court recognized that, like other constitutional rights, that individual right is ‘not unlimited.’ Thus, the Court appropriately made clear that nothing in today’s ruling casts doubt on the constitutionality of ‘longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.’ In addition, the Court appropriately recognized that the ‘carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons,’ such as machine guns, is not protected by the Amendment. The Justice Department is studying the decision but, as was made clear in its 2001 guidance recognizing that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, the Department ‘will continue to defend vigorously the constitutionality, under the Second Amendment, of all existing federal firearms laws.’"

    Sector 4

  4. #24
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    Apr 2007
    south western PA, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: SCotUS Rules: 2nd Amendment Secures An Individual Right

    AG propaganda
    June 26, 2008

    Ladd Everitt
    (202) 408-0061, x. 103


    Statement of Josh Horwitz, Executive Director, Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

    Washington, D.C. - Today, in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the United States Supreme Court departed from over 100 years of earlier judicial decisions and held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms for self-defense purposes unconnected with service in a militia. Despite the sweeping tone of the holding, the majority opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia is relatively narrow in scope, and leaves more questions open than it answers.

    Struck down in the case were the District of Columbia’s ban on handgun possession in the home and its law requiring that trigger locks be affixed to firearms in the home. The majority opinion refused to announce any test or level of scrutiny for its decision invalidating the laws. The Court determined instead that the District’s handgun ban was an absolute ban on home possession of an entire class of weapons that Americans “overwhelmingly choose for lawful self-defense” (i.e., handguns) and therefore it failed any constitutional test. The Court also struck down D.C.’s trigger lock requirement because the law did not contain an explicit exception for removal of a trigger lock for lawful self-defense use in the home.

    By deliberately omitting what test the Court is using to decide that the challenged laws unreasonably burden this newly proclaimed individual right to possess firearms, the Court leaves legislators and lower courts adrift at a time when public health data clearly shows the harm associated with handguns far outweighs any benefit from their use for lawful self defense. We hope and predict that future decisions attempting to apply Heller will reveal its shortcomings, and that the Court will soon have an opportunity to reconsider whether an Amendment the Court says was intended to protect “the people” should be interpreted in a context that gives weight to public health and safety.

    Because the District of Columbia is not a state, the Court did not address whether its holding is “incorporated” by the 14th Amendment. However, in a footnote, the Court criticized earlier cases limiting the Second Amendment to acts of Congress.

    The majority stressed that the ruling leaves intact certain traditional areas of firearm regulation, such as prohibitions on possession by certain classes of individuals, bans on guns in government buildings and schools, and regulations of firearms sales—but failed to explain why these areas of regulation do not implicate the “individual right” identified by the Court. The decision does not clearly foreclose firearms licensing requirements, provided they are not vulnerable to arbitrary and capricious enforcement.

    Now that the Court has determined the Second Amendment protects an individual right and made it clear that right is not absolute, the single biggest excuse for not passing tough gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous individuals is gone. While we are disappointed with the Court’s decision, we hope legislators will now use a broad array of public policy options that are clearly constitutional to address the epidemic of gun violence that continues in our country.

    For more information about the Heller case, please visit the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence's webpage on the topic.

    The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. For more information about the Ed Fund, visit

    To prevent mailbox filters from deleting mailings from Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, add to your address book.

  5. #25
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    Apr 2007
    Detroit (but Pittsburgh is always home), Michigan
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    Default Re: SCotUS Rules: 2nd Amendment Secures An Individual Right

    Randy Barnett, a legal scholar that I admire, has a commentary on the Heller decision in the Wall Street Journal today:

    News Flash: The Constitution Means What It Says

    June 27, 2008; Page A13

    Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion in yesterday's Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller is historic in its implications and exemplary in its reasoning.

    A federal ban on an entire class of guns in ordinary use for self-defense – such as the handgun ban adopted by the District of Columbia – is now off the table. Every gun controller's fondest desire has become a constitutional pipe dream.

