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Federal Appeals Court says there’s no Second Amendment right to carry concealed firearms

THIS RULING, which runs counter to uninformed interpretations of the Constitution, is based in great part on the Supreme Court’s decision in the Heller case of five years ago, as we see here in this excerpt from the Tenth Circuit’s formal opinion:

[T]he Heller opinion notes that, “[l]ike most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” As an example of the limited nature of the Second Amendment right to keep and carry arms, the Court observed that “the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.” And the Court stressed that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions.”

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7 Comments

  1. “to keep and bear arms” can hold a variety of interpretations. One of those is that “to keep” means to hold in one’s private possession, such as a flintlock pistol tucked away in a holster. “and bear” can mean to bring it out of one’s private possession into public view.

    Sounds pretty straight forward to me. Concealed carry is a right.

  2. Neftali: You’re correct in saying that “concealed carry is a right” — but only where it’s been legalized.

    It’s not a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment, as the Supreme Court has made clear.

    Justice Scalia, the most conservative member of the court, wrote in the Heller case that the Second Amendment does not grant “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

    He also said that “the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment.” And he added, regarding the Heller ruling, that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions.”

    There’s a crazy notion afoot in this country that people get to decide for themselves what the Second Amendment means. They don’t. Only the courts can do that. That’s the way the American system works.

  3. Craig Knauss

    Nef,

    I’m sure you are aware that Arkansas recently took steps to legalize concealed carry in churches.

    That’s right. In churches.

    You don’t think that’s getting carried away with this BS? Do you think the Founding Fathers ever intended concealed carry in churches?

  4. Do I think the Founding Fathers ever intended concealed carry in churches?

    Yes.

  5. Craig Knauss

    Nef,

    If you believe that, I truly feel sorry for you.

    It is a time-honored tradition of no weapons in God’s house. A tradition that even the Nazis adhered to during services.

    Perhaps you could tell us what their justification would be for guns in church? And provide a source for your revelation.

  6. What amazes me is the ignorance on both sides of the fence – Craig, in early Colonial America a house of worship was the central gathering place, during this time men of age routinely carried firearms to church (a fine could be levied for failure to bring a firearm in some colonies)(Colonial Firearm Regulation – Clayton E. Cramer).

    Neftali, even for someone like me who believes that the second amendment give me the individual right to kept and bear arm (not only for hunting or self-defense but as a deterrent to a tyrannical government) your logic on conceal carry is a stretch. From the 13th century to the time of Blackstone’s opinions you could be fined, imprisoned, or executed for going concealed (oddly enough open carry without intent to cause harm to others was accepted).

    Pat your contention that the current proposed ban on certain types, and/or capacity of firearms are justified limits, is in your words “nonsense”. You quote an example of a limit on First Amendment as not having the right to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater, and a limit on Fourth Amendment rights on the safeguard against “warrantless searches and seizures”, in each of your examples the courts have upheld that your rights can not infringe nor cause harm (this does not abridge the freedom of speech nor infringe on the freedom of the press), in the case of the Fourth Amendment the courts have upheld that if there is reasonable belief that you are about to cause harm to yourself or others a warrant may not be imminently required or needed (If you exercise a no warrant search/seizure/arrest be prepared to be challenged in court).

    These limits are imposed by laws subservient to the Constitution, and it is the courts duty to uphold the Constitution and to look at any law in question in light and context to the Constitution, the intent of the framer’s and accepted history and practice of the time.

    How does the possession, and/or ownership of a firearm (no matter the type and/or capacity) in and of its self, cause harm or infringe upon the “the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” of anyone else?

    We already have laws and penalties for those whom abuse and/or deny these rights to others, let’s enforce them, then let’s have a conversation about what can be done without impeding and/or removing the rights of others.

    For those who say that the framers did not intent for the people to keep and bear arms the following quotes are from several of the frames:

    “To preserve Liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, and member of the first Continental Congress, which passed the Bill of Rights)

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950)

  7. Rick Armayor

    Sawyer, you have made the most valid points of all.

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