Dozens of Second Amendment rights activists holstered their handguns and slung unloaded rifles over their shoulders Monday at a gun rights rally in northern Virginia, while hundreds of like-minded but unarmed counterparts converged in the nation’s capital.
Second Amendment: guarantees the right of individuals to possess firearms. The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects a right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. The American Bar Association has noted that there is more disagreement and less understanding about this right than of any other current issue regarding the Constitution.
The right to keep and bear arms, often referred as the right to bear arms or the right to have arms, is the assertion that people have a personal right to “weapon(s)” for individual use, or a collective right to bear arms in a militia, or both. In this context, “arms” refers to a variety of weapons and armor and to “bear arms” meant to wage war.
The phrase “right to keep and bear arms” was first used in the text of Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
For almost a century following the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the intended meaning and application of the Second Amendment drew less interest than it does in modern times. The vast majority of regulation was done by states, and the first case law on weapons regulation dealt with state interpretations of the Second Amendment. The notable exception to this general rule was Houston v. Moore, 18 U.S. 1 (1820), where the Supreme Court mentioned the Second Amendment in an aside, but Justice Story “misidentified” it as the “5th Amendment.”
U.S. Supreme Court
The primary U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment cases include United States v. Cruikshank (1875), Presser v. Illinois (1886), Miller v. Texas (1894), Robertson v. Baldwin (1897), United States v. Miller (1939) and District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). A key legal question is whether the Second Amendment is held to apply to state and local governments by way of the Fourteenth Amendment. Cruikshank and Presser predate the modern criteria by which it is determined whether a particular part of the Bill of Rights applies to state and local governments. Because Heller did not make such a determination, it remains an open question. McDonald v. Chicago, currently before the Court, addresses this question.
Dred Scott v. Sandford
In the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856), the Supreme Court’s decision denying citizenship to former slaves and their descendants included the following relevant wording:
[I]n no part of the country except Maine did the African race, in point of fact, participate equally with the whites in the exercise of civil and political rights….More especially, it cannot be believed that the large slaveholding states regarded them as included in the word citizens, or would have consented to a Constitution which might compel them to receive them in that character from another state. For if they were so received, and entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, it …. would give to persons of the Negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to … keep and carry arms wherever they went.
The Court was referring to the Privileges and Immunities Clause, located in Article IV of the Constitution. This is to be distinguished from the Privileges or Immunities Clause, which was adopted as part of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868.
United States v. Cruikshank
The Second Amendment attracted serious judicial attention with the Reconstruction era case of United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875). In Cruikshank, the defendants were white men who had killed more than sixty blacks known as the Colfax massacre and had been charged with conspiring to prevent blacks from exercising their right to bear arms. The Court dismissed the charges, holding that the Bill of Rights restricted Congress but not private individuals. The Court concluded, “[f]or their protection in its enjoyment, the people must look to the States.”
The Court stated that “[t]he Second Amendment…has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government…”. Likewise, the Court held that there was no state action in this case, and therefore the Fourteenth Amendment was not applicable:
The fourteenth amendment prohibits a State from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; but this adds nothing to the rights of one citizen as against another.
Thus, the Court held a federal anti-Ku-Klux-Klan statute to be unconstitutional as applied in that case.
Regarding the Second Amendment and the incorporation doctrine, the Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, said in 2008:
With respect to Cruikshank’s continuing validity on incorporation, a question not presented by this case, we note that Cruikshank also said that the first amendment did not apply against the states and did not engage in the sort of Fourteenth Amendment inquiry required by our later cases. Our later decisions in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 265 (1886) and Miller v. Texas, 153 U.S. 535, 538 (1894), reaffirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to the Federal Government.
Regarding the assertion in Heller that Cruikshank said the First Amendment did not apply to the states, Professor David Rabban wrote that the Cruikshank Court “never specified whether the First Amendment contains ‘fundamental rights’ protected by the Fourteenth Amendment against state action….”
Presser v. Illinois
In Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886), Herman Presser headed a German-American paramilitary shooting organization and was arrested for leading a parade group of 400 men, training and drilling with military weapons with declared intention to fight, through the streets of Chicago as violation of Illinois law which prohibits the public drilling and parading in military style without a permit from the Governor.
