What's been said in the courts

Modified: March 16, 2008 at 9:36 am •  Published: March 16, 2008
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What's been said in the courts
"To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad).”

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,

March 9, 2007

"The text and history of the Second Amendment conclusively refute the notion that it entitles individuals to have guns for their own private purposes. Instead, it protects the possession and use of guns only in service of an organized militia.”

District of Columbia brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, January 2008

"Although the court of appeals correctly held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, it did not apply the correct standard for evaluating (the) Second Amendment claim. Like other provisions of the Constitution that secure individual rights, the Second Amendment's protection of individual rights does not render all laws limiting gun ownership automatically invalid. To the contrary, the Second Amendment, properly construed, allows for reasonable regulation of firearms ...”

U.S. Justice Department brief to the U.S. Supreme Court,

January 2008