Supreme Court Leaves Semi-automatic Ban in Place

If you have been following some of the recent news, one piece you might have missed in all the activity surrounding San Bernadino shootings is a recent ruling by the Supreme Court. While it was about a ruling made in Illinois, it will potentially have impact in many other areas around the country, including our own.

The essence of the ruling came from an appeal made by a gun owner/pediatrician, Arie Friedman, and the Illinois State Rifle Association. They were claiming it was unconstitutional to require him so dispose of semi-automatic weaponry that he owned for the protection of his family. This was denied and the ban remained in place. This was described in much more detail in an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Supreme Court Lets Stand Local Law Banning Semiautomatic Guns.”

But there is more to be learned about the law from this for all of us…not just those residents of Highland Park, Illinois. For one, it’s interesting to see how the Supreme Court justices voted on this issue…it wasn’t a slam dunk and one that just sailed through the system. There were two justices in particular, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, who “accused the court’s majority of turning its back on recent precedents striking down local handgun bans and relegating “the Second Amendment to a second-class right.”

The key issue still surrounds how far the courts may be able to go in certain areas without infringing directly on the 2nd Amendment. As the Second Amendment 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.”

Here is the big question they asked as part of this group filing an appeal…

Does a regulation ban “weapons that were common at the time of ratification or those that have ‘some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia,’ and whether law‐abiding citizens retain adequate means of self‐defense”?

Apparently it can and the ban on these weapons was upheld. But again, not all justices were on board with this which indicates there will most likely be more challenges in this area from both sides of the 2nd Amendment. And each time these happen, it is important for all gun owners, like you, to be aware of the dialog happening at our country’s highest court. These decisions carry massive shock waves down to our local communities.

And as Clarence Thomas wrote in his summary of why he objected to this decision, “If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing.” This is dangerous territory to tread in his mind and something we all as gun owners need to keep in mind as decisions are being made.

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