Why the Second Amendment may be losing relevance in gun debate

Why the Second Amendment may be losing relevance in gun debate

This report is a part of “Rethinking Gun Violence,” an ABC News series examining the level of gun violence in the U.S. — and what can be done about it. In the bitter debate over gun control , battle lines are often drawn around the Second Amendment, with many in favor of gun rights pointing to it as the source of their constitutional authority to bear arms, and some in favor of tighter gun control disagreeing with that interpretation. But if the purpose of the debate is to reduce the tragic human toll of gun violence, the focus on Second Amendment is often misplaced, according to many experts on guns and the Constitution. They say the battle lines that actually matter have been drawn around state legislatures, which are setting the country’s landscape on guns through state laws — or sometimes, the lack thereof . Joseph Blocher, professor of law and co-director of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke Law School, described the patchwork of state laws that exists across the country as a “buffer zone” for the Second Amendment. “Before you even get to the Constitution, there’s a huge array of other laws super protecting the right to keep and bear arms,” Blocher said. “This collection of laws is giving individuals lots of protection for gun-related activity that the Second Amendment would not necessarily require, and certainly, and in almost all of these instances, that no lower court has said the Second Amendment would require.” Watch ABC […]

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