Thursday, March 20, 2014

Another Victory For The Right To Keep and Bear Arms

In this case, from the Delaware Supreme Court, striking down the Wilmington Housing Authority's attempts to prohibit the carrying of firearms in common areas of the housing complexes:
This case concerns the right to keep and bear arms under Article I, Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution. Although Section 20 was not enacted until 1987, Delaware has a long history, dating back to the Revolution, of allowing responsible citizens to lawfully carry and use firearms in our state. The parties agree, as does this Court, that Delaware is an “open carry” state. Like the citizens of our sister states at the founding, Delaware citizens understood that the “right of
self-preservation” permitted a citizen to “repe[l] force by force” when “the intervention of society in his behalf, may be too late to prevent an injury.”
So the decision was based on the state constitutional guarantee, not the Second Amendment, but the net effect is pretty much the same.  Most importantly, heightened scrutiny applies:
Where government action infringes a fundamental right, Delaware courts will apply a heightened scrutiny analysis. The parties have not argued otherwise here. Where heightened scrutiny applies, the State has the burden of showing that the state action is constitutional. 

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