Last Updated:September 1 @ 05:17 pm

Scalia Says Opening Exists for Gun Control

By GOPUSA Staff

In a rare interview, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that based on the Constitution and legal precedent, the possibility exists for states to regulate hand guns. Scalia cited the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case which ruled "the extent of gun ownership 'will have to be decided in future cases.'"

Scalia, often considered the most conservative member of the Supreme Court, made the statement on Fox News Sunday. As Fox News reports, Scalia added, "We'll see."


The Washington Times also reported on Scalia's opinions on gun control:

On gun control, which has been in the spotlight since the July 20 mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, Justice Scalia hinted that something could be done to control semi-automatic weapons.

"Yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed," he said. "Obviously, the [Second Amendment] does not apply to arms that cannot be carried. It does not apply to cannons."

Is Scalia right? Can the states impose limits to a person's right to own a gun?

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31 Comments

  1. FlaJimComment by FlaJim
    July 30, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    A glaring example of why there needs to be an age limit on judges. It’s doubtful Scalia would have expressed a similar opinion just a few years ago.

    Besides that, States’ or cities’ laws cannot trump the Constitution. They may only legislate where the Constitution is silent. What part of “shall be infringed” is difficult to understand?

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    • capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
      July 30, 2012 @ 11:42 am

      they are not people they see themselves as gods atop mount olympus.our judicial sysem has run amuck folks and they are chipping away at our freedoms and infringing on our liberty and we sit back and take it up the wazoooo.

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    • skeeveComment by skeeve
      July 30, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

      the thing that seems to have been skipped over in the pursuit of more socialismis that it IS constitutional for states to regulate firearms transportation on public property such as roads ans such. HOWEVER, it is not constitutional for the FEDERAl government to do so.

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    • cdrcodyComment by cdrcody
      August 2, 2012 @ 12:01 am

      Sorry skeeve, but you missed it. Nobody, but nobody has the constitutional right to regulate firearms. Follow the logic, the 2nd ammendment says the “right shall not be infringed”. Since the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and superceedes all other laws, that means that any State, County, City or any other governing entity cannot make any law regulating firearms. That includes concealed carry permits. What it really says is that any legal citizen, as these are the only ones covered by the Constitution, can carry any weapon, open or concealed, any time or any place they want. I would request they do not do so on an airplane, as a .357 and a pressurized cabin at 30,000 feet do not mix.

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  2. handymanherbComment by handymanherb
    July 30, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    We need more guns laws to protect the people who love killing people in a no gun zone, we have plenty of guns laws.

    What we need is people who realize, that there are people who don’t care about breaking laws in the first place, there is laws against murder and it doesn’t seem to bother them.

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  3. genesalComment by genesal
    July 30, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    Making and possession of bombs was against the law. Did the law stop that? The government couldn’t regulate gun control even if only 2 persons in the U.S. owned guns. They’re too inept.

    We’re too quiet!

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  4. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    July 30, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    Lets see what the law does with this guy in Colorado who seems to be just a mad dog killer. The laws on the books say that after a fair trial if convicted, he should be executed for his crimes. Just like the terroist at Fort Hood. Not to be kept around living off the taxpayers for years. The whole aim is just to get all the guns, so we have a defeneless citizenry that won’t rise up against tyrannical rule. The laws on the books already cover any crimes that are committed by someone with any kind of gun or other weapon.

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  5. lwessonComment by lwesson
    July 30, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    The Court addressed this issue long ago, per We the People, and the right to military type arms.

    In an age of increasing Socialism, fully automatic arms, were greatly restricted. There is a classic ad (1920′s) for a Tommy Gun, held by a Cowboy, next to his campfire. Of course, in the darling age of Prohibition, full autos were used by, well, like Chicago Gangs. That Chicago style! I think that Al Capone would eat at Chick-Fil-A . So then the State stepped in again… .

    (Note: The Swiss People carry full autos… and yes, there are rules as to who & why)

    Anyway, for confused Republicans, the right of The People to bear arms, is not for self defense! It is ultimately two fold. It defines a FREE PEOPLE, not minions of DAS STAT, NOT SUBJECTS of a Crown, as to those whose Godly, unalienable right, for being armed. Simple. Repeat 50 times on the chalk board.

    Second, it is the ultimate trump card to tyranny of the STATE! The STATE, cannot gleefully just do things, round up people, arrest without fear… . It cannot count on the Standing Army, (The Founders feared such) to shoot in mass, endless people, without being shot back at. Here, the assumption is, that many in the Armed Forces, would NOT obey such orders. Again, the State is put into CHECK, and maybe, MATE.

