Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys have learned that on Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states and cities must allow citizens their Second Amendment rights. The 5-4 decision states that the right to have a handgun for self-defense “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
During the 19th century, courts had ruled that the Amendment only applied to federal gun laws and should not impact local or state gun laws. That ruling has been overturned by this more recent decision, which legal experts say will no doubt lead to more firearms lawsuits.
In most states, residents (with the exception of those with a felony record or a history of mental illness) can possess a rifle or shotgun without a permit. But seven states forbid assault weapons or semi-automatic weapons. After the Supreme Court ruling, these restrictions may be challenged. We’ll be interested in seeing how the firearms laws impact South Florida.
Source: Supreme Court extends 2nd Amendment protection to state, local levels, South Florida Sun Sentinel, June 29, 2010 Continue reading