Will a Shifting Supreme Court Change the Consensus on ‘Common-Sense’ Gun Laws?

Photo by Linus Henning via Flickr A rightward-leaning Supreme Court could shift the legal consensus established a decade ago by the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling and “imperil sensible gun laws that Americans need and broadly support,” a leading advocacy group warns. In a review of litigation since the 2008 High Court ruling, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said Heller effectively upheld the Second Amendment guarantees that “law-abiding, responsible Americans” have the right to possess guns in their homes for self-defense—even if they do not belong to armies or militias. But at the same time, the ruling made clear that the right was not unlimited. The two elements of the ruling have given encouragement to both sides of the gun debate, said the Brady Center. While gun control advocates have interpreted the ruling as establishing that the right to bear arms is not a constitutional bar to “common sense gun laws,” pro-gun groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) considers the ruling as an affirmation of unrestricted gun ownership rights. Nevertheless, over 90 percent of the 1,000-plus legal challenges to gun laws and gun crime prosecutions in the ensuing decade in state and federal courts were rejected, the report said. “The courts have repeatedly held that Heller does not provide a basis to overturn bansd on the public carry of firearms, assault weapons, and large capacity magazines,” the study said. “They have also overwhelmingly held that Heller allows for reasonable restrictions on dangerous people possessing […]

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.