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Constitution Day: Do local gun bans violate the Second Amendment?

In late July 2008, the Illinois village of Morton Grove repealed its 27-year-old handgun ban, one of the oldest handgun bans in the nation.

The ban was repealed in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling of District of Columbia v. Heller, which declared that local laws prohibiting the possession of handguns are a violation of the Second Amendment. Reluctant to defend the ban in court and possibly costing the Morton Grove government millions in legal fees, the village’s board of directors voted 5 to 1 to repeal the ban.

Morton Grove is not the only local government to repeal handgun bans since the Supreme Court made its ruling in June, 2008. Many towns and cities across the country that enacted handgun bans in the past are repealing them. Other cities, like Chicago and San Francisco, are challenging the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying that the local restrictions are vital in reducing crime.

Gun rights advocates have hailed the Supreme Court’s decision and are actively supporting the repeal of local handgun bans. Additionally, groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest gun rights advocacy organization in the country, are suing cities that continue their handgun bans in spite of the Supreme Court ruling, arguing that the restrictions are infringing on their Second Amendment rights.

As the fallout from District of Columbia v. Heller moves from the national stage to local courthouses, the question of whether handgun bans are necessary or constitutional remains.

The Second Amendment at a Glance

At the heart of the long debate concerning gun laws is the 27-word-long Second Amendment which states:

 “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,

 the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

 

Nowhere is the right to bear arms explained further, and throughout the history of the country, the right of the individual to have guns has been only implied, allowing for state and local governments to adopt gun restrictions.

Since it was written in 1787, two views of the amendment have emerged. The narrow interpretation suggests that the amendment protects only the rights of militias - groups of private individuals unaffiliated with the government. With this view, the right of individual citizens to bear arms is implied, not explicit, because militias are formed by individual citizens. This interpretation allows for governments to pass gun restrictions, such as the banning of certain types of assault weapons, as long as the general populace has access to other types of guns.

A broader interpretation of the amendment suggests that it applies explicitly to the individual, meaning that every individual, whether or not they are part of a militia, has the unequivocal right to bear arms. This view would declare most gun restrictions imposed by the governments as unconstitutional.    

 

The difference in the two views is subtle but important. Yet the debate has only produced three previous Supreme Court cases where the Second Amendment was forced to be defined. In those three cases – United States v, Cruikshank, Presser v. Illinois, and  United States v. Miller - the issue hinged more on the definition and function of a militia instead of the right of the individual’s right to bear arms.  

 

District of Columbia v. Heller

 

District of Columbia v. Heller raised the question of whether or not individuals have the clear right to own guns, and if they do, whether local gun control laws infringe on those rights. At the heart of the issue is a 31-year-old local restriction on one’s ability to carry handguns, the District of Columbia Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, and whether or not the ban, and regulations like it, violate the Second Amendment.

 

The ban, which prohibited individuals from carrying a handgun without a license and required rifles and shotguns to be equipped with trigger locks, was enacted in a time when the city was experiencing a dramatic increase in violent crime. The city government reasoned that it was necessary to ban most handguns in order to protect its citizens. Since the passage of the ban in the nation’s capitol, other cities have passed similar legislation aimed at curbing gun related violence.

 

Flash forward to 2006: when several D.C. residents joined together to challenge the ban, citing that they have a constitutional right to carry handguns and that the law violated their protected rights. The challengers of the law sued the city Washington, D.C. in federal court, and after several trials, the case made its way to the Supreme Court.

 

The court, in a 5 to 4 decision, ruled in favor of security guard Dick Heller, who sued for his right to own a handgun in the District of Columbia. The court said that banning the possession of handguns is an infringement of the Second Amendment. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion, “We hold that the District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.”

 

Justice Scalia addressed the issue of gun restrictions as a matter of public safety by arguing that possessing a handgun is a method of self-protection. He stated in the opinion that the Second Amendment “surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”

 

Justice Stephen Breyer expressed concern over the fact that because of the ruling, many gun laws may be threatened. He stated in the dissenting opinion that the ruling “threatens to throw into doubt the constitutionality of gun laws throughout the United States.”

The decision goes local

Soon after the Supreme Court made its decision, citizens and gun rights advocates across the country began targeting other cities with handgun restrictions. Having to defend their restrictions in court, these governments are having to make the decision: keep the bans and face a possible lawsuit and legal expenses, or repeal the ban.

Towns like Morton Grove and Wilmette, both in Illinois, chose to repeal the ban after the Supreme Court’s ruling. Wilmette Village President Chris Canning said in an Associated Press interview “In my mind we had to repeal. I knew that our ordinance would not survive constitutional scrutiny."

Chicago, on the other hand, is choosing to defend its handgun ban, arguing that it is a necessary measure to reduce crime and protect its citizenry. "We have no plans to amend our ordinance at this time," said Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for Chicago's law department in an Associated Press interview, noting that the ordinance has survived three previous court challenges. "We're prepared to take this fight to the Supreme Court if necessary."

What do you think?

Do you agree with the Supreme Court’s decision? What kind of gun restrictions, if any, do you think are constitutional? Is there a middle ground between bans and unchecked gun ownership? Do you think local governments should keep restrictions on the books if they have them? Do you think gun rights advocates should take legal action against governments that continue to enforce bans? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!

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Comments
10/14/2012
Ledyard CT
Amanda H
Galante LHS
When it comes to fire arms I believe there is so much controversy related to the topic that it should not be decided on a local level what bans and rules should go with owning or using a firearm. I believe that all rules and regulations for firearm ownership should go directly to the federal government due to the fact that many people can become overly sensitive about violations to their second amendment, right.

