Second Amendment

According to Westford’s Town Counsel, Article 30 would likely be challenged in court because:

“the Bylaw violates the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution;”  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.”

But what does this mean?  Does it only apply to a “well regulated militia”, or does it guarantee  that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”?

When the meaning of the constitution is in question, the courts decide the meaning, and the Supreme Court has the FINAL say on that meaning.  The Supreme Court was never asked to rule on the question above until 2008, in District of Columbia versus Heller. The full decision may be read here: Heller Opinion, “District of Columbia, et al., v. Dick Anthony Heller. 554 U.S. ____ (2008)”. United States Supreme Court. 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2010-02-19

A summary of that decision is:

“The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

“The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.”

“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 whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding 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. Miller’s holding 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.”

We have BOLDED the phrase “in common use” because it is the key to understanding the illegality of Article 30.  Article 30 will ban the single most manufactured, and used fire arm in the United States, the Modern Sporting Rifle, a 60 year old technology:


It will also ban this shotgun and rifle, a 70 year old technology:


This Colt model 1911. Yes, as in the year 1911, a CENTURY old technology:


AND it will ban this cowboy revolver, 200 year old technology:


All of these firearms are “in common use.”