In District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own handguns in the home for protection, invalidating a Washington, D.C. law banning most handgun possession. The Heller decision, however, provided lower courts with little guidance regarding how to judge the constitutionality of gun laws other than handgun bans. Nevertheless, lower courts have upheld the vast majority of federal, state, and local gun laws challenged since Heller. One area in which some lower courts have disagreed has been the constitutionality of laws regulating the ability to carry firearms in public. This issue may be the next to be addressed by the Supreme Court under its evolving Second Amendment jurisprudence. Courts should carefully consider the negative public health and safety implications of gun carrying in public as they weigh the constitutionality of these laws.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- Health Policy