4/14/2010

Jeremy
Lorbeer, Diamond Bar
First of all I would like to start by saying that I do believe that all bans on guns, not just on handguns, are indeed violating the Second Amendment. The main reason I am writing this is to respond to a comment made by Michael stating that "I think we should ban all guns. I feel guns are highly unsafe and do more damage than anything." I totally disagree with that comment. Banning all guns will only affect the law abiding citizen. If a criminal has no respect in the law that prevents him from robbing a bank or committing murder then what makes you believe that he will abide by a law saying that he cannot have this gun or that gun. If you will for me think back to 2007 when the Virginia Tech shooting occurred. Just a few months prior to the shooting the school had bragged about their new "Gun Free Zone" claiming to say that it is nice to knew our students are safe knowing that this is a "Gun Free Zone." I put that in quotes because a gun free zone in my opinion are actually free fire zones. During the shooting the student had no way of defending themselves and this Seung-Hui Cho knew that. He was a coward he knew no one could stop him, but do think he still would have shot up the place if he knew that one or more of the student was carrying a gun? I think not. And this mentality that all guns are dangerous you should never be around them avoid them is nonsense. If you are properly trained to handle dangerous then they are not at any means dangerous to others. We cannot fear dangerous thing, but instead learn how to responsibly handle them. Another comment I want to respond to is Dionna. I disagree with your statement. This is because you do not contain a valid source of the statistic you brought up. I know plenty of children raised around guns and they turn out just fine. It is only in the rare case that the parent or the owner of the gun does not properly teach safe gun handling techniques to others living in the house. The safety of a gun or a gun lock is really the second defense against accidents; the first and most important defense is knowledge.

12/10/2009

Adam
Litchfield High School, Litchfield CT
Initially the second amendment was written in fear that the government might become too powerful and use the military against the citizens of the U.S. The second amendment gives the people, which make up the militia, the right to keep firearms in order to protect themselves from an over powerful government. So to ban guns from citizens of certain towns violates their 2nd amendment rights. In towns and cities across the country that still allow its citizens to own firearms there are regulations and permits to do so. I believe these regulations are lawful for the safety of society. It would appear that the main reason to ban guns from a town is fear of rising crime rates or endangering citizens with automatic weaponry. This fear is logical however if gun-related crimes were going to be a problem in a city or town, they already would be by illegal means. As proven in cities and towns across the nation, it is possible to control firearms while maintaining the constitutional rights of the people.

12/9/2009

Sean
Litchfield High School, Litchfield/CT
Local handgun bans do violate peoples rights granted by the second amendment because it is taking away the freedom of owning a registered gun. With this freedom people should not be questioned for owning a gun or prosecuted by local government because the constitution should outweigh any decisions the lower government is making. The supreme court was right to say that it violates the constitution because owning a gun is one the freedoms granted to everyone in the bills of rights, assuming they met all of the qualifications. I think that there should be restrictions on automatic guns though because they are not used for hunting and should only really be used in a shooting range in a controlled situation and never be taken from the home. It should be against the law to be freely caring a automatic firearm but handguns should be allowed everywhere when registered.

12/9/2009

Sean
Litchfield High School, CT
Local handgun bans do violate peoples rights granted by the second amendment because it is taking away the freedom of owning a registered gun. With this freedom people should not be questioned for owning a gun or prosecuted by local government because the constitution should outweigh any decisions the lower government is making. The supreme court was right to say that it violates the constitution because owning a gun is one the freedoms granted to everyone in the bills of rights, assuming they met all of the qualifications. I think that there should be restrictions on automatic guns though because they are not used for hunting and should only really be used in a shooting range in a controlled situation and never be taken from the home. It should be against the law to be freely caring a automatic firearm but handguns should be allowed everywhere when registered.

5/28/2009

Bill
Trinity, Wash PA
I think that local handgun bans do violate the second amendment. As long as a person has a carrieng permit i beleive that they should be permitted to carry a handgun. I think that if the government believes they should ban any type of gun they should only ban assualt weapons.

5/28/2009

Bill
Trinity, Wash PA
I think that local handgun bans do violate the second amendment. As long as a person has a carrieng permit i beleive that they should be permitted to carry a handgun. I think that if the government believes they should ban any type of gun they should only ban assualt weapons.

5/28/2009

Devin
Trinity , Washington, PA
I don't believe that gun bans violate the Second Amendment because society must be kept safe and restricting guns will do that. I'm not advocating a ban on guns because that is unconstitutional, but they should be kept out of the hands of people who could possibly hurt themselves or others.

5/28/2009

Evan
Trinity, Washington PA
I feel that local guns laws do violate the secound amendment yet it does not. If the state is trying to protect its citizens from guns then they should have the right to ban certain guns. Yet for people that hunt or like to collect guns this becomes an issue, i feel that we instead need to put bains on certain guns yet hunting rifles should not be banned.

5/27/2009

Duane
Trinity, Wash./PA
I believe that they do violate the 2nd amendment, but it can only go so far. Handguns are one thing, but assault rifles are a completely diffferent topic.

5/26/2009

Brian H.
Trinity HS, PA
I feel that local gun bands do not restrict my second amendment rights because those bans are only indoors for the safety of others and I for one feel my safety is more important than my right to carry a gun.

5/11/2009

Ian
Trinity High School, Washington, PA
There are some guns that don't belong on the streets, like assault rifles. I can understand wanting to own a flint lock, shotgun, or handgun for hunting or self-denfense purposes. If collecting heavy assault weapons is your hobby: Too bad. The rest of us don't want those guns falling into the wrong hands.

