Are laws against fully automatic weapons and sawed-off shotguns Constitutional?
And how about laws prohibiting certain classes of people from owning guns, like violent criminals, felons and mentally ill people?
- StephenWeinsteinLv 74 months ago
Yes. If you think about it, not having any gun regulations would not be Constitutional, because the Constitution says that guns must be regulated. Read the Second Amendment some time. It talks about the need for regulation before it mentions anything about rights.
- STEVEN FLv 74 months ago
The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
Show me the exceptions that apply to the arms listed.
- Anonymous4 months ago
Yes they are.
Lawmakers may outlaw certain types of weapons, but they may not disarm the citizenry. The "right to bear arms" is not a right to nullify any government measure a resident may find objectionable.
The Second Amendment Is Not Absolute
Constitutional rights are not absolute. They never have been and, practically, never can be. In our constitutional democracy, we have always recognized that we can, and must, have our constitutional cake and regulate it too.
The Second Amendment, of course, is no exception. In the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court told us that we have a constitutional right to possess firearms for self-defense, at least within our homes. But the opinion never suggested that this right was unconditional or immune from all regulation. In fact, Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, said just the opposite. In Heller, he specifically said that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”
Protecting the right to keep and bear arms is not the same as forbidding all regulations on that right. We can protect that right and still require background checks, permits, and training. We can still regulate when, where, and what kinds of guns are allowed. In some cases, we can regulate who can obtain guns, imposing restrictions on, for instance, felons, the mentally ill, and known terrorists. We can ban firearms such as military-style assault weapons that (like child pornography) plainly cause far more harm than they add in value. We can require those who are negligent with their weapons (as we do those who are negligent with their words in defamation cases) to be held liable for the harm they inflict on others. We can do all of these things; we just don’t. There might be policy reasons to debate the pros and cons of specific regulations, but there’s no reason to assume that there is a constitutional problem.
- mokrieLv 74 months ago
Those laws already exist. Felons, criminals OBVIOUSLY ignore laws or they wouldn't be felons and criminals.They buy illegal guns on the street or steal them. As for mentally ill, unless a psychiatrist declares someone a danger, how would anyone know..
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- Mr. SmartypantsLv 74 months ago
'Unconstitutional' is another word people tend to throw around to mean anything they don't like. Years ago there was a movement that insisted income taxes were unconstitutional. There were a dozen books written about it. A whole string of 'experts' went on interview shows, did lectures at National Press Club, etc. saying they'd refused to pay their taxes because the taxes were unconstitutional. Every one of them went to prison.
The Supreme Court has the job of interpreting the Constitution. THEY say what the Constitution means, and the Constitution itself gives them this power. THEY have said, over and over, for decades now, that the 2nd Amendment doesn't make reasonable gun control illegal. Machine guns, for instance, have been heavily restricted now for 80 years. You can't own anything bigger than .50 cal (and that requires a special license). You can't own an RPG launcher. Etc. etc. Those restrictions have been held up for decades!
Likewise background checks, a clean bill of mental health, felons can't own guns, etc. The 2nd Amendment was NEVER taken to mean that anyone could own any kind of gun, as many as they wanted.
- Russ in NOVALv 74 months ago
Depends on who you ask. The Constitution to grants the power to SCOTUS to make that determination and they have either ruled they are or no one has successfully brought the question before them.