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Old 08-04-2010, 12:17 PM
ironpegasus ironpegasus is offline
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Originally Posted by desertdweller View Post
One questions comes to mind with Heller is what can now stop someone who is currently prohibited from owning firearms (felon, mentally unstable, drug addict, etc) from having a firearm in his/her home? Say an Officer comes to your house and finds an unloaded firearm, it seems Heller might make a valid argument - unless it somehow falls under the same example you gave of yelling "FIRE" in a crowded room. Or would this now have to work its way through the courts and be challenged? The reason I said unloaded firearm is that I don't see in the Constitution that ammo is protected, just the firearm. So the government could say; "Sure, you can have a gun, just no ammo."
It might depend - does that unloaded firearm have a detachable magazine? If so, is the magazine present? Because if I recall correctly, there is precedent that you can get nailed for carrying concealed if even just the magazine is hidden because it is "an integral part of the firearm" - by that same logic, no magazine = not a complete firearm = no case. Maybe. Then again they'll probably try to nail you even if it were a stripped OLL and there were no other components present whatsoever - because you're totally going to go on a murderous killing spree with an inert chunk of aluminum (constructive intent and all that). From a realistic standpoint though, I would say that it is understood by any reasonable person that ammunition is a vital and necessary component of a firearm and so should be subject to 2A protection the same as the firearm itself.
The can of worms here is that if you say restricted persons the right to keep and bear arms, what other rights that they forfeited via their poor choice of actions (or bad luck, because let's face it there are a few people who do get nailed and are innocent) do they get back? Can they vote (and likely contribute to the weakening of laws that landed them in jail in the first place), can a doctor convicted of criminal negligence resulting in death be allowed to practice again, can a child molester be allowed to work unsupervised in a daycare facility? Don't get me wrong - I believe everybody has the right to keep and bear arms for self defense but I think that the "right" way to approach the restoration of these rights has to be approached very carefully lest the law of unintended consequences bite us. If people prohibited from owning do get that right back, I would also like to see stringent rules (backed by rigorous enforcement) that would ensure that said persons wouldn't dare trying to use those weapons for extralegal purposes.
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