    Two important practical issues remain. First, will this ruling also apply to states and municipalities? That will depend on whether the Supreme Court decides to "incorporate" the right to keep and bear arms into the 14th Amendment. But in the middle of his opinion Justice Scalia acknowledges that the 39th Congress that enacted the 14th Amendment did so, in part, to protect the individual right to arms of freedmen and Southern Republicans so they might defend themselves from violence.

    My prediction: This ruling will eventually be extended to the states.

    Second, how will the court deal with firearms regulations that fall short of a ban? The majority opinion strongly suggests that such regulations must now be subjected to meaningful judicial scrutiny. The exact nature of this scrutiny is not clear, but Justice Scalia explicitly rejects the extremely deferential "rationality" review advocated by Justice Stephen Breyer.
    Most likely, gun laws will receive the same sort of judicial scrutiny that is now used to evaluate "time, place and manner" regulations of speech and assembly. Such regulations of First Amendment freedoms are today upheld if they are narrowly tailored to achieve a truly important government purpose, but not if they are really a pretext for undermining protected liberties.

    My prediction? Because gun-rights groups like the NRA have so successfully prevented enactment of unreasonable gun laws, most existing gun regulations falling short of a ban will eventually be upheld. But more extreme or merely symbolic laws that are sometimes proposed – whose aim is to impose an "undue burden" by raising the cost of gun production, ownership and sale – would likely be found unconstitutional. All gun regulations – for example, safe storage laws and licensing – will have to be shown to be consistent with an effective right of self-defense by law-abiding citizens.

    Justice Scalia's opinion is exemplary for the way it was reasoned. It will be studied by law professors and students for years to come. It is the clearest, most careful interpretation of the meaning of the Constitution ever to be adopted by a majority of the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia begins with the text, and carefully parses the grammatical relationship of the "operative clause" identifying "the right to keep and bear arms" to the "prefatory clause" about the importance of a "well-regulated militia." Only then does he consider the extensive evidence of original meaning that has been uncovered by scholars over the past 20 years – evidence that was presented to the Court in numerous "friends of the court" briefs.
    Justice Scalia's opinion is the finest example of what is now called "original public meaning" jurisprudence ever adopted by the Supreme Court. This approach stands in sharp contrast to Justice John Paul Stevens's dissenting opinion that largely focused on "original intent" – the method that many historians employ to explain away the text of the Second Amendment by placing its words in what they call a "larger context." Although original-intent jurisprudence was discredited years ago among constitutional law professors, that has not stopped nonoriginalists from using "original intent" – or the original principles "underlying" the text – to negate its original public meaning.

    Of course, the originalism of both Justices Scalia's and Stevens's opinions are in stark contrast with Justice Breyer's dissenting opinion, in which he advocates balancing an enumerated constitutional right against what some consider a pressing need to prohibit its exercise. Guess which wins out in the balancing? As Justice Scalia notes, this is not how we normally protect individual rights, and was certainly not how Justice Breyer protected the individual right of habeas corpus in the military tribunals case decided just two weeks ago.

    So what larger lessons does Heller teach? First, the differing methods of interpretation employed by the majority and the dissent demonstrate why appointments to the Supreme Court are so important. In the future, we should be vetting Supreme Court nominees to see if they understand how Justice Scalia reasoned in Heller and if they are committed to doing the same.

    We should also seek to get a majority of the Supreme Court to reconsider its previous decisions or "precedents" that are inconsistent with the original public meaning of the text. This shows why elections matter – especially presidential elections – and why we should vet our politicians to see if they appreciate how the Constitution ought to be interpreted.

    Good legal scholarship was absolutely crucial to this outcome. No justice is capable of producing the historical research and analysis upon which Justice Scalia relied. Brilliant as it was in its execution, his opinion rested on the work of many scholars of the Second Amendment, as I am sure he would be the first to acknowledge. (Disclosure: I joined a brief by Academics for the Second Amendment supporting the individual rights interpretation; one of my articles was cited by Justice Scalia and another by Justice Breyer in his dissent.)

    Due to the political orthodoxy among most constitutional law professors, some of the most important and earliest of this scholarship was produced by nonacademics like Don Kates, Stephen Halbrook, David Kopel, Clayton Cramer and others. Believe it or not, Heller was a case of nearly first impression, uninhibited by any prior decisions misinterpreting the Second Amendment.

