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#391 tplane37

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:00 PM

Almost immediately after the ruling today, I received a phone call from the Macon County State's Attorney whom I had emailed and asked for his input on a CCW Ordinance for Macon County (similar to Winnabego County). I still have to get back to him to set up a time to come down to his office, but he is assigning me 2-3 attorneys to write the ordinance. He wants annual fees and proof of safety training. I will start a different thread for this (And I'd like it to remain as ONE thread only. Please.)

I thought I'd mention it here because this is seemingly a direct result of the SCOTUS ruling today.
I gave an oath when I enlisted in the United States Navy,

"...to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

Though I may no longer be enlisted, and no longer have an obligation to the U.S. Navy, I still have a moral obligation to my country, my freedom, and the protection of my family.

I will stand by that oath for as long as I live.

Freedom's not free, the day we quit fighting for it is the day we will loose it.

"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." Author: unknown

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#392 PPK

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:05 PM

Almost immediately after the ruling today, I received a phone call from the Macon County State's Attorney whom I had emailed and asked for his input on a CCW Ordinance for Macon County (similar to Winnabego County). I still have to get back to him to set up a time to come down to his office, but he is assigning me 2-3 attorneys to write the ordinance. He wants annual fees and proof of safety training. I will start a different thread for this (And I'd like it to remain as ONE thread only. Please.)

I thought I'd mention it here because this is seemingly a direct result of the SCOTUS ruling today.

Oh, that's great!! Wonder how hard it will be to get Williamson County to follow suit?
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#393 flagtag

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:15 PM

Almost immediately after the ruling today, I received a phone call from the Macon County State's Attorney whom I had emailed and asked for his input on a CCW Ordinance for Macon County (similar to Winnabego County). I still have to get back to him to set up a time to come down to his office, but he is assigning me 2-3 attorneys to write the ordinance. He wants annual fees and proof of safety training. I will start a different thread for this (And I'd like it to remain as ONE thread only. Please.)

I thought I'd mention it here because this is seemingly a direct result of the SCOTUS ruling today.


Please, try to get him to keep the fees LOW. (So that everyone can afford it and to give a base to the rest of the state, WHEN it comes down to that time.)

#394 ishmo

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:20 PM

Almost immediately after the ruling today, I received a phone call from the Macon County State's Attorney whom I had emailed and asked for his input on a CCW Ordinance for Macon County (similar to Winnabego County). I still have to get back to him to set up a time to come down to his office, but he is assigning me 2-3 attorneys to write the ordinance. He wants annual fees and proof of safety training. I will start a different thread for this (And I'd like it to remain as ONE thread only. Please.)

I thought I'd mention it here because this is seemingly a direct result of the SCOTUS ruling today.

Oh, that's great!! Wonder how hard it will be to get Williamson County to follow suit?

That's great to hear. I just wonder how many more holes the dike is going to develop. Anybody think this might be a good time to revisit the green counties about a CCW ordnance?

#395 tplane37

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:24 PM

Here's the link: http://illinoiscarry...showtopic=10745
I gave an oath when I enlisted in the United States Navy,

"...to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

Though I may no longer be enlisted, and no longer have an obligation to the U.S. Navy, I still have a moral obligation to my country, my freedom, and the protection of my family.

I will stand by that oath for as long as I live.

Freedom's not free, the day we quit fighting for it is the day we will loose it.

"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." Author: unknown

"The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity -- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity." -Henry Clay

#396 Ocellairs

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:41 PM

Meet Your Second Amendment: D.C. v. Heller Decided (Updated)posted by Mike O'Shea

[I'll be updating this post throughout the day as time permits.]

It's a momentous day. With the Supreme Court's landmark Second Amendment decision this morning in District of Columbia v. Heller, American constitutional law has just gained a full-fledged, newly enforceable, individual liberty. The imposition by the U.S. government of a U.K.-style system of sweeping gun bans and prohibitions on armed self-defense is now off the table. Such laws are a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

In this quick update, I want to look at the issues I discussed in my earlier CoOp post, "What to Watch for in D.C. v. Heller," and offer some brief thoughts about how they featured in Justice Scalia's opinion for the Court.

ISSUES

1. Recognition of an Individual Right to Arms: You bet. The right is recognized as squarely individual; the "militia" referred to in the preface was and is a popular militia. The Court rejects any requirement of participation in the National Guard or another organized militia.

2. What Purposes Does the Right Protect? Primarily private purposes. Although the Court acknowledges in passing that an armed populace is "better able to resist tyranny," Maj. Op. at 25, the great weight of its discussion of the right to arms focuses on "the core lawful purpose of self-defense." Id. at 58. See also id. at 63 (Second Amendment "elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.")

