Minnesota Law Review

Note, Loaded Questions: A Suggested Constitutional Framework for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Recent developments in the interpretation of the Second Amendment left unanswered questions regarding the scope of the constitutional guarantee of armed self-defense. Most importantly, neither District of Columbia v. Heller nor McDonald v. City of Chicago set a firm standard for determining the constitutionality of gun-control laws. This determination is of critical importance because—perhaps more directly than any other fundamental right—the Second Amendment implicates philosophical questions of societal versus individual safety. Strong constitutional protections for the Second Amendment tend to prioritize the right of responsible citizens to rely on themselves, rather than the government, for their own protection and tend to force the government to address the problem of gun violence through punishment rather than prevention. Deference to the power of the State to regulate firearms allows government more latitude to prevent violence, which is vastly superior to punishment, but tends to leave the individual dependent on the questionable ability (or even responsibility) of government to protect them. Regulation often has the unfortunate tendency to disproportionately impact those unlikely to commit a crime of violence with a firearm. This Note proposes that gun regulations that create a substantial likelihood that individuals will be unable to defend themselves when faced with serious, imminent danger should be subjected to strict scrutiny. While gun regulations that tend to improve societal safety without significantly obstructing an individual’s ability to defend him or herself should be given more judicial latitude in the form of intermediate scrutiny.

:: View PDF

News & Events

  • Fall Submissions Open – Headnotes

    The Minnesota Law Review: Headnotes fall submissions period is open. For more information, please visit our submissions page. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Vol. 97 Piece Quoted in Mother Jones Article

    A recent Mother Jones article predicting how the Roberts Court would resolve King v. Burwell draws on How Business Fares in the Supreme Court from Volume 97. You can read the article here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Welcome to De Novo

    For nearly one hundred years, the Minnesota Law Review has been a leader amongst academic legal publications. When Professor Henry J. Fletcher launched the journal in 1917, his goal was simple. It was to “contribute a little something to the systematic growth of the whole law.” Since then, the Law [...]

  • Minnesota Law Review Alum Remembered 45 Years After Death

    Minnesota Law Review alumnus Tom Cranna was honored at the Annual Banquet this Spring, 45 years after his death. Mr. Cranna was remembered for his contributions to the journal, the school, and the positive impact he had on his family and friends. The Devil’s Lake Journal published a memorial which [...]

  • Follow MLR on Twitter!

    The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce that we are now on Twitter. Follow us @MinnesotaLawRev for information and updates concerning the petition period and deadlines, the opening and closing of article submissions, our 2014 Symposium: Offenders in the Community, and all other news concerning our authors and publications. [...]


cforms contact form by delicious:days