Damon Lucky is hardly the poster boy that the N.R.A. is looking for as the critical constitutional case for the Second Amendment goes to the Supreme Court. As gun owners seek to show that the Second Amendment is an individual right, Lucky wants a federal court to declare that the individual right extends to ex-felons — striking down the common rule that ex-felons lose their right to gun ownership or possession.
The case filed by lawyer, Harry Batchelder Jr., has little merit. The appellate panel on the D.C. Circuit expressly noted that, while it was handing down a historic ruling in favor of the individual rights theory of the Second Amendment, it believed that reasonable restrictions could be placed on that right. Banning ex-cons would seem a very reasonable restriction.
It is hard to see the point of this filing except mischief. I recently penned a column supporting the individual rights theory. Yet, it is important to understand that all rights have some limitation, even freedom of speech. Cases like Lucky’s serve to undermine the central debate by creating a “parade of horribles” that really does not exist. The fact is that the Second Amendment appears to contain a long-ignored individual right. While many Americans may not like it, it is there in fairly clear terms, in my view. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will recognize that right and then we can have a good faith debate over what reasonable restrictions can be placed on such a right.
As for Mr. Lucky, his luck will likely run out in the first court that reviews this filing.
For the full article, click here