Individual Right to keep and bear arms

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by Pabooger, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. Pabooger

    Pabooger New Member

    Apr 21, 2004
    Northwestern, Penna.

    The Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice has just posted a 93-page written opinion that declares (and makes the case for) "we conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms."

    The opinion was prepared at the request of outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft and apparently delivered to him on 24 August 2004. It was posted on the USDOJ web site yesterday (16 December).

    While I would rather see this come out as a Supreme Court opinion, this well-researched, documented and footnoted DOJ OLC opinion is a good start. It goes far beyond the letter that AG Ashcroft sent to U.S. Attorneys in May, 2001 indicating his belief and position that the Second Amendment affirms an individual right.

    Here is the link for USDOJ Legal Opinions." target="_blank">

    This article has 9 comment(s). | Add a comment
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    Comment taken offline by SteveA
    Added by Who? on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 4:04 PM
    Reason for taking story offline: Off Topic

    Added by AC_Pilot on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 4:04 PM
    Let's see if Bush and the Republican congress will put their money where their mouth is, and eliminate the F part of the BATF, by over-turning the 1934 and 1968 GCAs. Without this ACTION the statement is mere window dressing, and only reason to yawn..

    Comment taken offline by SteveA
    Added by stevie_d_64 on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 4:17 PM
    Reason for taking story offline: Off Topic

    NICE find!
    Added by Atticus on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 4:37 PM
    and thank-you for the link. Of course, a US Senate report came to basically the same conclusion in 1982 and we all know what a BIG help that was.....

    Comment taken offline by SteveA
    Added by Joe Waldron on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 4:57 PM
    Reason for taking story offline: Duplicate

    This really is good news.
    Added by Studduck on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 4:59 PM
    But who in Cook County, Illinois wants to be the test case??

    Test case?
    Added by sanctuarytraders on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 5:04 PM
    Well I live in Cook County IL and the problem is not the individual right to keep and bear arms. You can not own "Handguns" in the city of Chicago but you can still "keep and bear arms."

    This is great news, but
    Added by lowblktaco on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 5:04 PM
    What does it really mean? Just recently I have began following 2nd ammendmant issues and I am still a little behind the times. Could someone please briefly explain this? Thank you.

    It means nothing unless....
    Added by MACPA on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 5:35 PM
    New legislation is introduced. For example, police, retired police and off-duty police can now carry nationwide regardless of state law. Now that the chief law officer made such a determination that people have this individual right, add law-abiding citizens to the law. That would solve many problems.

    Absolutely Brilliant !!!
    Added by guil2000 on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 5:48 PM
    Ashcroft knew he would be resigning after the election. Getting this opinion completed and holding off on making it public until after the election was great, and now it lays the groundwork to lock his successor into supporting this view.
    What a far cry from the days of Clinton and Reno.

    One issue remains.
    Added by jmarmaro on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 7:59 PM
    This document shows considerable scholarship and is a wonderful exposition on the true meaning of the second amendment. One issue tangentially mentioned but not fully addressed however is the phrase "shall not be infringed". This is the key issue once it is established that the second amendment protects the rights of the individual. It seems reasonable that certain people can lose their rights as a result of criminal actions; but how far do we go? The phrase 'bear arms' would support the use of handguns in my opinion, as few men would easily and readily carry rifles around. We do need a Supreme Court decision, but perhaps we should wait until the court has a strong majority of strict constitutional constructionists as opposed to judicial activists.

    This Legal Opinion Confirms...
    Added by Deta Dave on Friday, December 17, 2004 at 8:10 PM
    ... that rights pertain only to individuals and are shared equally. Groups and states have no "rights". There is no such thing as homosexual rights, gender rights, ethnic rights, racial rights or state's rights except as they apply to all of us equally and individually. What many of these groups seek and demand are not rights, but privileges. "States' rights" is a misnomer. Let's quit using it. The 10th amendment refers to "powers" (not "rights") reserved to the states and those powers are derived by the consent of the governed. The right to keep and bear arms is an individual right acknowledged (not granted) in the constitution.
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Great article Pa. It is good to see that Ashcroft had his head on straight for once. Now, let's pray that Congress acts on it! :)

  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Looks like I have another page to add to my site. :D I like the idea that it locks his successor into this opinion, but don't be surprised if that isn't so. Politicians and lawyers don't heed any facts that don't match their own desires. And don't try to tell me that the top LEO of our nation isn't a politician.

  4. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Colorado Rocky Mountains
    Thanks......bookmarked that site.
  5. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
  6. Salvage33

    Salvage33 Member

    May 15, 2004
    Shreveport, LA why leave the USA to visit a 3rd wo
    Great move on the part of John Ashcroft. However, the 2nd Amendment while being Constitutionally mandated is often manuevered around by politicians as they say that some of these laws are "states rights" issues, thereby resolving them of responsibility.

    With that said, I feel that our only course of action that will do any good at all is to continue to select and elect representatives and senators that hold the same point of view on the subject.

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