3. Whither Miller? This is an extremely interesting discussion. Maj. Op. 49-53, 55-56. The Court does not reject its opaque 1939 precedent in U.S. v. Miller, but dismisses the contention that Miller limited the right to arms solely to "military purposes." It describes Miller as "stand[ing] only for the proposition that the Second Amendment right, whatever its nature, extends only to certain types of weapons." Id. at 50. There is a measured, but distinct rebuke of the decades of lower federal court opinions that "overread Miller," a "virtually unreasoned case," to toss aside claims to an enforceable Second Amendment right to arms. But the Court does some interpretive recasting of Miller, as I predicted: Miller's "in common use" criterion becomes " 'in common use at the time' for lawful purposes like self-defense." Id. at 52. Thus machineguns can be excluded from constitutional protection, even though they were obviously "useful in warfare in 1939." Id.

In the same vein, the Court recognizes a historical exception to the right to arms that applies to "dangerous and unusual weapons," Id. at 55. (That conjunctive form may prove important -- dangerous and unusual.) On the other hand, the Court stresses that defensive weapons that did not exist in 1791 may nevertheless be protected today. The basic category of "Arms" appears to be very broad: "[T]he Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding." Id. at 8. The Court approvingly cites broad founding-era definitions of "Arms" such as Timothy Cunningham's (1771): "any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another."

Notice how powerfully this language suggests a Second Amendment right to possess not only firearms, but also other common personal defensive weapons like knives and pepper spray.

4. What Level of Scrutiny Applies? Intermediate or strict scrutiny. They're not saying which yet. The key passage is Maj. Op. at 56 & n.27. The Court says the D.C. handgun ban violates "any of the standards of scrutiny that we have applied to enumerated constitutional rights." A footnote cites the classic discussion of heightened scrutiny in U.S. v. Carolene Products Co. (1938). Id. at 56 n.27. This discussion leaves lower courts free to conclude, by analogy to First Amendment case law, that strict scrutiny applies to Second Amendment claims, but they also would not violate the import of the Heller opinion by adopting intermediate scrutiny instead.

5. Will the Court Actually Strike Down the Challenged Provisions of D.C. Law? Yes. The Court struck down the handgun ban; and also the requirement that firearms in the home be kept locked and unloaded/disassembled -- to the extent the latter requirement prohibits citizens from "rendering ... firearm[s] in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense." Id. at 64. I predict litigation about the limits of that "immediate self-defense" proviso. I could wish that the Court had simply said, look, Heller can't realistically expect to defend himself against criminal violence in the home unless he is allowed to have one firearm that is loaded and ready to be used in self-defense, so the Second Amendment protects his right, not merely to regularly carry a handgun in his home, but to regularly carry a loaded handgun in his home. The Court did not squarely say that, so the lower courts may have to piece out what level of readiness and access is realistically required for "immediate self-defense." In making that judgment, they will need to keep in mind the Supreme Court's vigorous affirmations of the right to home self-defense throughout the Heller opinion.

6. Are "Keep" and "Bear" Separate Rights? Well, the two verbs clearly receive separate weight in the Court's analysis. One of the big points of contention between the majority and the dissenters is whether

9. Hints About Incorporation: Another punt to the lower courts, though the Supreme Court included somewhat more pro-incorporation discussion than I expected. In its historical analysis of evidence of the public understanding of the Second Amendment, the Court discussed at length the legislative treatment of the right to arms in the aftermath of the Civil War. See Maj. Op. at 41-44 (discussing, inter alia, the history of black disarmament in the Reconstruction South, and the references to the right to arms in the Freedmen's Bureau Act of 1866). This is precisely the sort of historical evidence relied upon by scholars and researchers who argue that the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to incorporate the right to arms against the states. The Court's one express mention of the incorporation issue comes in an exquisitely ambiguous footnote:

With respect to [the nineteenth-century case of U.S. v.] Cruikshank's continuing validity on incorporation, a question not presented by this case, we note that Cruikshank also said that the First Amendment did not apply against the States and did not engage in the sort of Fourteenth Amendment inquiry required by our later cases. Our later decisions in Presser v. Illinois (1886) and Miller v. Texas (1894) reaffirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to the Federal Government.
Id. at 48 n.23 (emphasis added) (citations omitted). So on the one hand the Court says that the Fourteenth Amendment inquiry is "required" by its later (20th century) incorporation decisions, yet it also noted that post-Cruikshank, nineteenth cases reaffirmed that the Second was not incorporated -- but these cases did not perform the now-"required" inquiry either! I read this as a very comprehensive punt to the lower courts; they can either take up anew the question of Second Amendment incorporation in coming cases -- "the Court instructed us that this inquiry is 'required'!" -- or they can defer to Presser et al. and refuse to apply the "selective incorporation" framework to the Second Amendment until the Supremes officially overrule those cases -- "the Court noted that later decisions 'reaffirmed' Cruikshank!" A district court judge or circuit court panel could choose either path, and still plausibly claim to be following Heller.