    Last but not least, tribute must be paid to the plaintiffs – Shelly Parker, Dick Anthony Heller, Tom Palmer, Gillian St. Lawrence, Tracey Ambeau, and George Lyon – who went where the National Rifle Association feared to tread, and to their lawyers Robert Levy, Clark Neily, and lead counsel Alan Gura. I was privileged to witness Mr. Gura argue the case – his first Supreme Court argument ever – and he was outstanding. Heller provides yet another reminder of the crucial role that private lawyers play in the preservation of our liberties.

    Mr. Barnett, a professor at Georgetown Law, is the author of "Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty" (Princeton, 2004).

  6. #26
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    Jun 2006
    Franklin Township, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: SCotUS Rules: 2nd Amendment Secures An Individual Right

    a "quote" in the 6/27 email digest:

    “Today, President Bush’s radical Supreme Court justices put rigid ideology ahead of the safety of communities in New Jersey and across the country. This decision illustrates why I have strongly opposed extremist judicial nominees and will continue to do so in the future.”
    —Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    FOAC * GOA * SAF * NRA Life * "Gunservatively" on Gab

  7. #27
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    Apr 2007
    south western PA, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: SCotUS Rules: 2nd Amendment Secures An Individual Right

    Got this email from Kim Stolfer who helped work on one of the briefs for the Heller case and Kim forward the following email On Behalf Of Firearms Coalition.

    This is pretty much the best synopsis of this decision thus far. The court
    "affirmed" but does specifically reject two standards proposed by the
    dissent that would make the right effectively meaningless. The majority
    rejected a "interests balancing test" and a "rational basis test." These
    two paper-thin standards of review would have made the decision meaningless,
    and something stricter will be used to review these cases in the future.
    This is very good news, because just about any remaining sort of standard of
    review is going to involve requiring the government to prove the proposed
    laws actually accomplish something.

    All in all it is just about what we could have hoped for considering the
    parameters of the case.

    Semper Fi!

    Kim Stolfer

    (412) 221-3346, Home Phone

    (412) 257-1099, Home Fax

    (412) 352-5018, Cell
    On Behalf Of Firearms Coalition
    Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:44 PM

    Supreme Court Victory -ish.

    We won! Mostly.

    The Supreme Court concluded today that the Second Amendment does
    indeed protect an individual right to arms and that the DC handgun ban and
    requirement that all guns be rendered inoperable within the home, were
    violations of that protection and must be changed. Specifically, the Court
    ordered that the District of Columbia must allow Richard Heller to register
    a handgun and be issued a permit to carry it about within the confines of
    his home in a functional condition for purposes of self-defense.

    The Court did not delve deeply into what restrictions would or would
    not be acceptable under the Second Amendment though their order that Heller
    be allowed to register a handgun and be issued a permit clearly suggest that
    they consider such registration and permitting acceptable limitations.

    In his majority opinion, Justice Scalia also stated that prohibiting
    felons and mental incompetents from firearms was clearly constitutional and
    repeated the thoroughly specious argument that he expressed during aural
    arguments to the effect that weapons which are not, "in common use," are not
    included within the Second Amendment's guarantees. He specifically gave the
    example of M-16 rifles being common to military use, but uncommon to
    civilian possession - completely ignoring the fact that the only reason
    M-16's are not commonly possessed is that their sale to private citizens was
    extremely complicated and cost prohibitive for the first twenty years of
    that arm's existence and has been completely banned for the past twenty two

    No doubt Scalia and his co-signers included this information - which
    has absolutely no bearing on the case at hand - to assuage the fears of the
    Solicitor General and others who have suggested that an "individual right"
    decision would open a floodgate of assaults on existing federal laws
    restricting machineguns and "destructive devices." Regardless of the motive
    for the position, it is as totally nonsensical as the ridiculous suggestions
    put forward in the two minority opinions.

