What’s The Future Of Gun Control Laws? [AUDIO]
In the wake of the school shooting spree in Newtown, Connecticut, there's been renewed discussion about strengthening our national gun laws.
But one of Jersey's top legal experts suggests enacting change may be very difficult.
Law professor Frank Askin, the Director of the Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic, says the U.S. Supreme Court, when it upheld the right to bear arms two years ago, did not specify what kind of laws would offend the Constitution- and numerous lawsuits have been filed as a result.
He point out the ruling, "says nothing about - all we know is, a state cannot forbid someone to own a handgun in their own home…can the state's regulate the use outside the home?... we don't know what the scope of that is - the narrowest reading would be is you can keep a gun in your house for self protection, the broadest reading is you can run around the streets with AK 47's."
As a result, he says, "There are probably 3 or 4 hundred cases now pending around the country challenging the scope of local regulation of guns…but because of recent events, maybe at least one of the members of the current majority will sort of back down and say yeah, it's limited to owning a gun in the home for self defense…the more public outrage is exhibited, I think the more likely at least one member of the court may moderate his position."
As far as changing the Constitution itself, the professor says, "That's very, very difficult, it would never happen - there are too many states where the NRA has total sway- the NRA is a huge lobby - it's a huge industrial complex of arms manufacturers - they basically fund the NRA."
He adds even if the high Court clarifies the Second Amendment, "There's no absolute guarantees of anything- laws are made and laws are broken…and it's a very difficult situation already - there are so many guns around the country - what are you going to do with them?...It's an exceedingly difficult problem to handle."