The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the right of the government to regulate firearms.

Editorial by LawReader Senior Editor Stan Billingsley – Nov. 21, 2007

The area of established law related to gun control is so fragile, that any ruling by the court will change how business is done.  The Court by agreeing to throw rocks in this pond will cause ripples in current 2nd amendment jurisprudence that may have far ranging consequences.

The court has the option to grant the NRA dream ruling, and say the government never can regulate the private possession of firearms.  That in our opinion is unlikely.

On the other hand the court’s decision may recognize the right of the government to regulation the possession of firearms. That right once clearly acknowledged, will widen the ability of the government to regulate firearms.

The nexus of the District of Columbia law that is on appeal, is that the D.C. law bans all handguns outright.  The Court by accepting this appeal, suggests that there are at least four members who believe that this local law goes to far.

The logical alternative is that the Court will say governments cannot impose blanket bans of firearms but may impose “reasonable? regulation of firearms.  Even that ruling may benefit gun regulation more than it hurts such regulation.

Look for the court to discuss “reasonable? regulation of firearms.  Will the Court go so far as to define “reasonable? in this context?  Hard to say.
I find it very unlikely that the Court will rule that the Constitution mandates an absolute, non-regulated, gun control policy.  That would mean that gangs can carry guns into schools, court houses, banks, convenient stores, and appellate court hearings…..and that would cause a national uproar.  Remember that the Justices themselves live most of the year in D.C. and suburbs, and that gun violence affects them personally just as it does other citizens.
More likely, the court will come up with a ruling that says something like:
The constitution allows a citizen to possess a gun in his home for personal protection. 

The government may impose “reasonable” regulation of guns in public places, and may regulate concealed weapons.

“Reasonable? means that governments may not totally ban guns (as in D.C.) but may enact limited regulation of guns.

The government may regulate and limit possession of machine guns and military type weapons.

The right of the government to require registration of guns may or may not be dealt with, but any right to regulate firearms, will be argued by many to include registration.

The court will uphold the denial of the right to possess firearms to convicted felons and insane persons.
These principles are generally accepted by the public today.  If the Court allows any regulation, it opens the door wider than it has been for gun control.  If the Court forbids any regulation, then there will be a public outrage

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