MONDAY MORNING THE U.S . SUPREME COURT handed down a widely-watched decision on the rights of Americans to “keep and bear arms” under the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The Wall Street Journal summarizes:
The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom, giving federal judges power to strike down state and local weapons laws for infringing on Second Amendment rights.
The court in 2008 voided a District of Columbia handgun ban, and Monday’s ruling extended that to the rest of the country. Because Washington is federal territory and not part of a state, the legal basis for imposing federal constitutional limits on gun laws adopted by states had been unclear. Monday’s ruling elevates the Second Amendment right to bear arms to the status of a fundamental right that states can’t abridge.
“It is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty,” wrote Justice Alito in his majority opinion.