Posted: September 9, 2019
Submitted by: http://www.minutemanreview.com
11 Times the Second Amendment Was Attacked and Prevailed
Gun owners and enthusiasts know that the biggest problem of gun ownership is the constant attacks on the Second Amendment. Of the countless attacks that have been hurled at the Second Amendment, there have been some that have even made it through the legal system all the way to the Supreme Court. Here are eleven of the times that the Second Amendment was affirmed legally in the courts.
1. Nunn v. Georgia
Before this case in 1846, Georgia had a law banning handgun ownership for private citizens. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was ruled that this law was unconstitutional. This ruling was made as a result of the Second Amendment and was the first case in which the Second Amendment was cited as a reason for a ruling.
2. United States v. Verdugo-Urquirdez
Prior to US v. Verdugo-Urquirdez, there was no formal clarification on the language of the Second Amendment. The amendment listed “the people” as those who have the right to bear arms, but it was unknown if this was limited to citizens. This case ended in a ruling that determined that “the people” includes citizens, as well as legal aliens who have the right to bear arms.
3. United States v. Printz
The “Brady Bill” was a piece of legislation that required local law enforcement officers to be involved in the process of private handgun purchases. Officers were required to perform background checks on those looking to purchase handguns while they awaited federal oversight. At the time of this case, in 1996, there was no federal system for handgun registration. This case culminated in a Supreme Court decision that Congress could not impose legislation that would restrict citizens’ ability to purchase handguns while awaiting federal oversight.
4. United States v. Emerson
Having been put under a restraining order by his wife following a divorce, Timothy Emerson was later arrested for possession of a handgun while the subject of a restraining order. This case was taken to the Supreme Court, where it was ruled that the Second Amendment applies to all citizens, regardless of their restraining order status. This saw the Second Amendment being expanded to include more citizens than it previously had.
5. District of Columbia v. Heller
This case gets its name from Dick Heller, a police officer who served in the District of Columbia in 2008. Despite being a police officer, Heller was denied a license to possess a loaded firearm in his home. This is because, at the time, possessing a firearm in one’s home required the gun to be unloaded and dismantled, or locked with a trigger lock. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Heller, noting that his Second Amendment rights had been violated. Not all gun owners are allowed to keep their firearms loaded and unlocked in the home if they wish.
6. McDonald v. Chicago
In 2010, this case was brought against the city of Chicago by a citizen named Otis McDonald and several firearms organizations for its ban on private gun ownership. The Supreme Court eventually determined that the 14th Amendment right to due process had the answer to this debate. It was ruled that the right to due process extends to the Second Amendment, and ensures that all citizens in all states have a right to private gun ownership.
7. United States v. Day
This case found that while law-abiding citizens have the right to bear arms, felons and untrustworthy citizens do not. This helped to determine that the Second Amendment is not to be abused by people who want to use guns for criminal purposes. This not only set down some ground rules, but it also highlighted the drive of gun owners to ensure their rights were being upheld safely.
8. Caeteno v. Massachusetts
This case centered on Jamie Cateno, who was convicted of possessing a stun gun in a Massachusetts state court. While not lethal, stun guns do produce a large amount of force and can cause serious injuries. Once it hit the Supreme Court, it was ruled that stun guns fall under the Second Amendment and are protected in the same way as firearms. This means that citizens can own and carry stun guns in the same manner as firearms.
9. 21st Century Cures Act
Prior to this act, many people with diagnosed mental illnesses were disqualified from owning firearms for their entire lives. This included veterans who were suffering from PTSD as a result of their military service. The 21st Century Cures Act reversed that decision, restoring Second Amendment rights to people across the country and setting the precedent that conditions like PTSD don’t interfere with or negate 2nd amendment rights.
10. Young v. Hawaii
This case was brought as a result of an “open carry” ban in the state of Hawaii. In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit Court upheld the Second Amendment, forcing Hawaii to reverse its open carry ban. This case also concluded that states must defer to the federal law and respect the Second Amendment in all related cases. In other words, states can’t enact gun control laws that oppose national regulations.
11. US District Court Chief Judge Ramona v. Manglona
This 2018 case was centered on the heavy firearms restrictions in the US Commonwealth of North Marina Islands. US District Court Chief Judge Ramona ruled that there were multiple areas where the restrictions in the Commonwealth of North Marina Islands were unconstitutional. Chief Judge Ramona cited caliber limitations on long guns, a $1,000 tax on handgun purchases, and registration requirements as areas where the law was unconstitutional.
Of all the times the Second Amendment has been attacked, it has always come out on the prevailing end. These eleven examples show that the Second Amendment is a part of the American Constitution that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Even through the toughest scrutiny, it has and will continue to stay in its place as a constitutionally-ensured right.
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