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
Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

When the Democrats who are seeking their party’s nomination to run against Donald Trump in 2020 start talking about guns, anyone who supports our right to keep and bear arms knows to be concerned. Of ...

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that ...

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case ...

Trading Freedom for Safety

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Trading Freedom for Safety

“[N]othing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe,” explained the editors of The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper at Northwestern University. The statement was part of a lengthy apology published by the editors, ...

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Monday, November 18, 2019

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Tomorrow, November 19 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering Resolution 19-186, which mirrors the failed attempt from September.  

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.

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

News  

Monday, November 11, 2019

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

Former Texas Congressman Robert Francis O’Rourke abandoned his run for President last week, once again leaving a void for the most strident anti-gun candidate seeking the Democrat nomination. Even before declaring his candidacy for President, ...

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

News  

Gun Laws  

Monday, November 11, 2019

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October ...

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

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.