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Old 06-26-2008, 10:57 AM
jersey jeff jersey jeff is offline
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Default Supreme Court says Americans have right to guns

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.


The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.

In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

Joining Scalia were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The other dissenters were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.

Gun rights supporters hailed the decision. "I consider this the opening salvo in a step-by-step process of providing relief for law-abiding Americans everywhere that have been deprived of this freedom," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA will file lawsuits in San Francisco, Chicago and several of its suburbs challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, criticized the ruling. "I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it," she said.

The capital's gun law was among the nation's strictest.

Dick Anthony Heller, 66, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection in the same Capitol Hill neighborhood as the court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Heller's favor and struck down Washington's handgun ban, saying the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to own guns and that a total prohibition on handguns is not compatible with that right.

The issue caused a split within the Bush administration. Vice President Dick Cheney supported the appeals court ruling, but others in the administration feared it could lead to the undoing of other gun regulations, including a federal law restricting sales of machine guns. Other laws keep felons from buying guns and provide for an instant background check.

Scalia said nothing in Thursday's ruling should "cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."

In a concluding paragraph to the his 64-page opinion, Scalia said the justices in the majority "are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country" and believe the Constitution "leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns."

The law adopted by Washington's city council in 1976 bars residents from owning handguns unless they had one before the law took effect. Shotguns and rifles may be kept in homes, if they are registered, kept unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.

Opponents of the law have said it prevents residents from defending themselves. The Washington government says no one would be prosecuted for a gun law violation in cases of self-defense.

The last Supreme Court ruling on the topic came in 1939 in U.S. v. Miller, which involved a sawed-off shotgun. Constitutional scholars disagree over what that case means but agree it did not squarely answer the question of individual versus collective rights.

Forty-four state constitutions contain some form of gun rights, which are not affected by the court's consideration of Washington's restrictions.

The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:00 AM
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I was waiting for someone to post this.

Hopefully this will start a landslide affect to get rid of some of the crazier laws across the country.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jersey jeff View Post
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, criticized the ruling. "I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it," she said.
What an idiot!! I can't believe I voted for this woman at one time! Yeah, keep the guns (protection) away from law abiding citizens, you moron, so we can't protect ourselves when the criminals, who would buy theirs off the black market, race to hold up every mom and pop in the country! Ugh! Sometimes, I just want to knock some sense into idiots like her!
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:19 PM
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Default no guns...........yea right

amen.....
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:23 PM
jersey jeff jersey jeff is offline
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Unfortunately there are more idiots born every day. I believe they will out number us some day.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:26 PM
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This woman probably has an armed gaurd with her at all times. Wonder what they carry for defense? A handfull of flowers?
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Va Hunter View Post
This woman probably has an armed gaurd with her at all times. Wonder what they carry for defense? A handfull of flowers?
Excellent point!!!

I would also like to add my own personal 1000 Amen's!
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Va Hunter View Post
This woman probably has an armed gaurd with her at all times. Wonder what they carry for defense? A handfull of flowers?
It's okay for her, but not for you. Yeah right!
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Va Hunter View Post
This woman probably has an armed gaurd with her at all times. Wonder what they carry for defense? A handfull of flowers?
I would like to state for the record, that the people of Colorado agree with my esteemed collegue from Virginia and his estute response to this posting. Additionally, I would like to commend the representative from New Jersey for submitting this invaluable information to the forum.

Once again the representative from Texas, Mr. G.W.Hunter, has not only spoken the sentiments of the people in his great state, but has simultaneously espressed the will of my fellow Coloradoans.

With that, I respectfully yield back the remainder of my time to the representative from Indiana. Madam Speaker....



Remember folks... Brown eyes & brown hair. You do the math...
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Last edited by Colorado Rick; 06-26-2008 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Va Hunter View Post
This woman probably has an armed gaurd with her at all times. Wonder what they carry for defense? A handfull of flowers?
You don't understand! She is more important than you or I. Where would the world be if something would happen to her????

Hopefully this will quiet down our liberal governor from Philadelphia from trying to put purchase limits and registration laws into effect here in PA.

And I think your right. The idiots will outnumber us.

I just want the Government to stop trying to protect me from myself!!!!!
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