Does the Bill of Rights Protect You Outside Your Home?

Does the Bill of Rights Protect You Outside Your Home?

Also published in The Washington Times Mon. May 24, 2021 In late April, the Supreme Court announced it would hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett during its next term, which begins in October. With a ruling due by June 2022, it will be the court’s first major Second Amendment decision since 2010 and perhaps its most consequential. In 1791, the Bill of Rights was created for the people against the government. The Bill of Rights—including the Second Amendment—has stood firm in the minds of the citizenry as a bulwark of American freedom. The central issue in the latest case is whether the Second Amendment right to “bear arms” extends outside of the home. Sure, you can take your gun from your bedroom to the kitchen, but can you take your gun outside? If the answer is no, then we must ask: Do other constitutional freedoms—from the free exercise of religion to freedom of speech to rights against unreasonable searches and seizures to due process of law—also end as you exit your home? Opponents of the Second Amendment are lining up for a fight. They fear the court will rule that the right to bear arms includes the right to carry arms in public. Moreover, the court might reject the seemingly rubber-stamp approach that lower courts have applied in upholding most useless firearms restrictions that primarily impact law-abiding persons. Two relatively recent Supreme Court cases and the lack of lower court recognition of their precedents have […]

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