12/16/2008

Mackenzie
Parker kb5 , Janesville
I don't think that the handgun ban is a violation to the 2nd admendment. I believe this because if your right endangers someone elses rights than your right maybe overpowered, esp. if it endangers someone's life.

12/16/2008

Jamie k.
Parker kb5 , Janesville
I think there should be no guns available. It harms people wheather it be accidental or intentional. You can use other weapons other than guns.

12/16/2008

Michael
Parker 5 kb, janesville
I think we should ban all guns. I feel guns are highly unsafe and do more damage than anything.

12/16/2008

brittany
Parkerkb5, Janesville,WI.
I think we should have guns of hunting and not to just walk around with everyday to protect yourself I do just fine now without a gun to protect me. I have a gun myself and I think it should only be used for hunting. People don't need to get made and not think and then kill someone for no reason. There are a lot of crazy people these days. I say leave the guns to the hunters.

12/4/2008

Amos
Trinity High School, Washington PA
In my opinion the local gun ban violates every single thing the Second Amendment stands for and build up around.

10/26/2008

ZhiWei
Northeast, philadelphia
I believe the right to bear arms shouldn't be applied to today's society. Like the freedom of speech, one can't endanger another's welfare through speech. So owning a gun could put others at jeopardy. incidents have been reported about children's who shot themselves with a gun. i think that counts as endangering welfare of others. also, people who are too aggressive would use gun to take vengeance on others who hurt them. plus there are cases where you may get your gun stolen and hurt others. I can't really think of much cases which it may seem necessary to own a gun. in cases of a robbery. do you have the courage to shoot another man or do you really have the chance to pick up your gun which alternately might endanger you and get your gun stolen if you don't succeed, it might seem necessary in this case but in a whole, i think it be better to ban guns. plus how can we know people who buy gun use it for the right motives or circumstances. I think there would be less violence in the street if guns are ban. the right to bear arms might seem necessary in the past where our government isn't in order. but we live in a different era now.

10/7/2008

Julia
Wingra School, Madison, WI
In the time at which the Constitution was written there was an actual threat to the citizens of the United States so the right to bear arms was completely reasonable. But in present day it's completely unreasonable. The British aren't marching around and threating our freedom, are they? My point is that the context at which the Constitution was written isn't the same as now a days. If we were to follow the Constitution exactly without amendments, slavery would be legal.

10/5/2008

Sairah
Nimitz, Irving, TX
Moderation is the key. Guns should not be allowed to those with criminal records, and everyone else should find it fairly difficult to get one. Register every gun. Require licences. Psychological tests. Ban guns above a certain caliber. Anything to prevent the wrong guns falling in the wrong hands.

10/5/2008

Ulysses
Nimitz, Irving/Tx
Local gun bans do violate the Second Amendment. It could not be clearer. Banning guns to people is like already hanging a sign to yourself, “I am a target.”. f ever a situation would arise that your life is put in danger your head is rushed with adrenaline and it becomes hard to think all you know is that you want to be ok, that you want to see your loved ones again. And, well, not all people can defend themselves in a time of crisis so some people feel safer with a gun. I don't mean carry around an AK-47 and show it off and I don't mean just give guns to anybody, there should be restrictions. Among those restrictions there should be a background check were you cannot have been charged with any crimes. There still exist a lot of things that have to be fixed before everyone can agree when it comes to the topic of guns but banning is not the answer.

10/4/2008

Azharuddin A.
Northeast High School, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Yes, it does. No. Yes, well if a person have a gun they can use it in their defence for protection or harm local gun bans do violate the second amendment since it states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." And some other kinds of gun restrictions are that you must have a gun liences, and use the gun in a defence.

10/2/2008

Mariana
Nimitz, Irving, TX
The Second Amendment protects an individuals right to posses a weapon and use it for under reasonable circumstances, such as self defense or too keep in the home. For this reason, I believe that local handgun bans do violate the Second Amendment and agree that the Supreme Court made the right decision. In place of local gun bans, there should be local gun restrictions. I do believe that guns should be regulated on the local level. Restrictions should be placed on age and order to get a gun you must get a license for it with proper background checks accompanying it. In order to keep citizens safe, higher measures of punishment should be implemented for gun violations. It is a misconception that by banning guns, it makes our city safer; it does not. If an individual wants to cause harm with a fire arm, they will find a way, a ban will not stop them.

10/2/2008

Yessi
Nimitz, Irving. Texas
I dont believe that having or owning a gun violates the second amendment. Yes, many people may be dangerous with a hand gun, but I think who ever owns a gun should go thru a background check and only people who can be responsible should be allowed to own a gun. Because they more than likely will not use it for violence but for their own safety.

10/2/2008

Jerril
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
I think that local handgun bans do in fact violate the second amendment because the second amendment gives citizens the right to protect themselves and handgun bans are restricting them from doing so. Guns can be very dangerous if given to the wrong people but it can also help save lives. I agree with the Supreme Court's decision to repeal the ban because its a person's right to protect him or herself. I think that having licenses on guns are good restrictions that are constitutional and the legal age for having a gun is also constitutional.

10/2/2008

Stephen
Smith, Irving Texas
To answer the question directly, yes, local gun bans do violate the second amendment since it states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”. That is that and no interpretation can really change it, except for the word militia. The real question though is does this law have the same significance and importance in the world we live in today? The answer is no. We don't live in the same country that requires a militia to defend its self against other powerful nations. We live in a country were people die in gunfights over hate and drugs. This is why I believe some kind of change must be made, and local gun bans are perfectly fine.

