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Old March 29, 2012, 07:30 PM   #47
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Join Date: May 24, 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,698
This decision is not as broad or as clear as I might have wished, but it does have interesting ramifications.

The decision explicitly recognizes that the scope of the 2nd Amendment extends beyond the home.

It cannot be seriously questioned that the emergency declaration laws at issue here burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment. Although considerable uncertainty exists regarding the scope of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, it undoubtedly is not limited to the confines of the home. In Heller, the Supreme Court found that the Second Amendment includes "the right to 'protect [] [onself] against both public and private violence,' thus extending the right in some form to wherever a person could become exposed to public or private violence."
Different locales have different levels of scrutiny, as per Masciandaro.

Therefore, a law that burdens the "fundamental" or "core" Second Amendment right -a law abiding citizen's right to self-defense in the home- is subject to strict scrutiny.
So, a law that burdens only the right to keep and bear arms outside of the home will survive constitutional challenge upon a lesser showing by the government. (intermediate scrutiny)
The decision is particularly intriguing in the manner in which it arrives at strict scrutiny.

Applying the Fourth Circuit's reasoning in Masciandaro, the court finds that the statutes at issue here are subject to strict scrutiny. North Carolina General Statute ยง 14-288.7 prohibits the transportation or possession of both "deadly weapons" and ammunition off one's own premises. This prohibition applies equally to all individuals and to all classes of firearms, not just handguns. It is not limited to a certain manner of carrying weapons or to particular times of the day. Most significantly, it prohibits law abiding citizens from purchasing and transporting to their homes firearms and ammunition needed for self-defense.
While it may not be glaringly apparent, this decision recognizes that ammunition -not just guns- falls within the scope of the 2nd Amendment. I would think that this decision would dash the hopes of anti-gunners to tax or regulate ammunition beyond reach.
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