Few Ripples from Supreme Court Ruling on Guns

About nine months ago, the Supreme Court breathed new life into the Second Amendment, ruling for the first time that it protects an individual right to own guns. Since then, lower federal courts have decided more than 80 cases interpreting the decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, and it is now possible to make a preliminary assessment of its impact.

So far, Heller is firing blanks.

…“To date, the federal courts have not invalidated a single gun control law on the basis of the Second Amendment since Heller.”

There is one arguable exception to this trend. Two judges have struck down a part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, named after the murdered son of John Walsh, the host of the television show “America’s Most Wanted.” The act says that people accused of child pornography offenses must be prohibited from possessing guns while they await trial.

“The right to possess a firearm is constitutionally protected,” Judge Francis wrote. “There is no basis for categorically depriving persons who are merely accused of certain crimes of the right to legal possession of a firearm.”
Source

Interesting. The article goes on to say that an unanswered question is whether the Second Amendment applies not just to federal law, but to the states as well. I would never have assumed otherwise, but apparently we’ll have to wait to find out.

Well, before the 14th amendment, the Bill of Rights applied only against the Federal Government and not the states. Now, most of the Bill of Rights has been incorporated to apply to the states using the 14th amendment’s Due Process clause.

Had the entity in D.C. v. Heller been a state, then we could infer that the 2nd amendment had been incorporated through the 14th. However, as we all know, D.C. is not a state, but a creature of the Federal Government. This means that the 2nd amendment applied directly and there was no need to resort to the Due Process clause of the 14th amendment.

This is very interesting to us Con Law nerds. It would have cleared up alot of confusion if it had been an actual state in Heller rather than D.C.

It’s risky to quote the new york times.

Yes.

[quote=Walden]This is very interesting to us Con Law nerds. It would have cleared up alot of confusion if it had been an actual state in Heller rather than D.C.
[/quote]

The article stated as you imply that not all of the Bill of Rights has been incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment. I hadn’t been aware of this previously - to what other amendments are they referring?

Thanks for warning me I’m at risk. Did you care to comment on the thread topic?

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