Friday, March 9, 2012

Second Amendment: Two Victories - Colorado and Maryland

Score one -- make that two -- bull's-eyes for the Constitution. This week, judges in two court cases reaffirmed the Second Amendment right to bear arms by striking down two separate gun bans. In Maryland, a federal judge ruled as unconstitutional the state's requirement that individuals provide "good and substantial reason" to purchase a handgun. Addressing a case in which a resident had obtained a gun permit a decade ago after warding off an intruder only to have the permit renewal application denied because he could not show he had been threatened "beyond his residence," the judge noted, "A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and substantial reason' why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right's existence is all the reason he needs." Tally, one.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, the state Supreme Court ruled that the University of Colorado's ban on carrying concealed handguns on campus didn't pass legal muster because the state legislature never approved the ban. Under the state's Concealed Carry Act of 2003, local governments cannot stifle concealed carry rights except in certain specific places, such as private property and K-12 schools. Colleges are not among the exceptions. Tally, two.

Naturally, Second Amendment foes will whine that more guns mean more violence. The evidence, however, is not on their side. Neither, for that matter, is the Constitution.

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