In a front-page Washington Post story, Professor Carl Bogus says NRA money took the "individual right to possess a firearm" from the fringes to the mainstream.

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Bogus: NRA Money Shaped Gun Law

In a front-page Washington Post story, Professor Carl Bogus says NRA money took the "individual right to possess a firearm" from the fringes to the mainstream.

From the Washington Post: "NRA money helped reshape gun law" by Peter Finn

Second AmendmentMarch 13, 2013: In 1977 ... it was ... a wacky notion: that the Constitution confers an individual right to possess a firearm. ...

More than 35 years later, no one is laughing. In 2008, the Supreme Court endorsed for the first time an individual’s right to own a gun in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. ...

For proponents of stricter gun control, the NRA’s encouragement of favorable legal scholarship has been a mark of its strategic, patient advocacy.

“I think this was one of the most successful attempts to change the law and to change a legal paradigm in history,” said Carl T. Bogus, a professor at Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island and the editor of “The Second Amendment in Law and History,” a collection of essays that challenges the interpretation of the individual right. “They were thinking strategically. I don’t think the NRA funds scholarship out of academic interest. I think the NRA funds something because it has a political objective.”

Professor Carl Bogus... Before the Heller decision, the Supreme Court and lower courts had interpreted the language as “preserving the authority of the states to maintain militias,” according to a Congressional Research Service analysis.

“It was a settled question, and the overwhelming consensus, bordering on unanimity, was that the Second Amendment granted a collective right” enjoyed by the states, not individuals, Bogus said. Under this interpretation, the Constitution provides no right for an individual to possess a firearm. ...

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