Heller, High Water(mark)? Lower Courts and the New Right to Keep and Bear Arms

25 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2009 Last revised: 22 Oct 2009

Brannon P. Denning

Samford University - Cumberland School of Law

Glenn Harlan Reynolds

University of Tennessee College of Law

Date Written: August 16, 2009

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Heller, lower courts, firearms, second amendment, Brannon Denning, Glenn Reynolds, keep and bear arms

Suggested Citation

Denning, Brannon P. and Reynolds, Glenn Harlan, Heller, High Water(mark)? Lower Courts and the New Right to Keep and Bear Arms (August 16, 2009). Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 60, p. 1245, 2009; University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 76. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1455989 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1455989

Brannon P. Denning

Samford University - Cumberland School of Law ( email )

800 Lakeshore Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States
205-726-2413 (Phone)
205-726-4060 (Fax)

Glenn Harlan Reynolds (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996-1810
United States
865-974-6744 (Phone)

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