February 2003

Downrange: 02/03

THE NUTTY NINTH CIRCUIT: For better or worse, it seems that the issue of individual gun rights might be headed for a Supreme Court showdown.

The reason: Before Christmas, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made a reasoned, if mistaken, argument that put the California court at odds with the Fifth Circuit, which held last year in U.S. v. Emerson that the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect an individual’s right to firearms.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision came in a case called Silveira v. Lockyer, which pitted nine plaintiffs against the state of California, which a decade ago banned “assault weapons.” But the law made an exception for individuals who owned such weapons...

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