Comments on: CPRC on the Steve Gruber Show: The death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia and what that could mean for Gun Rights in the U.S. Crime Prevention Research Center conducts research on laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety. Fri, 06 Aug 2021 19:36:58 +0000 hourly 1 By: David M. Bennett Thu, 25 Feb 2016 18:46:55 +0000 No matter its interpretation, the Second Amendment’s very existence is a dilemma for proponents of federal restrictions on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Whatever alternative historical view a future Supreme Court may adopt (if given the chance to overturn Heller) the plain text of the amendment itself cannot be erased.

The narrowest possible interpretation of the Second Amendment surely prohibits Congress from interfering with the ability of a State to call up for service volunteer militia forces drawn from its own citizenry, who would be expected to furnish their own private arms. Indeed, both Heller dissenting opinions describe the Second Amendment in just such a manner, an individual right still enforceable against Congress, at least in theory anyway.

Does the political will exist in any of our freedom-loving states to turn such legal theory into reality? I sincerely believe and hope so. There are encouraging present day examples of such popular will manifesting itself. We’ve seen several States enact extraordinary and unprecedented firearms freedom legislation purporting to prohibit state agencies from enforcing federal gun control laws. Given that the very nature of these acts constitute insubordination, it is not too hard to imagine one of these States upping the ante, so to speak.

Consider the profound constitutional implications should a state legislature ever find the backbone to declare nearly all its law-abiding adult citizens automatic members of the State’s (unorganized) militia. It would be unquestionably within the State’s perogative to further designate the preferred type of arms that citizens would be expected privately own and subsequently furnish in the event of a call-up as being detachable magazine semi-automatic (or automatic) firearms! Such a prospect should be enough to cause advocates of alternative Second Amendment interpretations to reconsider what they wish for.