Thursday’s landmark ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on gun ownership is a welcome and long overdue recognition that the Second Amendment belongs to every American, not just to the military.
On a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court threw out one of the nation’s strictest anti-gun laws in Washington, D.C. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that law-abiding citizens have a basic constitutional right to own loaded firearms to protect their homes, to hunt and for other traditional gun activities.
Like the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment isn’t absolute, Scalia wrote, and reasonable, limited restrictions can be applied.
The decision in District of Columbia v. Heller should have no immediate impact here in Arizona. Since statehood in 1912, the Arizona constitution always has protected an individual’s right to bear arms.
But nationwide, government now will have to prove it has no other choice every time it tries to limit our ability to own and to carry a gun.