At his trial, Presser argued that the state of Illinois had violated his Second Amendment rights. In rejecting his case the Supreme Court reaffirmed Cruikshank, holding that the Second Amendment restricts only the authority of the Congress to maintain the public security. This decision upheld the states authority to regulate the militia and that citizens had no right to create their own militias or to own weapons for semi-military purposes.
Miller v. Texas
In Miller v. Texas, 153 U.S. 535 (1894), Franklin Miller was convicted and sentenced to be executed for shooting a police officer to death using an unlicensed handgun, in violation of Texas law. Mr. Miller sought to have his conviction overturned, claiming his Second Amendment rights were violated and that the Bill of Rights should be incorporated to state law. The Supreme Court ruled in line with Presser and Cruikshank that the Second Amendment did not apply to state laws such as the Texas law for which Mr. Miller has been convicted.
Robertson v. Baldwin
In Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275 (1897), the Court stated that laws regulating concealed arms did not infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms, and thus were not a violation of the Second Amendment. Specifically, the Supreme Court stated:
“The law is perfectly well settled that the first ten amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the “Bill of Rights,” were not intended to lay down any novel principles of government, but simply to embody certain guaranties and immunities which we had inherited from our English ancestors, and which had, from time immemorial, been subject to certain well recognized exceptions arising from the necessities of the case. In incorporating these principles into the fundamental law, there was no intention of disregarding the exceptions, which continued to be recognized as if they had been formally expressed. Thus, the freedom of speech and of the press (Art. I) does not permit the publication of libels, blasphemous or indecent articles, or other publications injurious to public morals or private reputation; the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons;…”
United States v. Miller
In United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), the Supreme Court heard arguments from only the Solicitor General and rejected a Second Amendment challenge to the National Firearms Act prohibiting the interstate transportation of unregistered Title II weapons:
Jack Miller and Frank Layton “did unlawfully…transport in interstate commerce from…Claremore…Oklahoma to…Siloam Springs…Arkansas a certain firearm…a double barrel…shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches in length…at the time of so transporting said firearm in interstate commerce…not having registered said firearm as required by Section 1132d of Title 26, United States Code, …and not having in their possession a stamp-affixed written order…as provided by Section 1132C…”
A demurrer had been filed, which alleged:
The National Firearms Act is not a revenue measure but an attempt to usurp police power reserved to the States, and is therefore unconstitutional. Also, it offends the inhibition of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, U.S.C.A. – ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
A federal district court, ruled Section 11 of the National Firearms Act of 1934 to be in violation of the Second Amendment’s restriction forbidding such infringement and so it quashed the indictment.
In a unanimous opinion, authored by Justice McReynolds, the Supreme Court reversed the District Court decision stating that:
Considering Sonzinsky v. United States (1937), 300 U. S. 506, 300 U. S. 513, and what was ruled in sundry causes arising under the Harrison Narcotic Act
— United States v. Jin Fuey Moy (1916), 241 U. S. 394, United States v. Doremus (1919), 249 U. S. 86, 249 U. S. 94; Linder v. United States (1925), 268 U. S. 5; Alston v. United States (1927), 274 U. S. 289; Nigro v. United States (1928), 276 U. S. 332 — the objection that the Act usurps police power reserved to the States is plainly untenable.
The Court further explained:
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to any preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.
Miller is cited by gun-rights advocates, because they claim that the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protected the right to keep arms that are part of “ordinary military equipment.” It has also been cited by gun control advocates because they claim that the Court did not consider the question of whether the sawed-off shotgun in the case would be an applicable weapon for personal defense, instead looking solely at the weapon’s suitability for the “common defense.” Law professor Andrew McClurg states, “The only certainty about Miller is that it failed to give either side a clear-cut victory. Most modern scholars recognize this fact.”
District of Columbia v. Heller
The Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S.Ct. 2783 (2008) ruled that “[t]he Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home” and “that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.”
To clarify that its ruling does not invalidate a broad range of existing firearm laws, the Court said:
Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, 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.
The Court held that the amendment’s prefatory clause serves to clarify the operative clause, but does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause.
The dissenting opinion, written by Justice Stevens, stated that:
The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an “individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.
This dissent called the Opinion of the Court “strained and unpersuasive” and said that the right to possess a firearm exists only in relation to the militia and that the D.C. laws constitute permissible regulation.
