Would an Assault-Rifle Ban Survive the Courts?
The debate over gun laws has just started in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting spree. But if Congress does ultimately pass restrictions on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, the courts will no doubt be called upon to rule on their constitutionality. And the legal landscape on these issues has changed significantly in recent years.
For a long time, groups like the National Rifle Association avoided the courts, fearing the Supreme Court would weaken the Second Amendment. But the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller, recognizing an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, changed all that.
Gun-rights groups now challenge weapons regulations from a position of strength. So how would assault-rifle restrictions, if they came to pass, fare in the post-Heller era?