The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 30, 2013

Your View: Right to bear arms is not absolute

By Michael Wright, Mankato

— If Bob Jentges' take on District of Columbia v. Heller was correct, the opinion would not have required 157 pages. In addition to deciding that individuals had a right to bear arms, Justice Scalia made it quite clear that, like most constitutional rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.

"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms." He continued in footnote n.26 to say that his list of proper regulation was by no means exhaustive.

Finally, the court approved the precedent set in the Miller case that the only protected firearms are those "in common use at the time" (presumably not assault weapons).

So it would seem that even some the most conservative Supreme Court Justices in history clearly confirm that your government may in fact place reasonable restrictions on a citizen's right to keep and bear arms.