... updates to come ...

MEDIA NOTE: I've been interviewed by National Public Radio about the Heller decision; the segment should appear on NPR's All Things Considered this afternoon or Morning Edition tomorrow a.m. Audio will be available here. I'll be interviewed tonight on NRA News's "Cam and Company" at 10:40 p.m. EST. I'll be discussing how to choose a good car wax.

Posted by Mike O'Shea at June 26, 2008 03:03 PM

...link.

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#397 Molly B.

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 01:12 PM

I think this important point might have gotten lost in all the excitement of yesterday . . .

http://www.volokh.co...html#1214514180
"Unanimity at last. Chief Justice Roberts came in with the hope of producing more unanimous decisions from the Court. While today’s decision was 5-4, it was actually unanimous on one point: there is an individual right protected by the Second Amendment. The split came over the important question of the scope of the right and whether the D.C. law itself was constitutional, but the underlying individual-right theory prevailed over a collective- or states-right interpretation . . ."
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#398 TTIN

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:43 PM

By what I have read,gun ownership is an individual right making it a civil right.If I am thinking clearly,the 14th amendment SHOULD uphold our rights in ever state to gun ownership.Please correct me if I am wrong.
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#399 Mac

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 06:03 PM

From things that I have read on the Supreme Court ruling and what I have heard on tv there are referances to the citizens carrying guns. The Letterman show said that the court allows citizens to carry guns, the Uk posted a news article stating that the citizens can carry guns. In the ruling itself,it states " Yesturdays ruling should cast doubt on long standing prohibitions on the posession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."

Seems to me that if we were not allowed by federal law to carry a firearm, why would they include that part. I truly feel that they, the antis, want to inhibit the gun owners by having registrations for a fee, only allowing certain types of firearms from an approved firearm list, and any other rule, ordinance or law that is solely intended on removing the guns from the citizens hands.

I understand that the second amendment give us the individual right top keep and bear arms. We can keep the guns in our homes for protection, and by bear, meaning to carry, can we carry the guns when we leave home? Is this just another area where we have to fight to win it?


Mac
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#400 45superman

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 08:07 AM

I think this important point might have gotten lost in all the excitement of yesterday . . .

http://www.volokh.co...html#1214514180
"Unanimity at last. Chief Justice Roberts came in with the hope of producing more unanimous decisions from the Court. While today’s decision was 5-4, it was actually unanimous on one point: there is an individual right protected by the Second Amendment. The split came over the important question of the scope of the right and whether the D.C. law itself was constitutional, but the underlying individual-right theory prevailed over a collective- or states-right interpretation . . ."


I saw that, but it puzzles me. Justice Stevens, in particular, seems in my view to be clinging to the "collective right" myth.
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#401 tplane37

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 06:14 PM

So, has anyone discussed with legal council to find out if this means that We the People are able to open carry as a constitutional right? I plan to ASAP. Most likely when we meet with the Macon County SA.
I gave an oath when I enlisted in the United States Navy,

"...to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

Though I may no longer be enlisted, and no longer have an obligation to the U.S. Navy, I still have a moral obligation to my country, my freedom, and the protection of my family.

I will stand by that oath for as long as I live.

Freedom's not free, the day we quit fighting for it is the day we will loose it.

"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." Author: unknown

"The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity -- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity." -Henry Clay

#402 abolt243

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 07:48 PM

So, has anyone discussed with legal council to find out if this means that We the People are able to open carry as a constitutional right? I plan to ASAP. Most likely when we meet with the Macon County SA.


Uh.....Tplane.........you may want to rethink that action. As of right now, it's still against the law in the State of IL to open carry in an incorporated area. As well as in most municipalities, and in governmental offices, which a Representative's office or the office of a State's Attorney would qualify as. We've got too much work to do man. You won't be worth squat from a jail cell!!!!

There's better ways to change the law than being tied up in court and jail for several years.

AB
Are you a member of the ISRA?? If not, why not?? Join over 18,000 other Illinois gun owners in the fight for your rights!!!

