Breaking Legal News: D.C. Circuit Rules the 2nd Amendment Applies to Individual Gun Owners...
March 9, 2007 12:04 PM
... and not just members of a "well regulated Militia." Here's the Court's nice tidy bottom line:
To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment's civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.
No court this high has ever gone this far--and it's exactly what gun owners were looking for. The next stop is with the U.S. Supremes, unless the D.C. Circuit decides to review it en banc.
You can read the whole opinion (it is 75 pages) here. If you forget what the Second Amendment says, here it 'tis:
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.
Expect ample, befuddled news coverage and hand-wringing on the left. And, enjoy this image of the NBSes at home on a typical Friday night.