Tuesday, November 20, 2007

To bear or to ban?

The Supreme Court announced today that it will consider the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s long-time handgun ban — and in doing so, the right of individuals to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

The case stems from a federal security guard who, with the backing of a rich libertarian, challenged the District’s 31-year-old gun control law that prevented him from keeping a gun in his home. In a split-decision, the federal appeals court sided with the security guard in March.

The Supreme Court’s decision had been widely anticipated by the parties, each of which petitioned the Court to hear the case, along with several states who filed briefs, including Maryland, and advocates on both sides of the issue nationwide.

Does the Second Amendment give an individual the right to bear arms, or was it just created to maintain “a well-regulated Militia?”

If the Supreme Court decides next year that the ban is unconstitutional, what effect do you think that will have on Maryland’s gun laws, and on gun-related crime in places such as Baltimore City and Prince George’s County?

-BRENDAN KEARNEY, Legal Affairs Writer

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