The Roman Empire fell due to a large, corrupt government, overspending, an overextended military, insecure borders, and the illegal immigration of Goths, barbarians (anyone who was not educated), and religious fanatics. Sound familiar?


"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."
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Luke 11:21 - "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed." NASB


#403 45superman

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 08:07 PM

So, has anyone discussed with legal council to find out if this means that We the People are able to open carry as a constitutional right? I plan to ASAP. Most likely when we meet with the Macon County SA.


Uh.....Tplane.........you may want to rethink that action. As of right now, it's still against the law in the State of IL to open carry in an incorporated area.


Exactly. Nothing in the Heller decision changed a thing about Illinois law, except to make some of them open to challenge. Those laws are still on the books for now, and still fully capable of putting you in jail.
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#404 billzfx4

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 09:49 PM

So, has anyone discussed with legal council to find out if this means that We the People are able to open carry as a constitutional right? I plan to ASAP. Most likely when we meet with the Macon County SA.


Uh.....Tplane.........you may want to rethink that action. As of right now, it's still against the law in the State of IL to open carry in an incorporated area. As well as in most municipalities, and in governmental offices, which a Representative's office or the office of a State's Attorney would qualify as. We've got too much work to do man. You won't be worth squat from a jail cell!!!!

There's better ways to change the law than being tied up in court and jail for several years.

AB


I think he means that he plans to discuss with them the legality of open carry - I hope I'm reading that correctly.

Please don't go getting yourself in any legal trouble when the tide is turing our way. :blush:
Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.

#405 tplane37

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 11:46 PM

So, has anyone discussed with legal council to find out if this means that We the People are able to open carry as a constitutional right? I plan to ASAP. Most likely when we meet with the Macon County SA.


Uh.....Tplane.........you may want to rethink that action. As of right now, it's still against the law in the State of IL to open carry in an incorporated area. As well as in most municipalities, and in governmental offices, which a Representative's office or the office of a State's Attorney would qualify as. We've got too much work to do man. You won't be worth squat from a jail cell!!!!

There's better ways to change the law than being tied up in court and jail for several years.

AB


I think he means that he plans to discuss with them the legality of open carry - I hope I'm reading that correctly.

Please don't go getting yourself in any legal trouble when the tide is turing our way. :)

Yes, I was in a hurry to get out the door for dinner. What I meant to say is that I plan to find out the legality of open carry based on the Heller decision ASAP. I did not mean to come across as planning to open carry ASAP. Sorry if that came across wrong. Some one will challenge the ruling and get picked up and booked for it, but I cannot afford the time off work, time away from my son, and attorney fees to get that favorable ruling for us. If I could afford it, I would be willing to take one for the team. But my family is most important to me, therefore I will stick with the plan to get an ordinance passed to let us carry...until then..."Six Seconds to Safety" is still my best option (near me, not on me...unloaded and in a case...y'all know the routine.).
I gave an oath when I enlisted in the United States Navy,

"...to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

Though I may no longer be enlisted, and no longer have an obligation to the U.S. Navy, I still have a moral obligation to my country, my freedom, and the protection of my family.

I will stand by that oath for as long as I live.

Freedom's not free, the day we quit fighting for it is the day we will loose it.

"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." Author: unknown

"The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity -- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity." -Henry Clay

#406 GarandFan

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 03:11 AM

In the ruling itself,it states " Yesturdays ruling should cast doubt on long standing prohibitions on the posession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."


Mac, let us be perfectly clear. Scalia's majority opinion does NOT state the above.

Quite to the contrary, it stated:

Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.26

26 We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.

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#407 abolt243

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 06:12 AM

In the ruling itself,it states " Yesturdays ruling should cast doubt on long standing prohibitions on the posession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."


Mac, let us be perfectly clear. Scalia's majority opinion does NOT state the above.

Quite to the contrary, it stated:

Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.26

26 We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.


I had to go back and read it a couple of times. I tend to instinctively read a NOT into the phrase, as in " Yesturdays ruling should NOT cast doubt on long standing." In fact, I can't find that phrase anywhere in the actual article from the Daily Mail, if that's where this quote comes from. http://www.dailymail...lawful-use.html ..

Is that the UK piece you're quoting Mac??

AB
Are you a member of the ISRA?? If not, why not?? Join over 18,000 other Illinois gun owners in the fight for your rights!!!

The Roman Empire fell due to a large, corrupt government, overspending, an overextended military, insecure borders, and the illegal immigration of Goths, barbarians (anyone who was not educated), and religious fanatics. Sound familiar?


