Gun owners. This could be the big one - Kawasaki
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-18-2008, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Gun owners. This could be the big one

Supreme Court hears arguments on gun ownership
Published: 3/18/08, 9:00 PM EDT
From Bill Mears CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday took up gun control, hearing arguments concerning a District of Columbia ban on handguns more than two centuries after the Second Amendment gave Americans the right to "keep and bear arms."
Lawyers for both sides tried to strike a moderate tone before the court, arguing that there was an individual right to own a weapon, but that governments could impose reasonable gun-control legislation.

Alan Gura, arguing against the ban on Tuesday before the court said the city "simply doesn't trust the people to protect themselves in their homes."

But Walter Dellinger, a lawyer for the District of Columbia, said there should be a "a reasonable standard" to allow cities to pass gun-control legislation. Listen to highlights from each side's argument

More than 100 people stood in line outside the court for a chance at one of the few seats to hear the arguments in person.

Jason McCrory and his friends were the first in line, having arrived Sunday.

He said he supports "the right of people to keep and bear arms... to protect themselves against the dangers they are presented with."

But Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, said before the hearing that the government had the right to limit gun ownership. Watch how life experiences are shaping the arguments

"There should be reasonable control for access to guns and particularly handguns," he said. "Even if [the Supreme Court finds] that people have the right to bear arms, governments have a right to reasonable controls on firearms -- where and under what circumstances people have a right to have them."

The issue has polarized judges, politicians and the public for decades: do the Second Amendment's 27 words bestow gun ownership as an individual right, or a collective one -- aimed at the civic responsibilities of state militias -- and therefore subject perhaps to strict government regulation.

City leaders had urged the high court to intervene, saying refusal to do so could prove dire.

"The District of Columbia -- a densely populated urban locality where the violence caused by handguns is well documented -- will be unable to enforce a law that its elected officials have sensibly concluded saves lives," wrote lawyers for the city.

A federal appeals court in March had ruled the handgun ban to be unconstitutional.

The city's 31-year-old law has prevented most private citizens from owning and keeping handguns in their homes.

Among major U.S. cities, only Chicago, Illinois, and the District of Columbia have such sweeping firearm bans. Courts have generally upheld other cities' restrictions on semi-automatic weapons and sawed-off shotguns.

The District of Columbia reported 143 gun-related murders last year. In 1976, when the handgun ban was enacted, the district's medical examiner said 135 homicides were firearm-related.

The March ruling that overturned the ban was the first time a federal appeals court had found a gun law unconstitutional on Second Amendment grounds.

That provision states, "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 Supreme Court has steered clear of settling whether the right is individual or collective, and it last examined the issue in 1939 without fully delving into the broader constitutional questions. The issue has remained essentially unresolved since the Bill of Rights were enacted in 1791.

Several District of Columbia citizens first challenged the handgun law, some saying they wanted to do something about being constant victims of crime.

Recent polling finds gun control, remains an important political issue with voters. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey of Americans in December showed 65 percent believe the Constitution guarantees each person the right to own a gun, while 31 percent said no.

The conservative high court majority has been generally supportive in recent years, letting states and cities craft gun-control laws. Watch both sides make their cases outside the court

Similar weapon control laws could now be in jeopardy, and local and state jurisdictions such as Maryland, Massachusetts, Chicago, and San Francisco, California, filed briefs supporting the District.

Thirty-one states, along with groups like the National Rifle Association support the gun owners, but both sides have privately expressed concern over how the justices will decide the issue, since the legal and political implications could be sweeping in scope.

It is unclear whether the Supreme Court's ruling will be broad in scope and apply to nearly all state and local firearm restrictions.

In all, some 64 different briefs were filed, from more than 80 groups and individuals. Among those supporting the gun rights plaintiffs were the NRA, Disabled Veterans for Self-Defense, and the transgender group Pink Pistols.

Groups supporting the city include the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The case is District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290). A ruling is expected in late June.

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post #2 of 25 Old 03-18-2008, 08:35 PM
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Yeah, this could be a defining moment. The Supremes have almost always come down on the side of individual rights in the past. Hope they continue.

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post #3 of 25 Old 03-19-2008, 12:07 AM
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In Speaking to a lot of law enforcment officers and correctional facility guards it seems like criminals that get caught with hand gun get slaps on the wrist and law abiding citizens get the the book thrown at them when they are caught with weapons.

There are 7 other suburbs adjacent or very close to Chicago that also have handgun bans in place that make it Illegal to own one. More in Cook Country than anywhere else, there are more frequent and more aggressive crimes taking place these days, I should be able to have the right to protect my self if God Forbid something ever goes down. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states that have no right to carry concealed weapons.

I wonder if our crime rates are any less? what a paradox that people who are responsible that repect the law enough are not allowed to while criminals take advantage of weak legislation.

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post #4 of 25 Old 03-19-2008, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by olec4 View Post
I wonder if our crime rates are any less? what a paradox that people who are responsible that repect the law enough are not allowed to while criminals take advantage of weak legislation.

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post #5 of 25 Old 03-19-2008, 01:52 AM
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Good post rocketracermike. Ill be watching to see what the decision is.
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-19-2008, 02:10 AM
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I live pretty close to VA Tech that was a crazy day will never forget it . There was a guy that transferd to another school cause he got in trouble at tech for having a ccw he had the permit for it and everything .He was supposed to be in the first class where the gunman open fired who knows what would have happened if he was still in the there with his ccw the outcome may have been different just my

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post #7 of 25 Old 03-19-2008, 05:14 AM
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Between this and Hillary......could be the END of gun ownership in this country......

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post #8 of 25 Old 03-19-2008, 05:56 AM
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this is not cool...

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post #9 of 25 Old 03-19-2008, 07:04 AM
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-19-2008, 07:22 AM
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Supreme Court set to back gun rights
By Patti Waldmeir in Washington

Published: March 18 2008 20:20 | Last updated: March 18 2008 20:20

The US Supreme Court appears ready to rule that Americans have a constitutional right to keep a gun in their home for self-defence, a ruling that could help Republicans in the upcoming presidential election.

Hearing the most important gun rights case in nearly 70 years, the justices on Tuesday spent 98 minutes engrossed in a lively debate about British and American legal traditions relating to the right to bear arms, especially in self-defence.

Business waits on Supreme Court rulings - Feb-18Supreme Court blow to investor lawsuits - Jan-15

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