Second Amendment interpretation
The decision in the case, District of Columbia v. Heller, has been of mainly symbolic importance so far. There have been more than 500 challenges to gun laws and gun prosecutions since Heller was decided, and vanishingly few of them have succeeded.
The courts have upheld federal laws banning gun ownership by people convicted of felonies and some misdemeanors, by illegal immigrants and by drug addicts. They have upheld laws making it illegal to carry guns near schools or in post offices. They have upheld laws concerning unregistered weapons. And they have upheld laws banning machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.
Nor does Heller impose any major hurdles to many of the most common legislative proposals in the wake of the Newtown shootings … Among the responses that Heller allows, he said, are better background checks, enhanced mental health reporting and a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips.
Other state laws
“Those are a number of steps that are doable and they are important,” he said.
Joan Peterson, a Minnesotan who sits on the Brady Campaign board of directors, said there a number of states with laws she hopes to see enacted in Minnesota. New York joins California in closing the background check loophole, and it also has a robust law compelling citizens to report lost and stolen guns. Connecticut, the site of last week’s school shooting, has a two-week waiting period for people looking to buy rifles or shotguns, the longest in the country. (Minnesota has a seven-day waiting period for hand guns and assault weapons.)
Peterson said any concerns over the legality of state gun-control laws are misguided considering what other states have implemented.