The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns and use them for sports, hunting or self-defense. In a 5-4 decision, the court struck down a ban on the ownership of handguns in Washington, D.C.
In Oklahoma, the ruling will have little immediate effect, because no such bans exist, said local attorney Jacob Rowe, who specializes in gun law.
“We’ve got a really gun-friendly state. There are lots of sporting people here, and people who enjoy hunting. And we have the self-defense act,” Rowe said. “This decision is going to have probably an impact in those areas that are less gun-friendly politically, where regulations are pretty tough on what you can have and how you can have it.”
Prior to the ruling, the crime-ridden District of Columbia banned the ownership of handguns and required long arms like rifles or shotguns to be kept unloaded and padlocked. That law is now overturned, according to the ruling.
But it is the broader meaning of the court’s ruling that garners the country’s attention.
The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
In the case, the attorneys representing the D.C. ban stated that gun ownership only applied to those in the military or police, because of the “well-regulated militia” clause.
However, the court, in its ruling, stated: “Reading the Second Amendment as protecting only the right to ‘keep and bear Arms’ in an organized militia therefore fits poorly with the operative clause’s description of the holder of that right as ‘the people.’ We start therefore with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.” -Ben Fenwick