Supreme Court to decide whether Second Amendment protects individual right to bear arms

The Los Angeles Times reports:

For more than 30 years, the District of Columbia has had the nation’s strictest gun-control law — a ban on having handguns at home for self-defense.On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to that law from those who say it violates the 2nd Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms.

Few would cite D.C.’s gun ban as proof that gun control leads to crime control, as Washington continues to have one of the nation’s highest rates of violent crime. Even some gun-control advocates don’t support it.

The case has drawn wide attention not because of the district’s law itself, but because the court may decide for the first time whether gun rights are truly protected by the Constitution, like the right to free speech and the right to freely practice one’s religion.

If so, it could mark the beginning of new era in which judges around the country are called upon to decide whether the many restrictions and regulations of weapons infringe the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment.

“Whenever there is an individual right [protected by the Constitution], the burden is on the government to justify a limit on that right,” said Robert A. Levy, a libertarian lawyer at the Cato Institute.

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