Lawrence Medow's April 30 assertion that the 1994 assault weapons ban "seriously curtailed rights to own a firearm" is not correct.
The long-awaited opinion on the Second Amendment by the Supreme Court came out on June 26, 2008 in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, et., al. (No 07-290).
Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the 5-4 majority as follows: "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatsoever purpose. For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the amendment and state analogues.
"The court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on long-standing 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 (emphasis added).
"Miller's holding (1939) that the sorts of weapons protected are those in common use at the time finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."
Justice Scalia, in his majority-supported opinion announced that a broad range of America's gun laws remain legal.