10/1/2008

Ethan
Nimitz, Irving TX
It seems to me that the Second Amendment is conflicting with common sense. Its wording protects the right of anyone to own any gun in any case. “Arms” could even include RPG launchers, assault rifles like the AK-47, and large artillery pieces. But as the Amendment stands, the people technically have a right to any weapon they want, no matter if they are homicidal, mentally handicapped or partial to terrorism. Yes, local gun bans are at odds with the Amendment. But the Amendment is what needs to change.

10/1/2008

Tamara
Nimitz, Irving
According to the second amendment, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Therefore, I believe that the local gun bans are violating the rights of the people to protect themselves and their families. In the world we live in today, many people would like to own some kind of gun for protection and I don't believe that they should be denied that right. I do think that what they should do is limit the types of guns people are allowed to have. Nothing too big or dangerous because after all, it is only to be used for protection.

10/1/2008

Ana
Nimitz, Irving
To me, owning a handgun does not violat the Second Amendment. In fact, this Amendment gives citizens the rigth to own arms and handguns. Every person wants to feel and be secure, and they might think that with a gun at home they are protecting their family and their possessions. The only restriction there should be is that those guns and types of protection suld be used only in very extreme and needy cases.

10/1/2008

Ivette
Nimitz, Irving, TX
Local handgun bans do violate the second amendment. Being able to carry a handgun has its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is that it could be used for protection. The disadvantage is that there are some people that will use their handgun to cause harm to others. I think that people should be allowed to carry a handgun if they do not have any criminal charges and do not have a mental illness.

10/1/2008

Nadia
Nimitz, Irving, TX
Because the second amendment clearly states that US citizens have the right to bear arms and does not specifically state which arms are and are not acceptable, local gun bans are technically unconstitutional, however necessary they may be. The world was obviously very different during the time our founding fathers wrote the Constitution and the Amendments: an amendment written to protect our founding fathers' muskets does not mean the same thing in regards to handguns and hunting rifles. Rather than create local handgun bans, local governments should exercise greater control of firearms, limiting the amount of vendors and keeping better tabs on those who purchase guns. After all, guns don't kill people: people kill people. I agree with the Supreme Court's decision to repeal local gun bans, because technically, they are unconstitutional. However, some gun bans are necessary. For instance, ownership of extremely powerful machine guns should not be protected by the second amendment. A clarifying statement or law should be added to the second amendment to clearly convey it's true meaning.

10/1/2008

Merhawi
Nimitz , Irving, TX
The local handgun bans do violate the Second Amendment right. However, what would be more productive and useful would be to pass laws promoting stricter legislation and limiting the number of unnecesary guns distributed among the American public.

9/30/2008

CiCi
Nimitz, Irving
I think that local gun bans do violate the second amendment, but there is significance in that ban. Having a gun with a permit does not mean that the person who owns it will use it properly, even though it might seem important for self-defense. I think the second amendment should be changed, so this way it gun ban won't be violated.

9/30/2008

Emmanuel
Nimitz, Irving, TX
I believe local gun bans do violate the Second Amendment. The second amendment clearly states that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed". Gun bans do exactly that, infringe, we have the right given to us by our founding fathers to carry guns as a means of protection. If there are to be any gun bans they should come from the national government and not from local governments.

9/30/2008

Vy C.
Nimitz HS, Irving, Texas
Strictly speaking, local bans on guns do violate the Second Amendment. By nature, citizens live in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, all of which the gun ban infringes upon. The instigation of this law has the potential to curtail their liberty (obviously by denying them the right to bear arms), threaten their life (in hostile situations when they could use a gun for self defense), and dampen their happiness (in reaction to a fear of being unprepared for sudden danger). However, even with the rights to use a gun, owners should be responsible and safe about its usage for the sake of others. For cities that heavily rely on the bans for safety, the majorities that make up its residents could still be protected from gun crimes—although to a slightly lesser degree. City councils should consider implementing harsher punishment for gun abusers. They could offer incentives to people who retrieve licenses or use trigger locks. Another option is to require people to at least get a license, like they would for a car. Rather than forbidding the weapons outright, the gun will always be within an adult’s reach, therefore it doesn’t violate their constitutional rights. That wouldn’t stop any crime lord from killing people, but it would at least prevent accidental deaths caused by irresponsible users. (Assuming that only the militia’s gun rights are protected under the second amendment, then the people’s are protected under the ninth amendment, which acknowledges other rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. In this sense local handgun bans will always violate an amendment, whether it is the second or ninth.)

9/29/2008

Matt
Irving, Nimitz TX
Hand gun bands are in violation of second amendment because it clearly states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The only way they should be able to put bans on guns is to go and actually change the Constitution. I do believe there should be limitations on who owns guns. For example, people with criminal violations should not be able to keep or own a gun because they could be dangerous to the publics safety.

9/29/2008

Riniah
Irving , Nimitz
I think that a gun ban is a total violation of the Second Amendment, but I also think that there need to be stipulations on who can and cannot have a gun. It is to simple for someone to just get a permit or license and then they can own a gun. Felons or people with criminal background should have a very hard time receiving the right to get a gun. I think that this would cut down on the violence that is happening today.

9/29/2008

Lexy C
Irving, Nimitz
I believe that any person should be able to carry a hand gun at any time only with a permit. There have been many situations where my brother, who has taken classes and has a valid permit, needed to utilize his hand gun. There has been some changes since this right was taken into effect but there is still violence and opportunities for chaos. This right needs to be kept and respected by all citizens, it is available and is needed.

