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District Of Columbia V. Heller: The Use And Permit Of Handguns

1955 words - 8 pages

With many recent incidents that involve guns between 2012 and 2013, gun control laws have become a hot topic in America. On one hand, after the horrific incident like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at Newtown in 2012, most people wanting to limit guns from getting into the wrong by setting up a rigorous system that control who can and cannot obtain a gun. On the other hand, we have the people who believe that with such rigorous system in place is violated the individual rights that granted and protected by the United States Constitution. They believe that the rigorous system will prevent people from defending themselves and could be a violation of their privacy. Regardless of which side is right, if we want to understand more about our current conflict, we have to look back on how this hold debate started. The District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court case in 2008 that found the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 unconstitutional, which influence the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense by questioning the Second Amendment and laws that restrict a person from acquire guns.
The District of Columbia v. Heller plays an important role in shaping our right to keep and bear arms for self-defense by being the first court case that defines who can own guns for self-defend. The whole case is revolving around the Second Amendment and its meaning. Since the Second Amendment first enact into law in 1791, this prompts the court to look at it again. By understanding its original meaning, the court then can understand what intended to do and how it affects our current time. Before the Heller court case, States in America have its own laws on who can own and use guns. While some State is lax in their laws about guns, the District of Columbia was having very strict gun control laws. Since the Second Amendment was interpreted as somewhere along the line that only citizens with a military background can obtain and own guns for home defend (Carter 233).
Before the District of Columbia v. Heller, a citizen cannot own guns for self-defend without some form of military background. However, this all change when a special policeman in D.C who was denied permission to register a handgun that he wanted to keep at home. Heller was authorized to be able to carry his hand gun during his duty, but he cannot register for a license to keep a handgun at home. By being denied from owning a gun for self-defense, even with gun training like the military have, it encored him to take his case to the court and it soon ends up made it to the U.S. Supreme Court (Carter 234). While it sounds strange that an important issue that dealt with the Second Amendment has only come up recently since it first enact in 1791. However, prior to the Heller case the Supreme Court had only dealt with Second Amendment claims on only four times. These cases are old and they did not address the issue of the right to bear arms (233).
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