Heller, High Water(mark)? Lower Courts and the New Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Brannon P. Denning
Samford University - Cumberland School of Law
Glenn Harlan Reynolds
University of Tennessee College of Law
August 16, 2009
Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 60, p. 1245, 2009
University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 76
This paper examines the post-Heller Second Amendment case law in the lower courts and concludes that although federal courts are not rushing to overturn gun laws under the Second Amendment, they are moving more rapidly to implement Heller than under previous 'revolutionary' decisions such as U.S. v. Lopez. There is also some evidence that state courts are taking the right to arms more seriously, with the additional possibility that the new federal right to arms may boost interest in the numerous state right-to-arms provisions. Finally, by characterizing gun ownership as a protected individual right, Heller has served to 'renormalize' firearms ownership, a change in legal philosophy that may be as significant as any doctrinal shifts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: Heller, lower courts, firearms, second amendment, Brannon Denning, Glenn Reynolds, keep and bear armsworking papers series
Date posted: August 18, 2009 ; Last revised: October 22, 2009
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