    The length to which the dissenting Justices are willing to twist
    history and contort language in attempts to justify their outrageous
    positions is nothing less than staggering. The intellectual gymnastics
    engaged in by the Justices in their efforts to support their idiotic, fore
    drawn conclusions should seriously shake the faith of the most trusting
    citizen. It is simply outrageous that men and women of intellect and
    learning would take up a position and then selectively sort through history
    for tiny threads of support for that position while completely ignoring the
    full, rich tapestry which displays a clear picture of an absolutely opposite

    The intellectual dishonesty displayed by the dissenting Justices -
    and to a much lesser degree by the majority - should be deeply disturbing to
    every thinking American. These are not trivial matters that are being dealt
    with by the Court. These are issues that reach down to the basic founding
    principles of our republic. How can we entrust matters of such great import
    to people who demonstrate a willingness to contort history to their own
    personal beliefs and philosophies rather than examining evidence and drawing
    rational conclusions based on that evidence.

    Today's decision by the Supreme Court makes two things abundantly

    * Defenders of liberty and our Constitutional Republic face a long and
    tedious battle to secure and defend our rights.

    * It is absolutely critical that the next President, and every President
    thereafter, is committed to appointing judges and justices who will
    interpret law and the Constitution based on history and facts, not their own

    The courts have the potential to undermine and ultimately destroy our
    nation and our way of life. It is incumbent upon all of us to diligently
    work against the erosion that is eating away at the very foundations of our

    Below is the official syllabus (summary) from the Court "Reporter of

    It pretty well sums up the majority opinion.




    No. 07-290. Argued March 18, 2008-Decided June 26, 2008

    District of Columbia law bans handgun possession by making it a crime

    to carry an unregistered firearm and prohibiting the registration of

    handguns; provides separately that no person may carry an unlicensed

    handgun, but authorizes the police chief to issue 1-year licenses;

    and requires residents to keep lawfully owned firearms

    unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device.

    Respondent Heller, a D. C. special policeman, applied to register a

    handgun he wished to keep at home, but the District refused. He

    filed this suit seeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin the

    city from enforcing the bar on handgun registration, the licensing

    insofar as it prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in

    the home, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the

    use of functional firearms in the home. The District Court dismissed

    the suit, but the D. C. Circuit reversed, holding that the Second

    Amendment protects an individual's right to possess firearms and

    that the city's total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that

    firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for

    self-defense, violated that right.


    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.

    Pp. 2-53.

    (a) The Amendment's prefatory clause announces a purpose, but

    does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative

    clause. The operative clause's text and history demonstrate that it

    connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2-22.

    (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court's interpretation

    of the operative clause. The "militia" comprised all males physically

    capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists

    feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in

    order to disable this citizens' militia, enabling a politicized standing

    army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress

    power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear

    arms, so that the ideal of a citizens' militia would be preserved.

    Pp. 22-28.

    (c) The Court's interpretation is confirmed by analogous armsbearing

    rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately

    followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28-30.

    (d) The Second Amendment's drafting history, while of dubious

    interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals

    that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms.

    Pp. 30-32.

    (e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts

    and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the

    late 19th century also supports the Court's conclusion. Pp. 32-47.

    (f) None of the Court's precedents forecloses the Court's interpretation.

    Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor

    Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264-265, refutes the individualrights

    interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not

    limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather

    limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by

    the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47-54.

    2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.

    It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any

    manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed

    weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment

    or state analogues. The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast

    doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by

    felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms

    in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or

    laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of

    arms. Miller's holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those

    "in common use at the time" finds support in the historical tradition

    of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.

    Pp. 54-56.

    3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to

    self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District's total ban

    on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an

    entire class of "arms" that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the

    lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny

    the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this

    prohibition-in the place where the importance of the lawful defense

    of self, family, and property is most acute-would fail constitutional

    muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the

    home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible

    for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and

    is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument

    that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced

    and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy

    his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement.

    Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment

    rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and

    must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56-64.

    478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

    SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,

    C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, and ALITO, JJ., joined. STEVENS, J., filed a

    dissenting opinion, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER, JJ.,

    joined. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which STEVENS,

    SOUTER, and GINSBURG, JJ., joined.

