Right to carry and the Second Amendment

Many gun advocates suggest that they have a constitutional “permit” or right to take guns out of the home and into a variety of public spaces, including schools. Patrick Charles, a noted scholar with the US Air Force provides a historical analysis of the alleged “right to carry” in this legal article and explains why this history matters for the current day.

The Faces of the Second Amendment Outside the Home, Take Two: How We Got Here and Why It Matters by Patrick J. Charles

As the Governor of Texas put it in his statement sent to the Texas state legislature: “There is no doubt that to the universal habit of carrying arms is largely to be attributed the frequency of homicides in this State. I recommend that this privilege be placed under such restrictions as may seem to your wisdom best calculated to prevent the abuse of it. Other than in a few of the frontier counties there is no good reason why deadly weapons should be permitted to be carried on the person.” Scholar Patrick Charles discusses the historical background to today’s “concealed carry” weapons debate including the prior positions of southern states on this topic.

Assault Weapons

Fourth Circuit upholds Maryland’s ban on assault weapons: On February 21, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed an interim 3-judge opinion and thereby upheld Maryland’s 2013 statutory ban on assault weapons. Judge Robert King started his majority opinion with a historical reference: “On the morning of December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, a gunman used an AR-15-type Bushmaster rifle and detachable thirty-round magazines to murder twenty first-graders and six adults in the Sandy Hook Elementary School.” Judge King summarized the majority’s conclusion as: “We conclude — contrary to the now vacated decision of our prior panel — that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment.”
Read the entire opinion on Kolbe v. Hogan ».

Historical Thoughts on the Evolution of Firearms Regulations in the Late Nineteenth Century by Patrick J. Charles