June 26, 2008

Full Text of Heller Decision Available Here

Heller is merely the opening salvo in a series of litigations that will ultimately resolve what weapons and persons can be regulated

On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia's gun ban as unconstitutional.

The 5-4 decision, with the majority opinion written by Antonin Scalia, and joined by Chief Justice Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, is available for download below. Summary:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.

3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. … Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.