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More gun freedom in the US

The Second Amendment of the US Constitution is probably one of the most contentious issues in the US polity. The Amendment covers the right of American citizens to bear arms, and reads thus, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The Amendment was introduced more than 200 hundred years back, and ever since then, it has been an area of direct conflict between gun rights supporters and gun control supporters. The Courts have backed away from taking on this issue (and it is hard, with the supporters and opponents of gun control fighting over placement of commas in the amendment, over the intention of the constitution framers, and over the need to have effective crime control in the country); there have been some doubt over whether anybody can actually interpret what was the intention between the original intention of the amendment:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented ruling that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense in their homes will immediately shift the legal battle over gun rights to California, the state with some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Gun rights advocates, led by the National Rifle Association, plan to file suit in federal court today challenging a San Francisco law that bans handguns in public housing, pouncing quickly on Thursday’s decision striking down Washington, D.C.’s broader ban on the same weapons.


The Supreme Court revived the nation’s gun control debate by directly assessing, for the first time in history, the meaning of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. In a 5-4 ruling, the justices placed limits on modern society’s efforts to deal with gun violence if they violate a constitutional right established two centuries ago to allow citizens to take up their muskets against government control. In the majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia stressed that the ruling does not preclude all regulation of firearms, citing restrictions in schools and government buildings and laws against felons possessing guns. The court left intact D.C.’s requirement that guns be licensed but struck down its requirements that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled.

This is probably for the first time that the Court has actually ruled on the question of whether the Second Amendment applies to individual citizens or was meant to apply to the militia (that were thought necessary at that time since there was no army, and the conception was that militias would be important for ensuring the security of the state). What is going to happen now is that there are a number of cases where existing cases and regulations are going to get challenged at the instigation of the NRA (National Rifle Association). Also, the worries about the changes to the Supreme Court due to the pushing of conservative justices seem to be coming true even more.
This ruling is going to cause a nightmare for administrators trying to control the spread of gun control and crime prevention, especially with regard to handguns (that are the most easily concealed of weapons); expect many more cases and litigation over this. Lower courts, especially in places such as New York, Washington, and California are going to have a much harder time deciphering this ruling and coming out with is permissible and what is not.

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