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  1. #1
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    Supreme Court to decide if gun bans are constitutional

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to endorse the view that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns, but was less clear about whether to retain the District of Columbia's ban on handguns.
    The justices were aware of the historic nature of their undertaking, engaging in an extended 98-minute session of questions and answers that could yield the first definition of the meaning of the Second Amendment in its 216 years.
    A key justice, Anthony Kennedy, left little doubt about his view when he said early in the proceedings that the Second Amendment gives "a general right to bear arms."
    Several justices were skeptical that the Constitution, if it gives individuals' gun rights, could allow a complete ban on handguns when, as Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out, those weapons are most suited for protection at home.
    "What is reasonable about a ban on possession" of handguns?" Roberts asked at one point.
    But Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that the District's public safety concerns could be relevant in evaluating its 32-year-old ban on handguns, perhaps the strictest gun control law in the nation.
    "Does that make it unreasonable for a city with a very high crime rate...to say no handguns here?" Breyer said.
    Solicitor General Paul Clement, the Bush administration's top Supreme Court lawyer, supported the individual right, but urged the justices not to decide the other question. Instead, Clement said the court should allow for reasonable restrictions that allow banning certain types of weapons, including existing federal laws.
    He did not take a position on the District law.
    The court has not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The basic`ic whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.
    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."
    While the arguments raged inside, advocates of gun rights and opponents of gun violence demonstrated outside court Tuesday.
    Dozens of protesters mingled with tourists and waved signs saying "Ban the Washington elitists, not our guns" or "The NRA helps criminals and terrorist buy guns."
    Members of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence chanted "guns kill" as followers of the Second Amendment Sisters and Maryland Shall Issue.Org shouted "more guns, less crime."
    A line to get into the court for the historic arguments began forming two days earlier and extended more than a block by early Tuesday.
    The high court's first extensive examination of the Second Amendment since 1939 grew out of challenge to the District's ban.
    Anise Jenkins, president of a coalition called Stand Up for Democracy in D.C., defended the district's prohibition on handguns.
    "We feel our local council knows what we need for a good standard of life and to keep us safe," Jenkins said.
    Genie Jennings, a resident of South Perwick, Maine, and national spokeswoman for Second Amendment Sisters, said the law banning handguns in Washington "is denying individuals the right to defend themselves."
    Even if the court determines there is an individual right, the justices still will have to decide whether the District's ban can stand and how to evaluate other gun control laws. This issue has caused division within the Bush administration, with Vice President Dick Cheney taking a harder line than the administration's official position at the court.
    The local Washington government argues that its law should be allowed to remain in force whether or not the amendment applies to individuals, although it reads the amendment as intended to allow states to have armed forces.
    The City Council that adopted the ban said it was justified because "handguns have no legitimate use in the purely urban environment of the District of Columbia."
    Dick Anthony Heller, 65, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection. His lawyers say the amendment plainly protects an individual's right.
    The last Supreme Court ruling on the topic came in 1939 in U.S. v. Miller, which involved a sawed-off shotgun. Constitutional scholars disagree over what that case means but agree it did not squarely answer the question of individual versus collective rights.
    Roberts said at his confirmation hearing that the correct reading of the Second Amendment was "still very much an open issue."

  2. #2
    213th's Avatar
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    I hope the ban is overruled. I feel very strongly on this issue, and see any restriction on law abiding citizens from possessing or carrying a firearm not only very dangerous, but also unconstitutional. I hope the court sees it the same way.
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  3. #3
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    The current odds are that the Court will support the lower court, wiping out the ban in DC and any other city that has such a ban.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


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  4. #4
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    It's going to be hard for the court to come down on the side of individual ownership and keep the ban intact. This ruling is probably going to have a huge ripple effect across the country. Either the next president is going to start confiscating our guns or they won't be allowed to touch us. It will be historic.
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  5. #5
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    I think it would be a good idea for me to open a gun shop in DC and NYC.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    The current odds are that the Court will support the lower court, wiping out the ban in DC and any other city that has such a ban.
    I hope Da Mayor King Richard is watching
    " The hardest thing about disarming an armed suspect is not slipping on your own shit "

    Michael P. Gordon E.O.W 08 Aug 2004




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  7. #7
    213th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    The current odds are that the Court will support the lower court, wiping out the ban in DC and any other city that has such a ban.
    I sure hope so!
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
    He who signs the cheques, makes the rules.
    He who makes the rules, has the power.
    He who has the power, has the money.

  8. #8
    PCSD722 is offline Rookie
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    I certainly hope the court does the right thing. The second amendment gives legal, law abiding citizens rights. In no way does it allow for the use of guns for illegal purposes nor does it allow criminals, convicted felons etc.. to own guns. Common sense should decide this one.
    Stay safe, let's all go home.

  9. #9
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    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080318/D8VG2PR00.html

    Here is another news story discussing the issue.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bird1 View Post
    I hope Da Mayor King Richard is watching

    I was just about to post the same thing.

    I hate Daley and I don't even live in Chicago.
    dlefdal said:
    Ummmm, what if I don't like thumbs in my butt?

  11. #11
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    Depends on how they rule on it. If they use the equal protection clause from the 14th Admendment and strict scrunity then the effects could be profound.

  12. #12
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    If we [pro-gun rights folks] win, it'll be great. But winning it will be a small step towards the ultimate goal of responsible gun laws. I'll be happy to get the small step, but there's plenty of battles ahead.
    "When a crime is committed, liberals blame society. Conservatives blame the criminal." -Debra Saunders

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  13. #13
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    I'm semi-optimistic, but I'm afraid they will wimp out and make the ruling so specific that it doesn't do squat for the rest of the country.

    For example, if they rule that "Regulation" is implied by "A Well-Regulated Militia", then all DC would have to do is loosen the ban up a little to let a handfull of VIP's have guns, and that fits the phrase "well-regulated".

    I'm hopeful that they'll say it's an individual right, however, and open up everything, even eliminating the requirement that we obtain a Concealed Carry license - After all, requiring a CHL is "infringing" on people's rights who cannot afford a CHL, or simply don't want the Feds to know they have guns (a lot of people don't have CHL's in Texas for that very reason).

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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post

    I'm hopeful that they'll say it's an individual right, however, and open up everything, even eliminating the requirement that we obtain a Concealed Carry license - After all, requiring a CHL is "infringing" on people's rights who cannot afford a CHL, or simply don't want the Feds to know they have guns (a lot of people don't have CHL's in Texas for that very reason).
    Interesting viewpoint. I'm going to start a new thread asking this question.

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    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    I haven't had time to review the questioning other than the little bit thrown out in the press -- but I kind of suspect that we'll see them recognize the individual right to gun ownership, but allow significant regulation. In other words, outright bans on handguns won't fly -- but complex regulation that makes CCW permits burdensome or hard to get may.
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