Justice Scalia, in the Opinion of the Court, called Justice Stevens’ interpretation of the phrase “to keep and bear arms” incoherent and grotesque.
Justice Breyer, in his own dissent and speaking only for himself, stated:
I take as a starting point the following four propositions, based on our precedent and today’s opinions, to which I believe the entire Court subscribes: (1) The Amendment protects an “individual” right—i.e., one that is separately possessed, and may be separately enforced, by each person on whom it is conferred.
Regarding the term “well regulated”, the U.S. Supreme Court said in District of Columbia v. Heller:
[T]he adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.
Justice Scalia, writing for the court, quoted Spooner from The Unconstitutionality of Slavery as saying that the right to bear arms was necessary for those who wanted to take a stand against slavery.
The majority opinion in Heller also stated that:
A purposive qualifying phrase that contradicts the word or phrase it modifies is unknown this side of the looking glass (except, apparently, in some courses on Linguistics). If “bear arms” means, as we think, simply the carrying of arms, a modifier can limit the purpose of the carriage (“for the purpose of self-defense” or “to make war against the King”). But if “bear arms” means, as the petitioners and the dissent think, the carrying of arms only for military purposes, one simply cannot add “for the purpose of killing game.” The right “to carry arms in the militia for the purpose of killing game” is worthy of the mad hatter.
The dissenting justices were unpersuaded by this argument.
McDonald v. Chicago
On September 30, 2009, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in, and so decided to review, McDonald v. Chicago. This case closely parallels NRA v. Chicago. A central issue before the Court will be whether the Second Amendment applies to the states. Oral argument took place on March 2, 2010. A ruling is expected this June.
In the first couple decades following the adoption of the Second Amendment public opposition to a standing army persisted, a widely held opinion among the minority Anti-Federalists and to a lesser extent among the majority Federalists. This opinion also extended to opposition to a professional armed police force, with the responsibility to carry out local ordinances falling to sheriffs in counties and constables and night watchmen in cities and towns. These officials were sometimes compensated, but more often served as a civic duty without payment. In these early decades with rare exceptions these full time law enforcement officers were not armed with firearms, but rather were armed only with clubs. In large emergencies a call up was issued for the posse comitatus, militia companies, or vigilantes to assume law enforcement duties and these groups were much more likely to be armed with firearms. The Uniform Militia Act of 1792 obliged every free able-bodied white male citizen between the ages of 18 and 45 to be included in the national militia. It also required these men to provide their own arms and ammunition. In practice individual acquisition and maintenance of rifles and muskets to be held ready for militia duty proved problematic, with compliance estimates ranging between 10 and 65 percent of militiamen bringing their private arms to the militia musters. Additionally, compliance with the Uniform Militia Act of 1792 gradually fell into disfavor and disrepute. The State legislatures granted increasing numbers of exemptions to universal militia obligation, with exemptions granted to clergy, conscientious objectors, teachers, students, jurors, mariners and ferrymen. While in practice, the remainder of able bodied white men remained obligated for service, an increasing number of people simply did not or could not show up for militia duty. The penalty for failing to show up for duty was enforced only sporadically and selectively.
The first test of the militia system occurred in July 1794, when a group of disaffected Pennsylvania farmers rebelled against federal tax collectors whom they viewed as illegitimate tools of tyrannical power. Initial attempts of the four nearby states to raise a militia to be nationalized to suppress this insurrection proved inadequate. When officials resorted to drafting men, they faced resistance to a draft. The rank and file that resulted from this effort to raise a militia consisted mainly of draftees or paid substitutes and the poor of society who enlisted not out of duty but instead for the enlistment bonus payments. The officers who responded to the militia call up were of a higher quality and had responded out of a sense of civic duty and patriotism, but were generally critical of the rank and file. Most of the 13,000 rank and file lacked their own weapons and the war department had to provide nearly two-thirds of them with guns. In October, President George Washington and General Harry Lee marched on the 7,000 rebels who conceded without fighting. The aftermath of this experience using a militia for national defense led to criticism of the self-armed citizen concept to provide for arming of a universal militia system. Secretary of War Henry Knox and President John Adams in the following years lobbied the Congress to establish federal armories to hold weapons which were mostly imported and to encourage the domestic gunsmiths to increase local production. This degradation of the militia persisted, and within twenty years, the poor performance of the militia during the War of 1812 resulted in several wartime setbacks including being cited as the cause of the sacking of Washington, D.C. and the burning of the White House in 1814.
