Right to Bear Arms
Is your right to bear arms in jeopardy? On June 9th, 2016, political controversy spiked again when a federal appeals court in San Francisco took a new stand on carrying a concealed gun. The official ruling maintains that the second amendment to the Constitution does not, in fact, protect Americans’ right to carry concealed weapons in public, and local law enforcement officials will continue to significantly restrict who receives a permit to do so.
Those who can prove they have good cause are often given concealed carry permits. But what exactly does “good cause” mean? The term is defined a little differently in various locations, but for the most part, individuals who are threatened with violence or who are frequently in possession of expensive valuables are more likely to get a permit. The ruling met fierce opposition from advocates of gun rights, and many are wondering what is coming next for gun laws.
“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.”—Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
What’s Next for the Second Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms?
The second amendment to the constitution was ratified in 1791 and has been defined by many as an extension of the right to resist oppression and the right to self-defense. The law breaks down into 3 major points that have been heavily debated since its creation: “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.” The entire law is only one sentence long, but take a look at just a few court cases that have battled over the meaning.
United States v. Cruikshank (1876) limited how applicable the second amendment was to the federal government.
United States v. Miller (1939) determined that both state and federal governments could restrict any weapons that were not being used specifically for the militia.
United States v. Heller (2008) protected the individual’s right to bear arms beyond just the use of arms to sustain the militia.
Other court cases have also altered the use of the second amendment, but today there is even more scrutiny than before from the courts and various political leaders who are debating past rulings to decide what gun control laws need to cover today.
The Right to Bear Arms Debate
The biggest concern comes over whether or not this right should be regulated and by how much. It is extremely unlikely that regulations for carrying firearms would ever be entirely repealed. But gun-rights advocates are complaining that the many restrictions are so difficult to navigate that they actually infringe upon their constitutional rights.
Gun-rights activists maintain that American citizens’ rights to bear arms is just as protected by the constitution as any other right. However, those who oppose the law voice several safety concerns that they feel outweigh anything the founding fathers might have envisioned for gun rights.
With all of the recent controversy, one heavy question is flying around: would the second amendment ever be repealed?
In order to legally repeal the amendment according to the constitutional laws, two thirds of the Senate and two-thirds of the House of Representatives would need to be in agreement in favor of repealing it. If this were to happen, a 28th amendment declaring the repeal would be added to the 27 existing ones. Although it seems unlikely that this will occur in the near future, the recent court ruling against carrying concealed weapons in public proves that changes are possible.
Shooting for the Future
It is not certain what will happen in the future for the second amendment, and the debate will continue between advocates and opponents of right to bear arms. How will you support or oppose this ruling? We at Low VA Rates will continue to stay up-to-date on the latest news in gun rights laws, and we suggest you do the same. We think it should be a priority to ensure each American feels safe in their own country, however this is achieved.
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