California Gun Decision Muddies 2nd Amendment Waters


Bob Barr
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 24, 2009

[efoods]It’s been less than a year since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Heller decision affirming the principle that the 2nd Amendment does indeed protect an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the right it thus protects is a fundamental right. The High Court last June clearly established: (1) that we — the people — possess an individual right to own firearms; (2) that this fundamental right pre-dated the Constitution (in other words, the 2nd Amendment does not grant us the right, it merely protects it); and (3) that a state government (or, in the facts of the case itself, the District of Columbia) cannot so restrict the right that it in essence nullifies it.

Now, in an April 20th decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (in a case out of Alameda County, California) has already muddied the 2nd Amendment picture clarified by the Heller decision. The circuit court did this by holding that the county government may prohibit firearms anywhere on property owned by the county (including guns shows at facilities owned by the county).

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