Dick Heller is the American Patriot who took his Second-Amendment-based legal case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. His landmark case impacted the legal interpretation of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution to state that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), is a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, and that Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban and requirement that lawfully-owned rifles and shotguns be kept “unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock” violated this guarantee.
It also stated that the right to bear arms is not unlimited and that guns and gun ownership would continue to be regulated. Due to Washington, D.C.’s special status as a federal district, the decision did not address the question of whether the Second Amendment’s protections are incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against the states, which was addressed two years later by McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) in which it was found that they are. It was the first Supreme Court case to decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed by a vote of 5 to 4 the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Heller v. District of Columbia. The Supreme Court struck down provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 as unconstitutional, determined that handguns are “arms” for the purposes of the Second Amendment, found that the Regulations Act was an unconstitutional ban, and struck down the portion of the Regulations Act that requires all firearms including rifles and shotguns be kept “unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock”. Prior to this decision the Firearms Control Regulation Act of 1975 also restricted residents from owning handguns except for those registered prior to 1975.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, and the primary dissenting opinion, written by Justice John Paul Stevens, are considered examples of the application of originalism in practice.”