8/07/2009

So now the question about the right to bear arms

Last year in Heller the Supreme Court said that people have a right to own guns. The Second Amendment read that people have the right "to keep and bear arms." So what about the "bear" part? CBS News has this story:

One question left unanswered by the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Second Amendment ruling last year is this: When do law-abiding Americans have the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense?

In a lawsuit filed against the city of Washington, D.C. on Thursday, the Second Amendment Foundation aims to find out.

The plaintiffs are four gun owners who were denied licenses to carry firearms in public on their person, which nearly all states permit. All U.S. states except Illinois and Wisconsin grant licenses for concealed carry, and 36 states require local police to issue the licenses unless there's a valid reason (such as a criminal history) not to do so.

The District of Columbia is a special case. Its city code says nobody may carry "either openly or concealed on or about their person, a pistol, without a license." But a law enacted in December 2008 appears to have curbed the ability of the police chief to grant those licenses.

"This really isn't about concealed carry," Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told CBSNews.com in an interview on Thursday evening. "It's about being able to carry a gun, period. D.C. can prescribe some form or fashion or regulation or restrictions, but there's no way they can say you can't do it at all." . . . .

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2 Comments:

Blogger HerbM said...

Technical correction: All states except Illinois allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms on their person.

Wisconsin allows this, but requires the firearm be openly carried.

This is slightly more than a minor quibble as it might ultimately affect how some such cases are resolved. It MIGHT be constitutional to forbid concealed carry, but ONLY IF open carry is legal.

8/07/2009 9:20 PM  
Blogger Rail Claimore said...

Case law in several states, my own included, go on the premise that open carry is a right and that concealed carry is a privilege. Many states passed laws prohibiting concealed carry because concealment has the tactical advantage of surprise for those who carry handguns, whether for criminal intent or not. It wasn't until open carry became very uncommon among non-LEOs that the attitudes toward the two different types of carry basically flipped.

Today, because of mass hoplophobia, open carry is viewed in many circles with disdain while concealed carry is viewed in positive light due to the licensing requirements and the old saying "out of sight, out of mind."

I'm curious, if SCOTUS decides to hear the case, at how they will take such old case law and statutory laws into consideration on this issue.

8/11/2009 8:22 PM  

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