Since poor Dreamryder's thread showed a lot of interest in the Second Amendment, I thought I'd point you guys to what is possibly the most important bit of jurisprudence in the history of the Second Amendment.
There are currently two similar lawsuits going, and at least one is being heard by the Supreme Court, regarding the Second Amendment.
This specific case challenges the 1976 law in DC disallowing any new handguns to be registered in the district (or kept at your house), disallowing the use of a pre-1976 registered handgun being used in self defense even when registered to your home (or even keeping it in a different room in the house!
), and mandating that all long guns and shotguns be stored in such a way that they are disabled and thus not useful in self defense.
Parker et al brought suit that this law infringed on their Constitutional rights.
In district court, Parker v. District of Columbia, et al.
was judged in favor of the defendants, meaning, law abiders still aren't allowed firearms in DC.
It is now being heard by the Supreme Court. As you can imagine, it is a huge
battle, and the NRA and Cato, and Brady (San Francisco tax payers) and co are pouring millions into this fight.
Here's a link with most of the documents from the case. It's lots of reading, but if you're interested, it's fascinating.
Gura & Possessky, PLLC
It's particularly interesting to me as a Californian for two reasons:
1) San Francisco recently passed an ordnance banning handguns. This is being vigorously fought out in court, for now, San Franciscans are allowed their pistols. Not surprisingly, SF tax dollars are being shipped into this case on the side of the defendants.
2) States that do not contain the right to bear arms in their state constitutions (like CA) are also significantly impacted by this. At least one of the cases that challenged the AWB in Cali was shot down with the lack of a state guaranteed right to bear arms cited.
AFAIK, the SC has only had one case where they really laid down any direct interpretation of the Second. It was in the case of sawn off shotguns, and in that case, they ruled sawn off shotguns were illegal as they had no military application
. The fact that this implies military style arms are afforded more protection
than non-military type arms by the Constitution, and thus things like the AWB seem to be less Constitutional than a ban on .22 rimfire rifles would be, has not really been a useful argument, despite its validity.
For the 2000 AWB, the Supreme Court denied hearing the case challenging it.