  8. #28
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    Apr 2007
    south western PA, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: SCotUS Rules: 2nd Amendment Secures An Individual Right

    Police Chief's Memo on Supreme Court Ruling
    Police Chief Cathy Lanier sent the following memo to District residents yesterday evening in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on the city's gun ban.

    From: Lanier, Cathy (MPD)
    Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 6:35 PM
    Subject: Supreme Court Update


    Unfortunately, the Supreme Court today struck down part of the District of Columbia's handgun ban. I wanted to drop you a note to let you know the immediate impact of this decision.

    The Supreme Court's ruling is limited and leaves intact various other laws that apply to private residents who would purchase handguns or other firearms for home possession. It is important that everyone know that:

    a.. First, all firearms must be registered with the Metropolitan Police Department's Firearms Registration Section before they may be lawfully possessed.

    a.. Second, automatic and semiautomatic handguns generally remain illegal and may not be registered.

    a.. Third, the Supreme Court's ruling is limited to handguns in the home and does not entitle anyone to carry firearms outside his or her own home.

    Lastly, although the Court struck the safe storage provision on the ground that it was too broadly written, in my opinion firearms in the home should be kept either unloaded and disassembled or locked.

    I will comply with the Court's reading of the Second Amendment in its letter and spirit. At the same time, I will continue to vigorously enforce the District's other gun-related laws. I will also continue to find additional ways to protect the District's residents against the scourge of gun violence.

    Residents who want additional information can visit the Metropolitan Police Website at Residents with questions are encouraged to contact the Firearms Registration Section at 202-727-9490.


    Cathy Lanier

    Chief of Police

    By Marcia Davis | June 27, 2008; 6:57 AM ET

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Wayne, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
    Rep Power

    Thumbs up Wilmette Suspends Local Handgun Ban - First ripple of Heller!

    WILMETTE, Ill. -- Wilmette has suspended enforcement of its 19-year-old ordinance banning handgun possession in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that appears to invalidate such bans

    In a 5-4 decision, the court struck down Washington, D.C.'s ban on handguns, a prohibition similar to those used in several major cities, including Chicago, and a handful of suburbs including Wilmette, Evanston, Winnetka and Oak Park."The Law Department and the Police Department have suspended enforcement of the ordinance pending further review by the Village Board," Wilmette village attorney Tim Frenzer said Thursday. "Based on the decision today, at a minimum it calls into serious question the continued viability of the ordinance."Frenzer said questions remain about how directly the court's decision will impact local gun laws in Wilmette and other parts of the country. Washington is not a state, and each state has its own legal language governing the right to bear arms.

    That aside, the opinion will require further review and discussion by the Village Board, but it's prudent at this point to suspend enforcement of it," Frenzer said.Wilmette's law, enacted in 1989, levied fines of up to $750 for handgun possession and allowed the village to seek a judge's order to have seized weapons destroyed.Frenzer said he did not know exactly how many times the law has been invoked, but said its use is rare.The last case he recalls involved a 2003 incident in which a resident, Hale DeMar, was cited after using a handgun to shoot and wound a burglar in his home. The case mobilized state gun right groups and led to the passage of a law that gave gun owners a defense to local prohibitions if the weapon was used in self-defense.Wilmette's charges against DeMar were eventually dropped. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.Wilmette Police Chief George Carpenter declined to comment on the high court's ruling, saying he had not yet had a chance to read the decision or review it with village staff.

    Copyright 2008, Chicago Sun-Times Inc.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Paxinos, Pennsylvania
    (Northumberland County)
    Rep Power

    Default Re: SCotUS Rules: 2nd Amendment Secures An Individual Right

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteFeather View Post
    Is this real??? no semi-auto handguns? You're joking, right?
    What was this whole thing (D.C. v. Heller) over?
    "The rifle is the weapon of democracy. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military. The hired servants of our rulers. Only the government-and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws." (Edward Abbey, "The Right to Arms," Abbey's Road [New York, 1979])
    I have my rifle. Do you?

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