Thursday, November 19, 2009

Court: Conviction does not limit gun rights

Declan McCullagh opines:
A federal appeals court has overturned the conviction of a Wisconsin man barred from owning firearms because of his criminal record, ruling the lifetime prohibition may violate Americans' Second Amendment rights and calling into question the future of a 13-year old gun control law.
Court: Criminal Record May Not Prevent Gun Ownership
For other constitutional rights such as the First Amendment, it's relatively common to see acts of Congress struck down as going too far, as anyone who's followed the series of cases about Internet pornography or abortion can attest.

That hasn't been the situation with the Second Amendment even after the Heller decision, in part because some judges have not taken constitutional arguments seriously, and in part because the Supreme Court has not provided a road map to follow. The justices now have a chance to remedy that oversight in the case currently before the court, McDonald v. Chicago. If they don't, expect this constitutional confusion to continue.
David Codrea has some thoughts as well Having an Unreasonable FitI have long advocated that if a felon has freedom of religion, speech, etc., then why not have the right to protect themselves with a firearm. My argument is that mere possession of an object such as a gun, should not be a crime. Criminal activity should be. Pointing a gun in a teller's face certainly should bring swift justice and is a good example of a crime, having a gun in your pocket should not be.

There is no victim if someone has a weapon in their possession, but there is a victim when the weapon is used during a violent act (such as shooting a person, ie murder).

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