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Handout C: District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

Note: The following quotations are taken from the majority and dissenting opinions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).

  1. “The inherent [natural] right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right.”
  2. “The handgun ban amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of “arms” that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose [of self defense].”
  3. “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”
  4. “We must decide whether a District of Columbia law that prohibits the possession of handguns in the home violates the Second [Amendment]…In my view, it does not.”
  5. “The Second Amendment protects militia-related, not self-defense-related, interests.”
  6. “The protection the Amendment provides is not absolute. The amendment permits (allows) government to regulate the interests that it serves.”