Gun rights at the Supreme Court: Justices will consider if the fundamental right to keep a gun at home applies to carrying weapons in public

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) Morgan Marietta, University of Massachusetts Lowell (THE CONVERSATION) The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Nov. 3, 2021, on a clear question: Does the constitutional right to possess a gun extend outside the home? The answer may alter gun regulations in many states. The crux of the issue before the court is captured by a debate that Thomas Jefferson had with himself at the time of the founding. When Jefferson was drafting a proposed constitution for his home state of Virginia in June 1776, he suggested a clause that read “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” In the second draft, he added in brackets, “[within his own lands or tenements].” Jefferson’s debate with himself captures the question posed to the court: Is the purpose of the right to “keep and bear arms” the protection of a citizen’s “own lands,” or is it self-protection in general? Does the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognize a right to keep and bear arms in the home, or a right to “keep” firearms in the home and also “bear” them outside of the home for protection in society? The plaintiffs in the upcoming case New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen want the court to strike down the state’s restrictions and allow citizens who meet basic requirements, such as having no criminal convictions, to carry concealed weapons. Gun in the […]

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