Justice Scalia: Some Additional Gun Control May Be Constitutional
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the five conservatives (if Chief Justice John Roberts is still included among that group) on the high court conceded today in a television interview that some future gun regulations imposed by government may be permissible without violating the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
What the opinion in Heller said is that it will have to be decided in future cases what limitations upon the right to keep and bear arms are permissible…so, yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed. What they are will depend on what the society understood were reasonable limitations at the time…Obviously the [Second] amendment does not apply to weapons that can be hand carried, it’s to keep and bear. So it doesn’t apply to cannons, but I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to be – it will have to be decided.
Justice Scalia wrote the 2008 majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller declaring that D.C.’s handgun ban was unconstitutional.
Scalia, considered an originalist when it comes to constitutional interpretation, is currently giving a series of interviews in connection with his new book Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts.
During the TV appearance, he also criticized Justice Roberts’ decision to uphold the healthcare law by determining the individual mandate to be a tax. “It simply does not bear that meaning. You cannot give, in order to save the constitutionality you cannot give the text a meaning it will not bear,” Scalia said.
Antonin Scalia, now 76, is the high court’s longest serving member, having been appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
Watch Justice Scalia’s comments about possible limitations on gun ownership: