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
Date Written: August 16, 2009
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
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