Thursday, June 26, 2008


Today the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, a case regarding the ban on privately owned handguns (for self-defense or hunting) in the District of Columbia. And in the first major pronouncement on Second Amendment Rights in US history, the Court ruled that the Constitution does not permit the absolute prohibition of handguns in the home.

"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."

Fairly predictably, the Court split on this issue narrowly and along ideological lines. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito voted in the majority; Justices Stevens, Bader-Ginsburg, Souter, and Breyer dissented.

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