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August 2010 Archives

U.S. Supreme Court on the 2nd Amendment: an individual right to bear arms

By Lewis P. Reece, Shareholder--In 2008, after 200-plus years, the U.S. Supreme Court finally interpreted the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and specifically analyzed the words and phrases used within it.   Thankfully, the Court—at least the majority of the justices—focused upon the intent of the people who ratified the Constitution in interpreting the Second Amendment.  The Majority made a genuine effort to discern the meaning of the Second Amendment by considering how the people who ratified it understood its meaning.  Speaking of the Second Amendment, the Majority said: “In interpreting this text, we are guided by the principle that “[t]he Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning.”  District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783, 2788 (2008), citing United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716, 731 (1931).