There has been much anticipation since last year over the U.S. Supreme Court’s examination of the Second Amendment to the Constitution – the “right to bear arms”. The case stems from a challenge to the constitutionality of the handgun ban in Washington D.C.
Since I have given some coverage to the restrictions on weapons in the UK (see “Research & Dialogue About Importing Firearms to the UK“, “…Update“, “The Last Samurai? UK to Ban “Imitation” Swords…“, “More Potential Restrictions in the UK – Deactivated Firearms May Be Banned“), which has had some impact on original prop collectors, I thought this was equally newsworthy.
VOANews.com summarizes the nature of the Supreme Court case well (LINK):
VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where justices heard impassioned arguments on the issue in a landmark case that could impact the right to bear arms nationwide.
Ratified in 1791, the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights states, in part, that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” But for generations, Americans have argued whether the amendment provides a blanket authorization for citizens to possess the weapon of their choice, or whether the full language of the amendment ties the right to keep weapons with the establishment of citizen militias, which were common in the early years of the republic.
To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has not definitively or comprehensively ruled on the right to bear arms. But that may soon change.
In the 1970s, the District of Columbia, in an effort to fight crime, banned residents of the nation’s capital from possessing handguns. Although many U.S. municipalities have restrictions and stipulations on firearms, only Washington maintains an absolute prohibition on handguns.
While District of Columbia v. Heller will not be decided until as late as the end of June, the ruling is expected to have a larger impact on gun laws and legislation for the entire nation.
Jason De Bord