9/29/2008

Fil
Irving, Nimitz High School
I believe local gun bans violate the Second Amendment. The second amendment clearly states that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed". We have the right as American citizens to own guns as a mean of protection. We have the right to protect our home and family and the government does not have the right to take that away from us.

9/29/2008

Glenn
Irving, TX, Nimitz High School
Yes, local gun bans do violate the 2nd amendment right. Although preventing people form owning handguns in the city will reduce crimes somewhat, preventing people from owning cars will reduce car accidents too. The bottom line is that anyone who plans to use a handgun to commit a crime can get one whether or not there are local laws in place preventing them from doing so.

9/29/2008

Tyler
Nimitz High School, Irving
I believe the local handgun bans do violate the second amendment. The Supreme Court's decision was rightly made because the second amendment states that the people can bear arms. I do think there should be restrictions but nothing that contradicts the constitution.

9/29/2008

Selene S.
Nimitz High, Irving, Texas
The local handgun bans did violate the Second Amendment which said that the people had the “right keep and bear arms.” But I believe that there should be some kind of handgun bans for certain people because not all people are responsible enough to have a gun. Therefore, there should be certain requirements that a citizen of America needs to pass to acquire a gun. First, the person wanting a gun in their possession should not be an ex-criminal because they could turn against society at any time. And possibly kill an innocent victim. This would be considered as a background check to the potential handgun owners. The local government should be in charge of the kind of handgun bans and restrictions that they have. I wouldn't like to have an ex-criminal to have a gun because they can be dangerous. I just wouldn't like just anyone to own a gun. Also, the crime rate would not drastically change because people are still nowadays getting guns however they want even with a handgun ban in place.

9/29/2008

Jasmine P.
Nimitz H.S., Irving
Local gun bans violate the Second Amendment because it is stated in the Constitution that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” However, I believe that certain stipulations should exist for those (that have a prior record) that are attempting to get a gun. Convicted felons should have a harder time going through the process of acquiring a permit and then a license. For example, a felon who was just released from prison should have to wait at least 3-5 years before attempting to acquire a permit for a handgun. If a man (or a woman) is trying to get a gun without having a prior record, they should have no problem acquiring a gun.

9/29/2008

James
Nimitz High school, Irving
I think handgun bans do violate the second amendment. People are entitled to hold guns, primarily for defensive purpose and kept in the house. Now if you were to take it out on the street to use it to harm someone then that would be abusing the privelege given by the 2nd amendment. I do agree with the supreme courts decision to repeal the handgun ristriction, because with the restrictions in place it became an unconsittutinal law. If there are to be any gun restrictions it should be on that of bigger guns, such as rifles and whatnot. But handguns should be allowed.

9/29/2008

Stephanie
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
Local laws prohibiting the possession of handguns are indefinatly a violation of the Second Amendment, but this country has a history of putting limitations upon not only this right but other Consititutional rights as well. Many people I know that own a gun say they just feel more safe when they have one on them. There are these people and then there are people who own a handgun for harming others. One question I have is, is it just the pocession of a handgun, a weapon that can be easily concealed? ...Or is it any type of gun? I believe restrictions on citizens with criminal backrounds and age limits are'nt violating the constitution at all, its keeping our country and communities safe.

9/28/2008

Lavonne
Irving, TX - Nimitz
Local gun bans do violate the Second Amendment. Citizens do have the right to bear arms; they have the right to protect themselves and their personal property. However, if the right to bear arms, endangers others or infringes someone elses rights it should not be taken away, but controlled. Citizens should have the right to own guns, but not just anyone should be able to have a gun. It should be a privilege only held by responsible, citizens who are not considered dangerous.

9/28/2008

Andrea C.
Irving, Nimitz HS
I believe that it is a citizen's right to carry any sort of protection that they feel necessary to carry. However, I don't believe that anyone should be able to carry them, I think that if they want to carry a weapon they should have the proper training with the weapon and a license to be able to carry it. I don't think that gun restrictions are necessary, I just believe that you should be able to do whatever it is that you want as long as you have the proper ways of doing it.

9/28/2008

Juan A.
Irving, Nimitz H.S.
I think not allowing people to purchase a gun is against the second amendment. Then again, not everyone should be allowed to buy a gun, only those that have a clear history and permit that says they are trained to handle a gun. Everyone should be able to protect themselves and feel safe were ever they go. Especially in cities like Detroit, Michigan, were the crime rate is at its peak, those that are registered can carry a gun. There should be some restrictions though, people do not need an AK47 or a shotgun to feel safe, they can perfectly accomplish that with a simple hand gun.

9/27/2008

Blesson
Irving, Texas, Nimitz High School
There should not be a gun ban on handguns. Although what they are doing may save lives the ammendments say that people do have the right to bear arms. This right should not be taken away. Although this may save lives by taking away handguns, people have the right to have them to protect their homes and themselves. It is a good idea to do this, but at the same time it is also a bad idea also.

9/27/2008

Kaycee
Irving, Nimitz H.S
These handgun bans do violate the rights given to the people by the second amendment. Everyone has the right to defend their homes, families, and lives. I am not saying that some restrictions should not be made to those who specifically want to own a gun, but that they do have the right the own one. I think that if you do own a gun that you need to take classes to learn how to use one safely. We have classes to teach use to drive, why wouldn’t we have the same to teach someone to use a handgun properly. Although times have changed since that amendment was put into the constitution, it is still a valid civil liberty to the people. The right to protect. I do not think that regular citizens should be allowed to carry a gun around with them, that is just an accident waiting to happen, but they should be allowed to at the very least keep one in their home as long as they have a license.

