Bogus: NRA Money Shaped Gun Law
From the Washington Post: "NRA money helped reshape gun law" by Peter Finn
March 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.”
... 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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