Supreme Court says you have the right to bear arms - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Supreme Court says you have the right to bear arms

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

June 26, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution includes the phrase, "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."

People have argued for decades whether that means just militias have the basic right to own guns, or if it applies to individuals.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court answered that question.

The ruling overturned a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., and it guarantees your right to own a gun.

Three decades ago, Washington D.C. implemented the nation's toughest gun control law. Regular citizens could not own hand guns.

In a five to four decision, the supreme court ruled the constitution does allow individuals to own guns for self defense.

South Georgia gun owners are happy with the decision.

"It's got to do with my ability to carry a firearm for my own protection, and at the last resort to use that fire arm to change government if I have to, obviously we haven't had to since the civil war," said Philip Colson, Solo Archery.

The court has led the way for people in Washington DC to own guns just like we do in Georgia.

The ruling will affect similar handgun bans in other cities, and the NRA says it will continue to challenge gun control laws.

"I think that it's going to open things up, particularly in cities like Chicago and San Francisco. It depends on the exact wording of the decision how far reaching this new law is going to be," said Colson.

This is the first conclusive interpretation of the 2nd amendment the court has offered since its ratification.

"You're suppose to take it at face value, rather than trying to read into it or read out of it," said Colson.

The ruling doesn't affect any Georgia laws, but it does reaffirm what many people who already own guns believe, that gun ownership is a basic American right.

"Just like insurance on your automobile the firearm is insurance for your life," said Colson.

The ruling will not affect laws that forbid the carrying of firearms in places such as schools and government buildings.

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