Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Contrary Evidence To Waxman Letter

Saturday, October 23, 1999

Solicitor General Seth P. Waxman issued a letter on August 22, 2000, stating that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right. The letter only tells part of the story. It mainly cites old cases, several Supreme Court cases that are cited are misinterpreted and recent cases supporting a contrary view are ignored. Below is the evidence that contradicts his letter, you be the judge.(Click here to see the letter.)

United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). The court refused to take judicial notice that a short-barrelled shotgun was useful for militia purposes. Nowhere did the court hold that an individual does not have a right to keep and bear arms. Miller has been interpreted as protecting an individual right to bear arms.

Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886). The court held that Bill of Rights restrains Congress and not the states. This was a preincorporation case. Nowhere did the court hold that an individual does not have a right to keep and bear arms.

The U. S. Supreme Court has recently recognized the Second Amendment as an important individual right. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 112 S.Ct. 2791, 2805, 120 L.Ed.2d 674, 696 (1992); United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 265 (1991). These two cases were ignored.

The most recent case Waxman cites from a lower court is United States v. Hale, 978 F.2d 1016 (8th Cir. 1992). He ignores the special concurring opinion supporting an individual right to bear arms. He also ignores the dissent in United States v. Atlas, 94 F.3d 447 (8th Cir. 1996) (per Judge Arnold: "possession of a gun, in itself, is not a crime. Indeed, though the right to bear arms is not absolute, it finds explicit protection in the Bill of Rights").

The second most recent case Waxman cites is Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove, 695 F.2d 261 (7th Cir. 1982). He ignores the dissenting opinion.

He ignores recent favorable opinions. For example, in United States v. Steven Paul Gomez, 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 7815 at *10 n. 7, Judge Kozinski opined that "The Second Amendment embodies the right to defend oneself and one`s home against physical attack." United States v. Hutzell, ____ F.3d ____ (8th Cir. July 5, 2000): "Although an individual`s right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, see United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 178-79 (1939), the possession of a gun, especially by anyone who has been convicted of a violent crime, is nevertheless a highly regulated activity, and everyone knows it."

Even Laurence H. Tribe, the influential modern liberal constitutional law expert at Harvard Law School, who personally opposes the right to bear arms, admits the following:

Perhaps the most accurate conclusion one can reach with any confidence is that the core meaning of the Second Amendment is a populist/republican/federalism one. Its central object is to arm "We the People" so that ordinary citizens can participate in the collective defense of their community and their state. But it does so not through directly protecting a right on the part of states or other collectivities, assertable by them against the federal government, to arm the populace as they see fit. Rather, the amendment achieves its central purpose by assuring that the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification consistent with the authority of the states to organize their own militias. That assurance in turn is provided through recognizing a right (admittedly of uncertain scope) on the part of individuals to possess and use firearms in the defense of themselves and their homes--not a right to hunt for game, quite clearly, and certainly not a right to employ firearms to commit aggressive acts against other persons--a right that directly limits action by Congress or by the Executive Branch and may well, in addition, be among the privileges or immunities of United States citizens protected by sec. 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment against state or local government action. Laurence H. Tribe, I AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 901-02 n.221 (Foundation Press 2000).

For more information about the Second Amendment see:

The Second Amendment & The United States Supreme Court

Our 2nd Amendment - The Original Perspective

"The Arms Of All The People Should Be Taken Away"

Madison & the Bill of Rights

IN THIS ARTICLE
Other
TRENDING NOW
The Right to Bear Arms Gets Its Day in Court

News  

Monday, November 8, 2021

The Right to Bear Arms Gets Its Day in Court

November 3 was a historic day for constitutional rights in the United States, as the U.S. Supreme Court delved into a detailed and sophisticated exploration of the meaning and scope of the Second Amendment’s right ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

News  

Monday, November 8, 2021

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

In early 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his so-called “assault weapon” ban along with a temporary amnesty period that allows the owners of newly-banned firearms to possess their property without incurring criminal liability. Canadians affected ...

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

News  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

Beto’s Back, Along with His Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 22, 2021

Beto’s Back, Along with His Gun Ban

Everyone’s least favorite adrift office seeker is back in the national spotlight. On November 15, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke announced his candidacy for Texas governor.

Ohio: House Passes Constitutional Carry

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Ohio: House Passes Constitutional Carry

Today, the House of Representatives voted 60-32 to pass House Bill 227, the constitutional carry bill. It will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Brady Campaign v. Armslist Redux: Court Again Rejects Liability Claim

News  

Monday, November 22, 2021

Brady Campaign v. Armslist Redux: Court Again Rejects Liability Claim

This month, a federal district court in Wisconsin dismissed a lawsuit against Armslist, the operator of an online marketplace for firearms, arising out of its role in allegedly facilitating or enabling the sale of a ...

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

DOJ has made clear that Garland’s selective definition of “civil rights” has no room for the Second Amendment...

Pennsylvania: Constitutional Carry Clears Final Hurdle And Advances To Governor

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Pennsylvania: Constitutional Carry Clears Final Hurdle And Advances To Governor

The Keystone State is one final step away from joining 21 other states that have constitutional carry.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.