9/27/2008

Kaycee
Irving, Nimitz H.S
These handgun bans do violate the rights given to the people by the second amendment. Everyone has the right to defend their homes, families, and lives. I am not saying that some restrictions should not be made to those who specifically want to own a gun, but that they do have the right the own one. I think that if you do own a gun that you need to take classes to learn how to use one safely. We have classes to teach use to drive, why wouldn’t we have the same to teach someone to use a handgun properly. Although times have changed since that amendment was put into the constitution, it is still a valid civil liberty to the people. The right to protect. I do not think that regular citizens should be allowed to carry a gun around with them, that is just an accident waiting to happen, but they should be allowed to at the very least keep one in their home as long as they have a license.

9/23/2008

Aleah
philadelphia, university city
I think that it does violate the Second Amendment. I think that if a person if registered to have a gun, they should be able to have without being punished. In American society sometimes you need a weapon to protect yourself from people who want to harm them. This is my opinion on the second amendment.

9/23/2008

kenneth pd.6
Philadelphia, University City High School
I think so because the the second amendment clearly states you can have a gun so why would they ban the handguns? People won't be able to protect themselves.

9/23/2008

Dionna
Philadelphia , university city hs,6th pd
I do not agree with the Supreme Court's decision. I think that guns should be banned. Because I don't thousands of families and thousands of people die every day because of some one carrying a gun. I also feel bad because it's not fair that people and kids of all ages can walk around with a gun without anyone knowing. It's not fair that people kids and babies have to suffer because of some one's wanted to walk around with a gun. I think that the Supreme Court should be more careful with their decision and choose what's right for our safety.

9/22/2008

Steve
Bothell, HRC
The point of bearing arms is for self defense and to keep the government in check. Himler of facist Germany said that the people shouldn't bear arms because it doesn't serve the state. In America, the people don't serve the goverment. The government protects and maintains the rights of the people. I believe local ban on guns is a violation of the second amendment because the state cannot trample the rights of its citizens. The only restrictions I believe are necessary are permits and training, that's it.

9/21/2008

Alejandra D.V.
Irving, NImitz H.S.
The Supreme Court was right in their decision because back then, they weren't worried about that as much as we are now. However, the Supreme Court should have been more specific in their rules. If someone wants to buy a gun then they should have to go to a safety class, to learn how to properly handle a gun. With the technology now a days, scientists should be able to invent a device that could record the time someone uses a gun and maybe where they use it, like a GPS. Handgun bans do violate the Second Amendment, anyone that owns a gun will say that it violates the Second Amendment. Rules are meant to be improvised.

9/17/2008

Mary
Coraopolis Pa., Cornell High School-KH
The constitution states that all citizens are free to bear arms, but it does not state that there will be no limits placed upon them. I believe that there should be an age limit and a mandatory license needed in order to own firearms. To me, this seems entirely necessary to control violence and does not violate the second amendment.

9/17/2008

Jesse
Coraopolis, Pa., Cornell - kh
I believe that many people are misinterpreting the Second Amendment. Although the constitution does state that militias have the right to bear arms, today there are no militias, and back then they were only present because there was no national guard to defend each individual state against possible attacks. I do believe in the right to own a gun on your own private property, and I think this is reasonable because of the large number of home invasions and thefts in our country. But I do not find it necessary for people to carry guns around on the streets and in public places because of the fact that it does increase crime and unrest. Guns today in the hands of the individual should serve no other purpose than protecting private possessions (at home) and being in the hands of trained authorities such as police and military, and hunting for those who do so. The Heller ban was ruled based on a security guard, who I think was trained to handle his weapon, but it should not have opposed the city's ban on weapons because they are unnecessary tools of violence in a public place.

9/17/2008

Kimberlee
Coraopolis, Pa., Cornell - KH
I agree that there should not be a ban on handguns. Guns are a form of self-defense. Yes, many people do take advantage of their rights to bare arms. The law requires to have a license to carry guns, but the law cannot determine who will use them for purposes other than self-defense. Restrictions against hand guns or shot guns should not be in effect. Guns help to ensure safety if anyone is ever in a situation that needs self-defense.

9/17/2008

Karissa
Coraopolis, Cornell High School-kh
As the second amendment states, citizens have the right to own a gun. Of course, there are restrictions on this amendment such as having to own a permit for your gun. A permit is necessary, especially because there are so many crimes committed. That type of restriction is necessary. The government does have to keep tabs on gun ownership. I don't think there should be any bans on personal gun ownership because it does infringe upon the second amendment. To own a gun is a freedom that we possess, so the government should not impose on it.

9/17/2008

Paige
Coraopolis, Cornell High School-kh
I think that if we were to ban all possession of firearms it would violate the second amendment. Although people believe that banning the use of guns would lower crime rates, it would also give people another reason to start crime. There wouldn't be a feeling of security because firearms are supposed to be used in the need of self defense. If guns are to be allowed to citizens then requirements should be made to obtain one. I think it is reasonable to say that no one should acquire a gun until a certain age and after a background check to ensure that they are a suitable owner. Violence needs to be controlled, and guns seem to be a main source of it. So the only way to obtain guns should be through a process of requirements.

