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Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms

THE BILL OF RIGHTS IN MODERN AMERICA, David J. Bodenhamer, James W. Ely, Jr., eds., Indiana University Press, 2008

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 389

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 389

32 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2008  

Robert J. Cottrol

The George Washington University

Raymond T. Diamond

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Paul M. Hebert Law Center

Abstract

On Tuesday November 20th, 2007 the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case involving the District of Columbia's ban on handguns. The statute had been successfully challenged in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on the grounds that it violated the Second Amendment's guarantee of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." With its decision to grant certiorari, the Supreme Court entered a constitutional controversy from which it had been largely absent for nearly seventy years, the meaning and scope of the Second Amendment. That controversy, the debate over the Second Amendment has occupied a somewhat curious place in American constitutional discourse. It is the subject of a vast polemical literature in the popular press, part of the often strident debate over gun control. Where once the amendment suffered from an unfortunate scholarly neglect, it has over the last two decades, become an arena of lively and sometimes acrimonious debate among historians, legal scholars and political scientists. The Court's decision is likely to provide a definitive legal ruling on the amendment although it is unlikely to end the controversy over the amendment's original meaning and how it should be applied in modern America.

Keywords: Second Amendment, right to bear arms, militia

Suggested Citation

Cottrol, Robert J. and Diamond, Raymond T., Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms. THE BILL OF RIGHTS IN MODERN AMERICA, David J. Bodenhamer, James W. Ely, Jr., eds., Indiana University Press, 2008; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 389; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 389. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1088728

Robert J. Cottrol (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-5023 (Phone)
Not available (Fax)

Raymond T. Diamond

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Paul M. Hebert Law Center ( email )

440 Law Center Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States

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