College of Law Faculty Scholarship

Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Hastings Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date

June 2009


This paper examines the post-Heller Second Amendment case law in the lower courts and concludes that although federal courts are not rushing to overturn gun laws under the Second Amendment, they are moving more rapidly to implement Heller than under previous 'revolutionary' decisions such as U.S. v. Lopez. There is also some evidence that state courts are taking the right to arms more seriously, with the additional possibility that the new federal right to arms may boost interest in the numerous state right-to-arms provisions. Finally, by characterizing gun ownership as a protected individual right, Heller has served to 'renormalize' firearms ownership, a change in legal philosophy that may be as significant as any doctrinal shifts.

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