Barak On Gun Control:
Opposed bill okaying illegal gun us in home invasion
Hale DeMar, a 52-year-old Wilmette resident, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor violations for shooting, in the shoulder and leg, a burglar who broke into his home not once, but twice. Cook County prosecutors dropped all charges against DeMar.
In March 2004, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 2165, a law introduced in response to DeMar’s case, with provisions designed to assert a right of citizens to protect themselves against home invasions, such that self-defense requirements would be viewed to take precedence over local ordinances against handgun possession. The measure passed the Illinois Senate by a vote of 38-20. Barack Obama was one of the 20 state senators voting against the measure.
Governor Rod Blagojevich vetoed the bill. On Nov. 9, 2004, the Illinois Senate voted 40-18 to override Blagojevich’s veto. Again, Obama acted against the bill.
On Nov. 17, the Illinois House voted overwhelmingly, 85-30, to override the governor’s veto and Senate Bill 2165 became law.
Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.241-242 Aug 1, 2008
Ok for states & cities to determine local gun laws
Q: Is the D.C. law prohibiting ownership of handguns consistent with an individual’s right to bear arms?
A: As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can’t constrain the exercise of that right, in the same way that we have a right to private property but local governments can establish zoning ordinances that determine how you can use it.
Q: But do you still favor the registration & licensing of guns?
A: I think we can provide common-sense approaches to the issue of illegal guns that are ending up on the streets. We can make sure that criminals don’t have guns in their hands. We can make certain that those who are mentally deranged are not getting a hold of handguns. We can trace guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers that may be selling to straw purchasers and dumping them on the streets.
Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary Apr 16, 2008
FactCheck: Yes, Obama endorsed Illinois handgun ban
Obama was being misleading when he denied that his handwriting had been on a document endorsing a state ban on the sale and possession of handguns in Illinois. Obama responded, “No, my writing wasn’t on that particular questionnaire. As I said, I have never favored an all-out ban on handguns.”
Actually, Obama’s writing was on the 1996 document, which was filed when Obama was running for the Illinois state Senate. A Chicago nonprofit, Independent Voters of Illinois, had this question, and Obama took hard line:
35. Do you support state legislation to:
a. ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns? Yes.
b. ban assault weapons? Yes.
c. mandatory waiting periods and background checks? Yes.
Obama’s campaign said, “Sen. Obama didn’t fill out these state Senate questionnaires–a staffer did–and there are several answers that didn’t reflect his views then or now. He may have jotted some notes on the front page of the questionnaire, but some answers didn’t reflect his views.”
Source: FactCheck.org analysis of 2008 Philadelphia primary debate Apr 16, 2008
April 2008: “Bittergate” labeled Obama elitist
April 11th produced “Bittergate.” The Huffington Post website posted an explanation Obama gave at a private fundraiser in San Francisco of the challenges he faced with working-class voters in Pennsylvania and Indiana. “It’s not surprising they get bitter,” he said, referring to decades of constrained economic opportunities. “They cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Clinton said the remarks were “not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans.” McCain said Obama showed “breathtaking” elitism. Obama challenged the accusations, and noted in response to the charge of elitism that he had been raised by a single mother who relied on food stamps, but conceded he could have been more diplomatic.
Source: Obama for Beginners, by Bob Neer, p. 61 Apr 1, 2008
Respect 2nd Amendment, but local gun bans ok
Q: You said recently, “I have no intention of taking away folks’ guns.” But you support the D.C. handgun ban, and you’ve said that it’s constitutional. How do you reconcile those two positions?
A: Because I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country. I think it’s important for us to recognize that we’ve got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally. And a lot of law-abiding citizens use it for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families. We also have a violence on the streets that is the result of illegal handgun usage. And so I think there is nothing wrong with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets. And cracking down on the various loopholes that exist in terms of background checks for children, the mentally ill. We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measure that I think respect the Second Amendment and people’s traditions.
Source: 2008 Politico pre-Potomac Primary interview Feb 11, 2008
Provide some common-sense enforcement on gun licensing
Q: When you were in the state senate, you talked about licensing and registering gun owners. Would you do that as president?
A: I don’t think that we can get that done. But what we can do is to provide just some common-sense enforcement. The efforts by law enforcement to obtain the information required to trace back guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers. As president, I intend to make it happen. We essentially have two realities, when it comes to guns, in this country. You’ve got the tradition of lawful gun ownership. It is very important for many Americans to be able to hunt, fish, take their kids out, teach them how to shoot. Then you’ve got the reality of 34 Chicago public school students who get shot down on the streets of Chicago. We can reconcile those two realities by making sure the Second Amendment is respected and that people are able to lawfully own guns, but that we also start cracking down on the kinds of abuses of firearms that we see on the streets.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008
2000: cosponsored bill to limit purchases to 1 gun per month
Obama sought moderate gun control measures, such as a 2000 bill he cosponsored to limit handgun purchases to one per month (it did not pass). He voted against letting people violate local weapons bans in cases of self-defense, but also voted in2004 to let retired police officers carry concealed handguns. Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.148 Oct 30, 2007
Concealed carry OK for retired police officers
Obama voted for a bill in the Illinois senate that allowed retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons. If there was any issue on which Obama rarely deviated, it was gun control. He was the most strident candidate when it came to enforcin and expanding gun control laws. So this vote jumped out as inconsistent.
When I queried him about the vote, he said, “I didn’t find that [vote] surprising. I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry. This was a narrow exception in an exceptional circumstance where a retired police officer might find himself vulnerable as a consequence of the work he has previously done–and had been trained extensively in the proper use of firearms.“
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that another theory came forward about the uncharacteristic vote. Obama was battling with his GOP opponent to win the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Source: From Promise to Power, by David Mendell, p.250-251 Aug 14, 2007
Stop unscrupulous gun dealers dumping guns in cities
Q: How would you address gun violence that continues to be the #1 cause of death among African-American men?
A: You know, when the massacre happened at Virginia Tech, I think all of us were grief stricken and shocked by the carnage. But in this year alone, in Chicago, we’ve had 34 Chicago public school students gunned down and killed. And for the most part, there has been silence. We know what to do. We’ve got to enforce the gun laws that are on the books. We’ve got to make sure that unscrupulous gun dealers aren’t loading up vans and dumping guns in our communities, because we know they’re not made in our communities. There aren’t any gun manufacturers here, right here in the middle of Detroit. But what we also have to do is to make sure that we change our politics so that we care just as much about those 30-some children in Chicago who’ve been shot as we do the children in Virginia Tech. That’s a mindset that we have to have in the White House and we don’t have it right now.
Source: 2007 NAACP Presidential Primary Forum Jul 12, 2007
Keep guns out of inner cities–but also problem of morality
I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manfuacturer’s lobby. But I also believe that when a gangbanger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels someone disrespected him, we have a problem of morality. Not only do ew need to punish thatman for his crime, but we need to acknowledge that there’s a hole in his heart, one that government programs alone may not be able to repair. Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.215 Oct 1, 2006
Bush erred in failing to renew assault weapons ban
KEYES: [to Obama]: I am a strong believer in the second amendment. The gun control mentality is ruthlessly absurd. It suggests that we should pass a law that prevents law abiding citizens from carrying weapons. You end up with a situation where the crook have all the guns and the law abiding citizens cannot defend themselves. I guess that’s good enough for Senator Obama who voted against the bill that would have allowed homeowners to defend themselves if their homes were broken into.
OBAMA: Let’s be honest. Mr. Keyes does not believe in common gun control measures like the assault weapons bill. Mr. Keyes does not believe in any limits from what I can tell with respect to the possession of guns, including assault weapons that have only one purpose, to kill people. I think it is a scandal that this president did not authorize a renewal of the assault weapons ban.
Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004
Ban semi-automatics, and more possession restrictions
Principles that Obama supports on gun issues:
- Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
- Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
- Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
Source: 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998
Voted NO on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. Voting YES would:
- Exempt lawsuits brought against individuals who knowingly transfer a firearm that will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime
- Exempt lawsuits against actions that result in death, physical injury or property damage due solely to a product defect
- Call for the dismissal of all qualified civil liability actions pending on the date of enactment by the court in which the action was brought
- Prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or delivery of armor piercing ammunition, and sets a minimum prison term of 15 years for violations
- Require all licensed importers, manufacturers and dealers who engage in the transfer of handguns to provide secure gun storage or safety devices
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-219 on Jul 29, 2005
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