On Monday June 28th, The Supreme Court ruled in favor of an individuals constitutional right to keep and bear arms expressing that it cannot be violated for state and local gun control laws. The 5 to 4 decision ruled, in the case of McDonald v. The City of Chicago, against a total gun ban in the city. “The right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee,” Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said while writing for the majority. This follows up the High Court’s decision of District of Columbia v. Heller, another 5 to 4 vote, of two years earlier in which the court ruled that the second amendment protects an individual right to own guns.
At first glance it may seem that this is a blow to gun control advocates. However, the new ruling does not strike down any current laws that state and local governments may have nor does it state what bans might be in violation of the second amendment. Some gun control advocates are claiming the Supreme Court’s decision has opened the door for common-sense regulation.
Gun advocates, like the National Rifle Association (NRA), seem to be glad of the decision. Wayne LaPierre, Executive Director of the NRA, said about the ruling, “Every time an elected official, from now on, puts their hand on the Bible and says they will uphold the Constitution of the United States, they are swearing to protect the Second Amendment.”
Are There Gun Bans in Pennsylvania and What does the Supreme Court’s Ruling Mean for PA Resident’s?
There are currently no bans on guns in any city or municipality in Pennsylvania. Gun control advocates have been pushing for limiting the purchase and sales of guns in the state. Currently, you do not need a permit or a license for shot guns and rifles nor do you need a permit or license for a handgun. However, to carry a handgun you do need to apply for a permit.
All firearm purchases (not limited) are subject to an instant records check and can only be purchased through a licensed dealer or the Sheriff’s office. Purchasers of handguns are required to fill out a transfer application/record of sale. This is not required for purchasers of shot guns or rifles. These requirements do not apply toward antique guns and gun collectors.
Right now this should be seen as a victory for gun advocates in Pennsylvania and other pro-gun states.
PA Residents who are gun owners and want to know more about their rights and how to protect them should visit these resources:
PA GUN RIGHTS
Pennsylvania Firearm Laws
PA House of Representatives Vote on Castle Doctrine