    Thomas Jefferson feared that the end of The Republic, would come at the hands of The Courts. Franklin, thought that The People would loose their Republic. Hamilton, feared and mistrusted The People. The whole construct of The Constitution, was to reign in power, restrict those who would gain tyrannical power, from a stronger Central Power. Ooops.

    Scalia, well, we shall see…

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  6. genesalComment by genesal
    July 30, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    During the Revolutionary War era, the British recognized the colonists would use their weapons to defend themselves, so they made efforts to confiscate as many weapons as they could. If you recall, this was the primary instigation of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Revolution. These battles erupted when the British were trying to capture the colonists’ weapons and ammunition stores at Concord.

    When the Revolutionary War ended and the Americans were making their new Constitution, they were very aware of the need for self-defense. They still needed protection from Indians and they wanted to be able to defend themselves from any external enemies that might arise. They were also very aware that the new government they were creating could turn corrupt and they wanted to defend themselves from it if necessary.

    After all, Thomas Jefferson had written in the Declaration of Independence that if a government failed to protect its citizens and instead became the enemy, the citizens had the right to overthrow it! So one reason the citizens wanted to be armed was not just for defense against external enemies. They wanted protection from their own government!

    So, in fact the 2nd Amendment let’s us protect ourselves but secondarily let’s the States protect themselves from a corrupt federal government

    Noah Webster believed that having an armed public would prevent the government from becoming corrupted because the people would have more power than the government itself.

    So we have dropped the ball as far as the Second Amendment is concerned it doesn’t just dole out a Right, it demands that we Exercise it.

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  7. nancyjComment by nancyj
    July 30, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    I question if Scalia is interested any more in keeping his oath to protect the Constitution. That is the only task given to the Supremes. I don’t think that this Supreme Court is doing a good job of it. They should be ashamed.

    Note: In WWII, the Japanese stated that the only reason they didn’t come ashore here was our “hidden army”. That’s right. All the people who own guns are our “hidden army”. We not only protect our homes, we protect our country also.

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  8. jackie coxComment by jackie cox
    July 30, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    lawyers have taken away our right to make our own choices, I call for an end to the supreme court, and tyranny in the United States of America, currently under occupation by lobbies who make our laws, represent the world class mafia, seeking to end american independence with predatory laws, slavery, calling it free trade, stealing our accrued taxation by removing import taxation, then lending us back the money they continually steal from our nations taxpayers, currently taking 40 % of all incoming taxation calling it interest, are pure criminality, in cahoots with the current admin who will say and print anything at all, a lying, cheating stealing criminal commercial gang

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  9. energoComment by energo
    July 30, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    As far as adapting the Constitution to advancing technology, Jefferson’s view that the citizenry has a right to defend itself against the government, then an individual should have the right to have advanced weapons, ie assault weapons.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      July 30, 2012 @ 11:51 am

      If our engagement with numerous 3rd World Peoples shows anything, that our current weapons that We the People possess, while not first class, are dangerous. Thus the shrill cries to take out semi auto, and large clips. Of course, mega registration is in order too. Such registration, if granted no elimination, allows the State, to obtain fantastic information, as to where the guns might be.

      Totalitarian states start off, with the gentle words of reason, safety, sanity. Listen to the jack boots shuffle in the distance.

      In our fight for Colonial Independence, the leap to more serious weaponry was but a short hop.

      I do see a tipping point, in the technological field. Drones, robotics, commanded by comic book addled boys that just got out of Momma’s basement. “Order Comic Book Man, a pizza & diet soda, he just bombed a bunch of Tea Party Rebels.” Again, much rests in how many of our fellow compatriots will gleefully, kill… . Officers in the Marines were handed out a questionnaire, some 20 years ago, about obeying orders to shoot the populace. Humm? Me thinks His Majesty’s Realm was worried then.

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  10. dwschoComment by dwscho
    July 30, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    It would seem logical if fully automatic or semi-automatic weapons were around in our forefathers day, they would not have restricted them from ownership by the people.

    This is another example of the Supreme Court becoming more political rather than interpretors of the Constitution. Roberts gave us ObamaCare. Scalia seems interested in giving us gun control. I wonder which one will give away our right to free speeech, etc.

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  11. genesalComment by genesal
    July 30, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    Scalia is turning into the Diana Ross of the Supremes. They keep changing their ‘tune’.

