So, What Good is the 2nd Amendment
If the Supreme Court's opinion in U.S. v. Miller limits the Second Amendment's scope and authority to laws affecting the states' ability to raise and equip militias, what good does the 2nd Amendment do for the individual firearms owner?
First, what are some federal gun control laws that would not affect the states' ability to maintain public militias and thus, could not be challenged under the Second Amendment.
- Registration of all firearms
- Licensing of all firearm owners
- Prohibiting private ownership certain types of firearms
- Requiring "trigger lock" devices
- Requiring gun buyer background checks at gun shows
- Enhanced penalties for gun-related crimes
Requirements for trigger locks, background checks at gun shows, and increased penalties are all part of H.R. 1501 - The Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 1999, now being considered by a joint conference committee of Congress. (See: House Agrees to Push Gun Control Bill)
Blanket registration of firearms and licensing of owners are currently required by Canadian gun control laws.
Now, what are some federal gun control laws that would affect he states' ability to maintain public militias and thus, could be challenged under the Second Amendment:
- Prohibiting private ownership of firearms
- Requiring the mandatory surrender of all privately held firearms
There are currently no such laws being considered in Congress, and as long as the Second Amendment remains intact, there never will be. This is the good the Second Amendment does for the individual firearms owner.
Further Note: Congress draws additional authority to enact gun control laws from the "commerce clause" of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution granting Congress the power to "regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." Authority for most federal gun control laws is based on the commerce clause.
Online Poll: Should Congress enact laws requiring trigger locks and criminal background checks at gun shows?
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