Talk:Firearm case law in the United States

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US v. Stewart[edit]

Somebody added United States v. Stewart to the section "Circuit Court cases relating directly to the Second Amendment." This is inappropriate because United States v. Stewart has nothing to do with the Second Amendment, it has everything to do with the commerce clause. It was therefore already listed on the page under "Firearm laws challenged on the Commerce Clause" and should remain listed there. It should certainly not be listed twice. Wodan 12:13, May 6, 2005 (UTC)

Other government comments on the matter[edit]

This section was removed earlier. However, the comments by the legislative and executive branch (Senate and DOJ) in relation to interpretation of law is very important in relation to how courts interpret the same laws. The two cannot be separated. It is important to show which courts agree with the legislative and executive branch, and which courts do not. Wodan 17:59, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I disagree. The article is called "Firearm case law". Opinions of a Senate subcommittee, an Executive department, or even the President, about the 2nd amendment, while interesting, are not "case law". Also, this information is already at Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which has a large section about various interpretations of the 2nd amendment. --JW1805 (Talk) 19:10, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Also, you reverted other changes to the article that had been made since. --JW1805 (Talk) 19:16, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

United States v. Rock Island Armory[edit]

short question:

What exactly does this mean? I'm having trouble understanding the implications of this case, is the 1934 NFA therefore invalid? Is the 1986 invalid? (Monkey 32606 02:35, 14 December 2005 (UTC))

The 1934 National Firearms Act was centered around ATF tax stamp registration of certain firearms. The 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act law made it generally illegal to possess automatic firearms manufactured after May 19, 1986. Therefore the ATF does not allow the tax stamp registration of those firearms, since they are illegal to begin with. The court ruling said that you could not be prosecuted for violations of the 1934 laws of tax stamp requirements for post-86 automatic firearms. Since the ATF does not accept registrations for automatic firearms manufactured after May 19, 1986 anyway, how can you be held responsible for their registration? In short, you cannot be prosecuted for violation of both the 1934 law AND the 1986 law. Pre-86 automatic firearms are accountable to the 1934 NFA law, and post 86 automatic firearms are accountable to the 1986 law. To put it another way, the 1934 NFA tax law is invalid for automatic firearms manufactured after May 19, 1986, since they are just flat out illegal to possess. Wodan 17:46, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
But I thought that this Court ruled the 1986 prohibition unconstitutional, because there was no revenue purpose? There doesn't seem to be a lot out on this case, or who Rock Island Armory is, or what happened to them. I'm trying to search them on the Internet, to little avail. Cornince (talk) 21:09, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Presser v. Illinois[edit]

This one was listed under a State Supreme Court section, for Illinois. It actually went on to the US Supreme Court (1886). Corrected this listing, and moved it up to the Supreme's section. Yaf 21:14, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

The point of this case was missed...and that point is that the Court held that 2nd Amendment only applied to the federal Congress and not the states. This is still true today. Each state is free to regulate gun ownership. The 2nd Amendment has not yet been incorporated through the 14th Amendment to apply to the states. This page appears to be written mostly by "gun enthusiasts" without legal training. The holding in Miller is also distorted as is the status of circuit courts. More than 2 Circuits follow the collective rights model. Virtually every Circuit except the 5th and the DC Circuit have followed Miller to hold that the right is is a collective right. In fairness this is a messy issue that the courts are still struggling with but the current article is not accurate.

This one?[edit]

Should that court's opinion be included in this article? CeeWhy2 21:41, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I think not. The article has a section for state supreme court cases, but this is not even an appellate case, so it's not binding precedent for anyone. Let's see what happens on appeal. PubliusFL 05:47, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Text of the Second Amendment[edit]

Didn't want to nitpick, but the text of the Second Amendment was incorrect. What I mean is, while the text was correct, there were several pieces of punctuation missing.

The text, as now edited, matches the Second Amendment as recognized by the National Archives.

United States v. Thompson-Center Arms Company[edit]

Should this be included? [1] 23:29, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Haynes v. United States[edit]

This page should probably have a section on Haynes v. United States. While Haynes does not relate to the Second Amendment, it does relate to firearms. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:18, 3 March 2008 (UTC)


This page is riddled with errors and is blatantly NPOV. To talk in the intro about how Salina conflicts with Presser is ludicrous since Salina was addressing the state constitution and Presser dealt with the non-incorporation of the 2Am to the states. And to say that since then, case law has gone back to what was "originally intended" is very partisan on the issue.Harvardgirl33 (talk) 16:20, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. SaltyBoatr (talk) 17:18, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Update Needed[edit]

To reflect the current case in the supreme court, i think parts of this page are in need of an update. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:28, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I have updated the article in light of the District of Columbia v. Heller decision and for the general quality of the article. --SMP0328. (talk) 01:20, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


I made an addition which was reverted mentioning incorporation post McDonald. My point was not to say the section was about incorporation, but to point out that the first two cases that specifically mention not applying to the states, were mooted/overturned by the incorporation. Gaijin42 (talk) 18:53, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

The Supreme Court in McDonald did not expressly overrule any decision, despite being asked to do so. Your belief that it nonetheless implicitly did so, or otherwise "mooted" any earlier decision, is original research. That's why I have reverted your addition to the article. SMP0328. (talk) 21:33, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Our article states that the two earlier cases ruled that the second amendment does not apply to the states. Our article ALSO ALREADY STATES that mcdonald incorporated it against the states. I am not attempting any original research, just pointing out that the statements regarding the earlier rulings are not current jurisprudence. We already have all of this material in the article, I was merely attempting to clarify since readers may get that far and think "It does not apply to states". Gaijin42 (talk) 21:41, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Those earlier decisions are still good law regarding the State Action Doctrine and the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In McDonald, the Supreme Court distinguished those decision; the Court expressly declined to overrule them. So those decisions are still part of the Court's jurisprudence. SMP0328. (talk) 21:51, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. Is there some wording you would agree on in terms of the earlier cases that would clarify that the non-incorporation discussed at those times is no longer in effect? Should we remove those statements (about not applying to the state) (even though they were accurate prior to McDonald?) Gaijin42 (talk) 21:54, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
We should clarify that Cruikshank was primarily about the State Action Doctrine and that Presser and Miller v. Texas were primarily about the Privileges or Immunities Clause. None of those cases focused on the Due Process Clause or selective incorporation. That's why McDonald distinguished those decisions, rather than overruling them. SMP0328. (talk) 22:36, 25 January 2013 (UTC)