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  12. greenteethComment by greenteeth
    July 30, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    Not only do we have 2 amendment rights, we also have the right to form a malita, name me a army with out automatic weapons. Can’t be competive if you don’t have what the enemy has period

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  13. pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
    July 30, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    First off, people actually do own cannons. I watched an episode of Pawn Stars where the guys went to check out some cannons a guy had for sale. Scalia also goes on to point out that rocket launchers can be carried. It’s a silly argument.

    Guns are for protection from criminals and a tyrannical government. Gun control laws don’t keep the criminals from getting guns of any kind they want. Also, if one of the purposes of gun ownership is to protect from tyranny, why should the U.S. military be allowed to have more powerful guns than the populace?

    I love how the media has demonized large purchases of ammo as well. Ammo is very expensive thanks to our government and it tends to be cheaper to buy when you purchase a case at a time. I can easily shoot 2 to 3 boxes of ammo when I go to the range. That is “gasp” 100 to 150 rounds. The reason I don’t shoot more is the expense. I usually switch to my .22 pistol after going through a couple of boxes of 9mm.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      July 30, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

      In film, there are privately owned cannons that we used. Lots of fun, lots of them. Most were of antiquities quality, where the rules from DAS STAT, are pretty open. Nothing like a Gatling machine gun spewing lead, or in this case, blanks, that smells like victory! –Rough Riders ’96– And a French recoiless cannon too…

      A friend owns some Napoleon 12 pounders. On, Gods & Generals, what a treat to hear the roar…, smell the black powder burn and NOT be on the receiving end! Myth Busters had a little accident with one. But that is it!

      Tanks, now the BATF goes nuts. Buying a WW2 German Tiger 2, from Russia, oh my! The herculean effort was abandoned. Too expense, too difficult, for now. Now in Colorado, someone built a “tank” out of a bulldozer, no cannon, and wrecked havoc. Ban Bulldozers for God’s sake, before we all die!

      Just wrote my Senator Cornyn (R.), about S 3414 the Cyber-security Act. Hidden inside is a beauty to end large capacity clips… Nice & sneaky, just the way a Police State likes it! Sehr gut mein Fuhrer!

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    • gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
      August 3, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

      How are the American people going to be able to respond to ARMED drones hovering overhead?
      The Constitution didn’t limit which arms the People could own, but that an armed militia is necessary to defend against tyranny. We, the People, are losing our freedoms by each stroke of the pen by people who claim to represent us. Therefore the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Term limits is the best way to disinfect the diseased halls of Congress. We have already LOST our right to property by the Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain in Connecticut. Obama has signed more Executive Orders than I can remember that take away our sovereign rights and place them in the hands of the UN. Wake Up, America!

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  14. calradoComment by calrado
    July 30, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    James Holmes (Batman theater gunman) may be a patsy for the gun control lobby. He doesn’t fit the “crazed murderer” profile. Why else would he wait for the police and then surrender peacefully without a fight? Wouldn’t a crazed murderer let the authorities go into the booby-trapped apartment to blow themselves to smithereens? And where did a college student on a stipend get the money to pay for guns, ammo, explosives?
    With the proliferation of weapons in this country, why would the government want to disarm law-abiding citizens? Absolute control…when they come for my guns, I’ll give them the bullets first!

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  15. jdb121Comment by jdb121
    July 30, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    Regardless of the interpretation of the Second Amendment, the problem for the citizen is one of immediate security which can not be provided by either military services or a police force. While each person is entitled to defend himself, it is the means which he is able to effectively use in his defense that is important. The military services and the police forces have already proved which means are most effective in defense. Unarmed security personnel are, effectively, no security, even though there may be a beneficial psychological effect as a deterrent to crime associated with their uniformed presence.

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  16. goodguynyComment by goodguyny
    July 30, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    “Yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed,” he said. “Obviously, the [Second Amendment] does not apply to arms that cannot be carried. It does not apply to cannons.”

    The headline and following sentences state that there may be a way for the government to take away our handguns.

    But the interview states the above quote. So small arms are not included in the control part,,,,only weapons that cannot be carried.

    Howitzers,cannons,etc. Are subject to control,,,,not handguns or rifles because they fall into the category of small arms that CAN be carried.

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  17. delmarvaComment by delmarva
    July 30, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    Perhaps swift justice and a date with “Old Sparky” would help!

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  18. Charles MartelComment by Charles Martel
    July 30, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

    Scalia should reread Article V.

    Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Courts have any part in changing the Constitution.

