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Dick Heller, plaintiff in D.C. v Heller, at CPAC in 2018. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A decade ago, the Supreme Court decided District of Columbia v. Heller — arguably the most important decision regarding the application of Second Amendment rights.

The big picture: The fight for stronger gun-control laws has intensified after shootings like those in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, and Parkland, and the Heller decision has been a focal point of court rulings regarding gun rights around the country. Since Heller, and a landmark Second Amendment case in 2010, the Supreme Court has declined to take on cases brought by gun rights activists, NPR reports. But as Justice Anthony Kennedy retires and President Trump eyes a more conservative replacement, that could change.

The details
  • The court decided in 2008 that the Second Amendment allows private citizens to posses firearms unconnected with military service, and "use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."
  • And it ruled that the Second Amendment is not "unlimited." Per Justice Scalia: "It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."
  • It also labeled D.C.'s handgun ban and trigger-lock requirement unconstitutional, as they stood in the way of citizens' right to self-defense.
How it's been used
  • In 2017, D.C. officials declined to appeal a D.C. Court of Appeals ruling that said D.C. citizens didn't need to show a "good reason" to carry concealed. Per the Washington Post, the fear of the Supreme Court striking down more restrictions as it did with the Heller case convinced them not to appeal it.
  • A Massachusetts judge decided in April that AR-15 rifles aren't protected under the Second Amendment, citing the decision in Heller that the Second Amendment has limitations.
  • A Michigan judge, Mark Cavanagh, referenced Heller this year after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the University of Michigan could keep its ban on guns on campus.
  • The Supreme Court has declined to hear challenges on similar laws which banned assault weapons, in Maryland and Highland Park, Illinois, the Washington Post reported, which "can be read as consistent with the court's ruling" in Heller, specifically Scalia's note that the Second Amendment is not unlimited.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.