The Next Big Gunfight

Article excerpt

The Wall Street Journal reported on August 1 that gun-ownership "advocates are filing lawsuits in courts across the U.S., hoping to get rulings that people have a constitutional right not only to keep firearms in their homes, but to carry them in public." Multiple lawsuits have been filed across the nation that could "affect the direction of gun-control legislation for years to come" by broadening the Supreme Court's interpretation of Second Amendment rights to include open carry.

Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, told the news that "the right to bear arms extends to outside the home [and that] is the next battlefield. ... And if that right does exist, courts then have to wrestle with a whole host of other issues, like how far [the right to carry a firearm] extends and what kinds of permitting regimes are permissible."

Two recent landmark Supreme Court decisions on the Second Amendment recognized an individual right to gun ownership (District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008) as well as the incorporation of that right against the state government (McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010), but they allowed for the regulation of firearms--and left open the question as to what types of gun-control regulations are permissible.

Dave Workman, an editor at Gun Week magazine, a publication owned by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), told the Wall Street Journal that lawyers on both sides of the gun-control debate will take years and numerous court cases to clarify exactly the implications of those rulings.

The Supreme Court rulings have led to a flood of new challenges to all sorts of gun laws at the federal, state, and local level. …