The second amendment is the part of the constitution that deals with the right to bear arms. This right has had a lot of press in the 21st century. Many want to see the second amendment supported, while others want to see it limited.
Landmark Case, 2008: Heller v. the District of Columbia
One of the most well-known second amendment cases is the Heller v. D.C. case. This case challenged an unconstitutional firearms regulation from the 1970s. The regulation made it illegal for citizens to own handguns in D.C. Heller argued that because he worked in security in D.C. he was given a gun to protect the politicians, yet he was not allowed to have one in his own home to protect his own family. In June of 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Heller, stating that the previous law was indeed unconstitutional, and that handguns were included in the definition of the right to bear arms in the second amendment.
McDonald v. Chicago
Another landmark case, McDonald v. Chicago, came about a few years later. McDonald v. Chicago challenged Chicago’s ban on guns in the city. Illinois had been regulating handgun ownership in many of the same ways as D.C. had prior to the Heller case. Chicago continued to do so after the Heller v. D.C. case, because the language in the Heller v. D.C. case made an exception to the constitutional right. The language describes how individuals have a constitutional right to bear arms except in special places. It is argued whether this was in regard to schools and government buildings. Illinois lower courts made the argument that special places could be deemed anywhere public or outside of a private home. The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled that citizens do have a second amendment right to carry handguns outside of the home.
Bateman v. Perdue
The Bateman v. Perdue case was won by Bateman in 2012 in North Carolina. This case was originally filed in 2010, challenging a gun ban that had been placed against carrying guns during a state of emergency. A judge ruled that the state of emergency gun ban was unconstitutional because according to his judgment, the second amendment does not refer to in-home use only. This state of emergency gun ban law put the citizens at risk by not allowing them access to self defense methods at a time when they would be most needed.
Chan v. Seattle
On October 28, 2009, a court in King County in Washington State ruled in favor of the second amendment over another unconstitutional city law that regulated guns in the public park system. The lawsuit was brought against the city of Seattle because Seattle’s law was found to be in opposition to the state law that upheld the second amendment right to bear arms in and outside of the home.
Kachalsky v. Cacase
This case has been filed against a county in New York State. It was filed because Ms. Nokolov was denied a permit when she could not prove that there was a specific threat to her safety. Currently, in the State of New York, one must be able to show good cause in order to be issued a handgun carry permit. Kachalsky’s side of the case claims that the second amendment gives her the right to bear arms even without a specific threat. This case is still under review.
Raymond Ferris is a freelance writer based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who focuses on complex legal issues such as mesothelioma law, criminal defense, personal injury, civil procedure, constitutional law and other areas as well.
Image credit goes to amirpaz.