Skip to comments.Firearms Industry Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Hear Second Amendment Case
Posted on 11/21/2007 6:16:30 AM PST by epow
Firearms Industry Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Hear Second Amendment Case
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association of the firearms industry -- applauded the decision by the United States Supreme Court to determine authoritatively whether the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides an individual right to keep and bear arms.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted a review of a decision from March by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia (Circuit docket 04-7041) -- a case that upheld the striking down of the District's ban on private ownership of handguns while asserting that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to keep and bear arms. The case is now known as District of Columbia v. Heller. The mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty, filed the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting the stage for the high court to rule. According to FBI statistics, Washington D.C., with its gun ban, ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and maintains one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the country.
"The firearms industry looks forward to the Supreme Court putting to rest the specious argument that the Second Amendment is not an individual right," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. "This intellectually bankrupt and feeble argument has been used by gun control advocates to justify laws and regulations that deny Americans their civil right to own and lawfully use firearms for protection, hunting, sports shooting and other lawful purposes.
"The firearms and ammunition industry is unique in that our products are the means through which the Second Amendment right is realized," continued Keane. "If there were no firearms and ammunition manufacturers, then the Second Amendment becomes an illusory right."
While the Heller case will be the first time since 1939 that the Supreme Court has addressed the Second Amendment (U.S. v. Miller), the nation's leading historians, legal scholars and constitutional experts are on record as having concluded that the Second Amendment provides an individual right. Such renowned scholars as Lawrence Tribe of Harvard, Akhil Reed Amar of Yale, William Van Alstyne of Duke and Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas have been vocal in their assertion that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms.
"The government has powers, not rights," added Keane. "The contention that the Second Amendment is a collective right of the government is completely without merit."
BACKGROUND: In March, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in striking down the District's gun ban, held in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia that "The phrase 'the right of the people' . . . leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual." This was the second time in recent history that a federal circuit court upheld the longstanding belief that the Second Amendment was an individual right. In 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in the case of U.S. v. Emerson that "All of the evidence indicates that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans."
Agreed. The decision, possibly next June, will affect law around the country. It could go wither way, but I am hoping the SCOTUS upholds the right as an individual one.
There is a secondary subject here that is not being considered, the court will hear the case, but it does not necessarily say it will make a ruling, it may defer to the lower courts decision.
I have a bad feeling about Kennedy, who is the swing vote on the court and will probably remain so in this case. His recent willingness to place international law above the US Constitution leaves me feeling very uneasy about his decision on issues like this.
While I hope SCOTUS rules in favor of 2A, I hate the word “applaud” in a press release. That and any use of the word “celebrate.” It sounds like the way radical feminists talk.
I believe the intent of the amendment was to allow citizens to bear arms so that a militia could be assembled if necessary.
Declaring the 2nd a 'collective' right, would open a can of worms against the 1st.
The SCOTUS can rule that the 2nd does apply to citizens of DC, who are not part of the 'several states', but still citizens of the USA. They could also rule that this is no way a negation of restrictions already in place.
This may be more 'palatable' to the justices that do not approve of the 2nd.
Joe Bfstplk wrote: “I believe the intent of the amendment was to allow citizens to bear arms so that a militia could be assembled if necessary.”
That is the clear meaning of it, yes. Unfortunately, that means little to the leftists who believe in a “living” constitution. They will simply redefine it to mean whatever they can. That’s why no amount of amendments can ever fix the constitution the way conservatives want. If a liberal judge can redefine interstate commerce to mean you can’t grow crops on your own property for your own consumption, they’ll redefine a HLA or gay marriage ban, too. They only cure is to get rid of judicial activists (liberal OR conservative) and replace them with judges that will follow the clear intent of the laws. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do that if we can’t win in 2008!
It does me too. I appreciate the optimism people seem to have, but I can't shake the morbid fear and distrust I've come to have for judges.
John / Billybob
Then why not let the appellate judgment stand without review?
While SCOTUS may side with the constitution they are likely to put some phrase like “reasonable” that will only make things worse.
Go after them CBB!!
If they do rule that way, they could just as easily rule that none of the Bill of Rights protections apply to said residents, e.g. freedom of speech, assembly, petition, against self-incrimination and cruel and unusual punishment, etc. I don’t think they’ll want to this precedent.
“While SCOTUS may side with the constitution they are likely to put some phrase like reasonable that will only make things worse.”
I’m not a lawyer but it seems the only reason they would take this case is if they felt there was cause not to support the lower court. IMO, you are closer to what will happen. It won’t be BAN all guns or fully support the right. It will be to determine whether the restrictions are ‘reasonable’. That can only serve to help the gun banners as they will twist and turn the ruling in their favor.
Whats supremely sad is there have been numerous cases recently where the lack of arms for defense is seriously hurting people in their fight against an oppressive govt. Burma and Venezuela are two examples.
“If SCOTUS says it is a collective right, and states start to pass laws like DC has, how many here are going to comply?”
All of those not killed by police or in jail.
5-4 against the individual’s right to own firearms.
In the Constitution, State don't have "rights", individuals have "rights" and States have "powers." Even the 10th Amendment that some mistakenly call the "States' Rights Amendment" actually uses the word "powers".
The last SCOTUS gun decision, Miller Case (1939), did not say the 2nd was not an individual right. What it said was that the 2nd protected only those gun rights that have "some reasonable relationship to the preservation...of a well-regulated militia". This meant for guns likely to be used when and if an individual decided to join a militia and not the sawed-off shotgun involved in that case.
I can't see SCOTUS now saying the 2nd now only protects the automatic weapons currently used by State "militias" and I doubt that they believe the can call it a State "right". It seems that SCOTUS has taken the case to go in a different direction than Miller.
I see, the most likely outcome is to treat it as individual "right" not as closely tied to "well-regulated militia" as in Miller - but a "right" subject to "reasonable restrictions".
In 2002, here's how then U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson laid that out in a previous arguement to SCOTUS:
"The current position of the United States...is that the Second Amendment more broadly protects the rights of individuals, including persons who are not members of any militia or engage in active military service or training, to possess their own firearms... subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or to restrict the possession of types of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse."But for this case "reasonable restrictions" may be decided by Justice Anthony Kennedy... which makes it anyones guess.
I am glad the court took this case. I need to know if I am a free man or a subject. This is long overdue as I am sick of the thousand cuts.
You already know what you are. We just need to know how the government is going to try and perceive us in the future.