"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."
--Samuel Adams

Luke 11:21 - "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed." NASB


#408 abolt243

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 06:15 AM

[/quote]
Yes, I was in a hurry to get out the door for dinner. What I meant to say is that I plan to find out the legality of open carry based on the Heller decision ASAP. I did not mean to come across as planning to open carry ASAP. Sorry if that came across wrong. Some one will challenge the ruling and get picked up and booked for it, but I cannot afford the time off work, time away from my son, and attorney fees to get that favorable ruling for us. If I could afford it, I would be willing to take one for the team. But my family is most important to me, therefore I will stick with the plan to get an ordinance passed to let us carry...until then..."Six Seconds to Safety" is still my best option (near me, not on me...unloaded and in a case...y'all know the routine.).
[/quote]
Thanks for clearing that up Tplane, I was beginning to wonder!!!
Sorry if I took the original statement wrong, I'll try to read with more understanding in the future.

AB
Are you a member of the ISRA?? If not, why not?? Join over 18,000 other Illinois gun owners in the fight for your rights!!!

The Roman Empire fell due to a large, corrupt government, overspending, an overextended military, insecure borders, and the illegal immigration of Goths, barbarians (anyone who was not educated), and religious fanatics. Sound familiar?


"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."
--Samuel Adams

Luke 11:21 - "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed." NASB


#409 Mac

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 10:07 AM

In the ruling itself,it states " Yesturdays ruling should cast doubt on long standing prohibitions on the posession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."


Mac, let us be perfectly clear. Scalia's majority opinion does NOT state the above.

Quite to the contrary, it stated:

Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.26

26 We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.


I had to go back and read it a couple of times. I tend to instinctively read a NOT into the phrase, as in " Yesturdays ruling should NOT cast doubt on long standing." In fact, I can't find that phrase anywhere in the actual article from the Daily Mail, if that's where this quote comes from. http://www.dailymail...lawful-use.html ..

Is that the UK piece you're quoting Mac??

AB


That is the article that I was quoting. Sorry for not putting it in my post.

mac
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed. " Noah Webster

The founding fathers of this nation were very clear about the meaning of the second amendment and the Supreme Court has backed them up.-----Repeatedly.

The fiercest criminal the the citizen has to fear is a Government that becomes over-bearing.

Any right not exercised is a forgotten right.

#410 johnyt101

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 10:30 PM

Molly B, you are right...all nine justices agreed that the second amendment was an individual not a collective right, the dissenters just disagreed with what that individual right entailed. The dissenters said that the right was to keep firearms to serve in the militia, not self protection or hunting. Except Breyer wrote in his concurring dissent that self protection was a secondary right derived from being able to keep the firearm for militia service. But he said without the right to keep the firearm for militia service you would not have a right to keep one solely for self protection. So if the four dissenters believe that it is an individual right to keep arms for militia service and they cling solely to the narrow Miller test as to which arms are protected under the second amendment (arms fit for military/militia service according to the Miller ruling), then they should vote unanimously to strike down the MG ban and the $200 tax on class III weapons and destructive devices as an undue burdens on the right to keep and bear arms. But if they did see a case like that, I bet they wouldnt, they would find some way to contradict themselves...

#411 tplane37

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:26 PM

I found this. After reading through the 157 pg opinion and making my own notes, then finding this syllabus, it is correct.

Link

SYLLABUS
OCTOBER TERM, 2007
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA V. HELLER


SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al. v. HELLER

certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit

No. 07–290. Argued March 18, 2008—Decided June 26, 2008

District of Columbia law bans handgun possession by making it a crime to carry an unregistered firearm and prohibiting the registration of handguns; provides separately that no person may carry an unlicensed handgun, but authorizes the police chief to issue 1-year licenses; and requires residents to keep lawfully owned firearms unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device. Respondent Heller, a D. C. special policeman, applied to register a handgun he wished to keep at home, but the District refused. He filed this suit seeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin the city from enforcing the bar on handgun registration, the licensing requirement insofar as it prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in the home, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the use of functional firearms in the home. The District Court dismissed the suit, but the D. C. Circuit reversed, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms and that the city’s total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, violated that right.

Held:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.

(:clap: The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.

© The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.

(d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32.

(e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.

(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.

2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.

478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

Scalia, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined.


I gave an oath when I enlisted in the United States Navy,

"...to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

Though I may no longer be enlisted, and no longer have an obligation to the U.S. Navy, I still have a moral obligation to my country, my freedom, and the protection of my family.

I will stand by that oath for as long as I live.

Freedom's not free, the day we quit fighting for it is the day we will loose it.

"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." Author: unknown

"The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity -- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity." -Henry Clay