9/17/2008

Madlyn
Coraopolis Pa., Cornel H.S.l-kh
I am not a historian, so I cannot accurately say what exactly the implied meaning of the Second Amendment is. If I had to guess, I would guess that when the Constitution says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” I would guess that this amendment was written to keep the federal government in check; the people’s right to bear arms enables them to take action against the government, if necessary. However, times have changed since the time the Constitution was written. Nowadays, gun violence is widespread. I think that there needs to be a middle ground. I believe that extensive background checks are called for, and can prevent our society from becoming too unsafe. However, the right to bear arms should not be revoked to a person who is considered responsible enough to do so.

9/16/2008

Mark
Irving, Nimitz High School
Local gun bans do violate the second ammendment. However, anyone wanting a gun, should go through a safety class on it, before obtaining a gun license. Gun stores must check licenses before selling guns. Also, once a person commits a major crime, they should lose all privilages to guns.

9/14/2008

Alan
Irving, TX, Nimitz High School
Local gun bans do violate the second amendment. Also the Supreme Court made the correct decision. Not everyone should be allowed to carry a gun, so the gun store owners should give the person a background check and make them pass a test to obtain a gun. Age limit should be required. Making guns illegal might make people feel safer around them. But that does not necessarily mean that crime rates will go down. Even if no one is carrying a gun, danger still lies around the citizens because people can always find ways to get a gun or other ways to kill people. Guns are supposed to used for self-defense or for hunting, and nothing else.

9/14/2008

Julia
Waynesboro, Waynesboro High School
Local gun bans violate the Second Amendment. I think that we should be allowed to carry firearms because we have the right to protect ourselves and our families. There are also many respectable hunters who need guns to provide for their families. But we shouldn't let just anyone have a gun. They should be at least 25 years of age. Their backgrounds should be checked, such as their criminal records. And their should be certain restrictions. Criminals are going to have guns whether they are allowed to or not. So why not let the innocent people have them for defense against those criminals?

9/10/2008

Vishal
Irving, Nimitz High School
Local handgun bans violate the second amendment, in that it clearly states that we have the right to keep and carry arms. The Supreme Court's decision was rightfully justified. Obviously we should not be giving anyone who asks a machine gun just because they have the money to spend, but we should give citizens who successfully pass background checks. Because people dont have guns, does not mean crime rates will go down. If someone wants to kill, they will kill, with or without guns. The only restrictions we should put on guns are to minors, or those who cannot safely harness, or handle a gun.

9/10/2008

Milu
Irving, TX, Nimitz High School
Local gun bans do violate the second amendment because it is stated that we are allowed to possess guns. Even though we are allowed to have guns, I think anyone wanting a gun should go through certain procedures to obtain it. Anyone wanting a gun should only be able to get it after going through a background check and also after getting a license to carry a gun. Banning guns really would do no good because if someone wants a gun that badly, they will always find a way to get it.

9/10/2008

Edith
irving,tx, nimitz
Local bans do violate the second amendment, however, in a way it's a good thing because lately people have found negative ways to use guns. I am one who believes guns just encourage violence.

9/10/2008

An
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
The Supreme Court did make the best choice for the ban should had been lifted but in replacement more rules should be enforced for gun-owners. I believe that guns should be allows for homeowners in order to protect their homes in case of a tragic event. This would violate the 2nd amendment since homeowners should be allow to have a gun in their homes if needed. As a female and if I was living at home alone, I would like to have a small handgun in case I would need it if someone decided to break in and wanted to kill me. I would like the chance to defend myself. The constitution should also be reworded with more rules if you would want to keep a gun in your home. Guns should also have a certain limit on where it should be allow. Schools and public area should not have any guns allow. Teachers should not be able to carry guns for it may create more violence at school which school should be a safe area. The schools have at least a police on campus in case of an emergence. Not everyone would carry a gun if all bans were lifted only those who feel they would need to. Even if there was a ban it wouldn't stop the crime from going up. People have free will to do what they choose and if they already have chosen that path then what ban will stop them from doing it?

9/9/2008

Katherine S.
Irving, TX, Nimitz High School
Why are people so attached to their guns? I do not understand who people feel they need guns on them all the time. When the constitution was written it was a total different time with totally different problems and concerns. Today we have a way better police force that protects us. I feel safer knowing that there are police protecting us than knowing that any hick and psycho can carry a gun and shoot anyone they please. I think the constitution should be amended to include hand gun bands not the other way around.

9/9/2008

Hyunwoo
Irving, Nimitz
Gun bans do violate the second amendment and I agree with the Supreme Court's decision. But only the people with a license and have had a background check should be allowed to have guns. I believe that gun bans do not affect crime rates and those who really want guns will find a way to weave through and get what they want. When theres a gun ban in existance, I believe that police should not be allowed a gun either. When we get arrested for having a gun and we see a gun in the hands of the police, its kind of like going the same speed as a cop and getting a ticket for speeding. It's just unfair.

9/9/2008

Hyunwoo
Irving, Nimitz
Gun bans do violate the second amendment and I agree with the Supreme Court's decision. But only the people with a license and have had a background check should be allowed to have guns. I believe that gun bans do not affect crime rates and those who really want guns will find a way to weave through and get what they want. When theres a gun ban in existance, I believe that police should not be allowed a gun either. When we get arrested for having a gun and we see a gun in the hands of the police, its kind of like going the same speed as a cop and getting a ticket for speeding. It's just unfair.

