Past Event

Are Gun Rights Civil Rights?

“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.” — Second Amendment to the U.S.Constitution

Many regard the right to own a gun and defend oneself as central to the American identity. Debate over firearm ownership and what limits the government can impose is central to American politics. Most believe that this right is guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

In the recent decision Parker v. District of Columbia , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down as unconstitutional a portion of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975. This local law restricts residents of our nation’s capital from owning handguns, automatic weapons, and high-capacity semi-automatic firearms, as well as unregistered firearms. This landmark decision supporting an individual’s right to bear arms brings hope to those who argue that possessing a gun is a civil right.

Does the Constitution permit federal, state, or local regulation of individual firearms ownership? Are these regulations needed? How do we balance the government’s responsibility to provide for public safety with the rights enshrined within the Second Amendment?

Join us this week at Café Society to explore gun rights and civil rights.

Suggested Readings:

A look inside America’s gun culture

Why You Should Care About Parker v. District of Columbia

A Well-Regulated Right to Bear Arms

Shooting may force High Court to address 2nd, 9th amendments

Mental-Health Advocates Dig In Against Watch-List Legislation

For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.