Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The gun control decision

California can expect a barrage of legal challenges to its many strict gun control regulations as a result of Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that state and local governments are bound to adhere to the constitutional right to bear arms.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court found that a Chicago-area ban on handguns can be challenged on Second Amendment grounds, meaning that the law will not stand if it is found to trample on the right to self-defense inherent in the federal constitution.

The high court has never before said that state and local gun regulations must meet a Second Amendment threshold, and the new ruling implicates laws ranging from California's long-standing and controversial assault weapons ban to local efforts to limit the sale and possession of certain types of handguns.

I support reasonable gun control laws to keep guns from people previously adjudicated criminal or crazy.

But, the Constitution clearly protects the right to bear arms, without qualification.

If gun control advocates are so sure their ideas have popular support, they should simply try to amend the Constitution to permit reasonable regulation of gun ownership. But, they should not attempt to do end runs around clear Constitutional language.

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