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Attorney David T. Hardy on U.S. v Emerson Gun Case

October 16, 2001

On a very quick read:

Emerson clearly holds that the second amendment is an individual right, and rejects the "collective rights" nonsense. It is the most detailed circuit court opinion I have ever seen, on any issue whatsoever. The court went back and did its own original research, rather than citing to law reviews, which is astonishing.... no wonder it took so long to write the opinion! And, instead of just citing Miller, it went back and read the briefs in that case to determine just what the Court really ruled upon. None of this is easy work for a court to undertake. It's virtually reconstructed the entire second amendment debate, not taking anyone's word on anything.

The court does uphold the statute--but doesn't do so with a proclamation that any "reasonable regulation" will do. Rather, it says that any restriction of the right must involve a narrow rule that leaves intact the general principle that the citizenry (apart from felons, etc.) may be armed. But since it upheld the statute, the only one who can take it to the Supremes will be Emerson himself--technically, he lost, even if with a remarkable opinion on the second amendment.


Scholarly Works from David T. Hardy:

 

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To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them... Richard Henry Lee

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