9/8/2008

Marcus
Irving, TX, Nimitz
Local handgun bans are definitely a violation of the second amendment and I definitely agree with the Supreme Court's decision. Don't get me wrong, we should still have background checks and such for the purchase of firearms but I think that any restrictions should stop right there. From a safety standpoint, I don't think the lifting of bans would have any effect whatsoever. If people are going to get guns, some local gun ban isn't going to stop them. They're still going to find a way to artfully dodge the law. So I think you can't really argue from a safety standpoint and instead have to look directly at the second amendment. The founding fathers did state in the Second Amendment that they wanted guns restricted to the militia, but the law is very ambiguous and written in a time when almost everyone owned and used a gun regularly, even 10 or 11 year old kids. So, by looking directly at the second amendment, most, if not all, gun bans are illegal.

9/8/2008

Valient
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
I do believe local gun laws violate the Second Amendment. I say that because people should be allowed to carry guns but only with a license. Guns pretect the citizens in many different situations. Only people that should be violated is people who has a gun illegally. Also people with a license that takes advantage of their rights. If guns should be banned in our local area, cops should not have guns either. I know it sounds crazy, but nowadays cops are killing people more than ever.

9/7/2008

Maria O
Irving, Tx, Nimitz
Since the Second Amendment is so ambiguous and could be interpreted different ways, I think that the decision to ban handguns should be left to the local governments. The District of Columbia ban was "enacted in a time when the city was experiencing a dramatic increase in violent crime." In this instance, it was a good idea to ban handguns. In other circumstances, it might be better judgment to allow citizens to carry guns, as long as they have permits for such guns, since handguns can be used for protection. I don't believe that gun rights activist groups such as the NRA should be suing cities if they don't lift bans. They could petition or protest without spending as much time with legalities.

9/7/2008

Clara
philadelphia, central
Local handgun bans do violate the second amendment, but I do not agree that there should be no restrictions as to who can own a gun. The amendment does not allow handgun bans because it takes away the ability for one to defend themselves and gives the state and government more power over civilians. I do not agree that handgun bans should be allowed, however I do not agree that everybody should be able to possess a handgun. First of all, there are different ways to defend oneself than with a gun. To be able to own a gun I think there should be different tests and questioning to be able to own one. There should be an inquiry as to what the individual needs to protect himself or herself from and why a gun is needed instead of another alternative. People use guns not only for defense but for other uses. Often guns are not kept with the original buyer and fall into the wrong hands. I think banning handheld guns is unconstitutional, but there should be some laws concerning how one can obtain a gun.

9/7/2008

Lindsay
Philadelphia, Central High
The local banning of handguns does violate the second amendment. The second amendment is the right to bear arms, but if you ban guns in local areas then that doesnt give anyone a right to bear arms. This is all common sense because of course handing a gun out to anyone would be a stupid thing to do which is why there are restrictions on buying a gun. People who feel the need to buy a gun can be for many different reasons like having fun at a shooting range or unfortunately protection. When someone buys a gun there should be an age limit, a series of questions for that person to answer about why they need a gun, identification and proof of identification, and if there is something wrong then there should be a place that you can report to like the police.

9/7/2008

Meaghan
Philadelphia, Central RMR
I believe that local handgun bans violate the Second Amendment. However, towns and cities should have the right to ban handguns because certain cities like Philadelphia have become crime "hotspots" and the people who use that right are selling guns to criminals and putting others in harms way. Also, due of the Second Amendment criminals have gotten away on gun charges by using the amendment in their defense. If guns are banned, the crime rate could decrease and the use for guns will become obsolete. Only law enforcement officials should be allowed to use weapons beacause they do not use them to their advantage. Furthermore, the Second Admenndemt is outdated, because it was written in an era of war on United States soil. There has not been a war on the Unted States' soil since 1865. Therefore, there is no need to bear arms to protect oneself within the United States. Guns are no longer used for protection, but rather for crimes and murder. Therefore, I believe that local laws prohibiting the possession of handguns are a violation of the Second Amendment, however there should be another admenment applied to the constitution nullifying the Second Amendment.

9/7/2008

Tony
Philadelphia, Central High School
I believe that the Supreme Court should not have repealed the ban. If citizens are allowed to hold any type of firearms, there is more risk to have crime involving firearms. The only people that should be aloud to carry firearms are law enforcement officers.

8/27/2008

Taylor
Irving, TX, Nimitz High School
I believe that the courts in this case made the right decision by lifting the ban on handguns. Handguns that are visible and unloaded should be allowed anywhere in the United States with the exception of places that should not have that kind of presence like a school. A handgun that has a trigger lock or is disassembled, which they had to be under the old law, is not able to be used for self-defense because it would take too long to either reassemble or take off the trigger lock for it to be of any use. I am not advocating that people should carry around all types of guns, or that they should carry guns at all for that matter, but for those individuals who feel it is necessary to carry a gun there should be restrictions. I think there should be a limit to what type of gun can be carried by a citizen. We do have a constitutional right to bear arms: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” But it does not say that there can not be restrictions of some sort, which I am all for because we do not want a bunch of nut jobs running around with all sorts of high powered weaponry. So I think that as far as restrictions on guns, it cannot interfere with a person's ability to defend themselves. But all you need to defend your self is a small handgun so anything much bigger than that should not be allowed to be carried around unless one is hunting. Now in the case of the gun rights advocates, like the NRA, I do not think that they should be bogging down the political systems of cities that have not taken gun restriction laws off of the books yet. I think the Supreme Court ruling should make those laws null and void just for the simple fact that the Supreme Court ruled those laws unconstitutional and the federal government should take care of that because they will do it more efficiently and without causing the cities to waste money on legal advisors. The cities that have the laws already on the books should go ahead and take them off of the books and tweak the laws to allow handguns for self-defense only and specify the power of handguns that are allowed to be carried around.

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