One of the attorneys who successfully convinced the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment protects each individual citizen's right to own a firearm says there's more work to be done to secure that right throughout the nation.
Almost immediately after the court's ruling was announced Thursday, DC Police chief Cathy Lanier participated in a press conference with District officials trashing the ruling and announcing their plans to continue restricting the Second Amendment rights of DC residents. "All firearms, regardless of this ruling, must be registered with the Metropolitan Police Department -- so that does not change," stated the law enforcement chief. "Automatic and semi-automatic firearms will still not be legal to possess in the District of Columbia."
Bob Levy with the Cato Institute represented the plaintiffs in the case. He says the court did agree that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, but did not declare that right unlimited.
"You can keep guns away from kids. You can keep guns away from violent felons [and] from people who are determined to be crazy. You can ban some types of massively destructive weapons," Levy explains. "Nobody is making the argument that everybody is entitled to have a WMD [weapon of mass destruction] in their backyard.
"So there has to be litigation that will flush out this skeleton [so] we know what's permissible and what's impermissible -- and that'll come over the near term, I think."
Levy says Second Amendment advocates will now turn their attention to state and municipal regulations that prevent citizens from owning or carrying firearms for self defense. "Washington, DC, is unique," the attorney explains. "It's a federal enclave and Congress calls the shots. The Second Amendment quite clearly applies to Washington, DC. But there will have to be some more litigation to determine whether it applies to other states and municipalities."
Thursday's Supreme Court decision did not invoke the Fourteenth Amendment to apply the Second Amendment universally to state and local governments.
The Liberty Crew
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