D.C. v Heller and McDonald v Chicago need Supreme Court Clarification.
D.C. v Heller and McDonald v Chicago were decided in favor of gun rights three and two years ago respectively. Those of us who cherish our 2nd Amendment Rights were jubilant that finally the Supreme Court cleared up the issue in our favor. But as FirearmsTruth reported back then, not all issues were clearly defined by The Court.
Some jurisdictions, like the city of Chicago, disregarded the spirit of the McDonald holding and put as many bureaucratic obstacles against gun ownership as they could. Since Heller was decided three years ago, there have been over 400 legal challenges to constitutionally protected firearms possession. Most of these lower court rulings have been in favor of gun control.
Heller and McDonald make clear that a law abiding citizen has the right to own a firearm for home self-protection. But does this right extend beyond the inside of the home, and if so, how far? For example, is it legal for me to clean my handgun on my open front porch or in a detached garage? If I am traveling to a shooting range by car how must my firearm be secured? Can it be loaded? What about travel by foot?
Lower federal and state courts have overwhelmingly ruled in favor of local or state restrictions.
Maryland’s highest state court was quite blunt in one of its decisions in favor of gun control: “If the Supreme Court … means its holdings to extend beyond home possession, it will need to say so more plainly.”
In the Maryland case, Charles Williams Jr. was convicted for transporting a firearm in public without a permit. He put the gun in a bag before traveling from his girlfriend’s house to his own. William’s attorney, Stephan Halbrook, argues that the Maryland law requiring a travel permit is unconstitutional because “basically ordinary people can’t get one.”
I want to know how you are supposed to get your firearm home from the store in Maryland. Do the police deliver and how much should you tip them?
Some of the restrictive ruling by lower courts will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Hopefully The Court will hear one or more of these and give clear guidelines on how restrictive gun control laws can be when it comes to the 2nd Amendment outside the home.
About John Kullman:
John Kullman holds a jurist doctorate from Thomas Cooley Law School, and a dual bachelor degree in English and Speech, as well as a minor in History from Central Michigan University. He previously was employed with Haliburton and Long & Wetzel. He is the managing editor of Firearmstruth.com, and is avid guns right advocate.