    He claims to be a Conservative, but he appears infected with the Progressive virus which says the Constitution is a “living breathing document” that means what the Supreme Court says it means and can be changed at their whim.

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  19. celtwarriorComment by celtwarrior
    July 30, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

    Communist Manifesto doctrines: no private property, graduated income tax, inheritance tax, remove voting rights from targeted groups, state-controlled banks, transportation, currency, labour, agriculture, education; and federal price controls. Sound familiar?
    During the War (between the states) Karl Marx wrote: ‘(a) Lincoln is the single-minded son of the working class, who has led his country to the matchless struggle for the rescue of the communist revolution. . . .’ Sound familiar?
    In 1865 we lost the second war for independence; fought by Confederate patriots against tyranny; 150 years later this is what we have? SECESSION is the cure for what ails us as it was in 1776 and 1860. Who’s with us?

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      July 30, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

      Obviously, you hit a sensitive, raw naked cord here, celtwarrior. “Saints” like Lincoln are protected. Did you not know this? You fool! You heretic! You should hang! Slowly. Gosh darn you! Mess up the day for our MOST tender sensibilities will you?

      Karl, Glorious, Marx, and Lincoln actually corresponded! I know that this is blasphemy to mention. Done!

      Also blasphemes to mention today, is, The Declaration of Independence!

      But maybe I will get a negative star, if I say, that Lincoln had most unpleasant thoughts, as far as Radical Republicans had in mind, for the future of the Country. That Lincoln had the MOST politically incorrect thoughts, un-imaginable.

      Here lay the truth, in contrary to the myth. Lincoln’s death, allowed unlimited lying, a kind of religious Saint bestowing, way beyond, his un-Constitutional, murderous war. Way beyond the 30,000 that he had arrested, the news media closed… . Lying to the public? NO WAY! Just does not happen.

      Think about it! Obama lauds this Presidency! Somewhere around 750,000 + died according to the most current Northern estimates. Civilian numbers are not accounted for.

      All of you minus people, explain why Obama should follow in the footsteps of Lincoln! I should hope not. If you think Obama should, start, splaining yourself… . No! Too difficult.

      Look, the simple bubble gum history is the ONLY thing that is wanted celtwarrior. Get on the same page, or else!

      Or else, I will support you again.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      July 30, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

      Please debate me, negative star person. You cannot can you?! Nope. Not at all!

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      August 3, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

      No debate here. Negative star people, you win!

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  20. Donald CiesielskiComment by Donald Ciesielski
    July 31, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    “Divided We Stand”

    I think that is no longer true that we are united and it is time to divide.

    Yes two governments under one country.

    No, I don’t believe it’s been tried before.

    Those that want to live under the a Democratic party style platform with guns laws, marriage laws, obamacare, allowable food laws (which will be next) food stamp laws, tax the wealthy only laws, etc. can do so.

    Those that want to live under a Republican party style platform with pretty much the opposite can do so also.

    There would be no state divisions. There would be a system with card ids that would allow you your rights under your affiliation.

    As far as common defense goes…hmmm? i guess it would be more than just common defense. You would have smoking laws, air pollution laws, and probably a lot more. That is where the divide we stand would really have its challenge. But I can see a lot of commonality/agreement in most of those laws. you can certainly have in place an agreement that if any US homeland property was attacked by a foreign country, than it is automatically war.

    I would like to see this. Are there others that might entertain this idea?

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  21. hitthedeckComment by hitthedeck
    August 1, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    The Marxacrats have found the key to kill our constitutional rights. They will inflate a yearly tax on guns and ammunition that will be so high that no one will be able to afford one, especially if you don’t have a job. If you can’t pay the tax the IRS will be armed when they take your guns.

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  22. hitthedeckComment by hitthedeck
    August 2, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    The modern plague:
    The Health bill that was passed but protested by the majority of the American people could possibly be the unhealthiest political plague ever created by a progressive government. The government can now determine what is unhealthy and that could be anything from fossil fueled automobiles to guns. They have already violated the freedom of religion with forced participation of birth control to Catholic funded health services. The progressives can add riders to the health bill to further their power over the American people. The body of the Progressive Democratic Party has the largest amount of lawyer politicians that has ever held office in congress. They are masters at finding loopholes and schemes to over ride our constitution. The American people witnessed a sample of their subversion on the recent Supreme Court ruling on Obama care. The ruling was based on premium payments being a tax rather a purchase. This was the smoothest legal decision Obama could ever have dreamed to get. It gave Obama an out on the largest tax increase in the history of America. Obama promised the American middle class that he wouldn’t raise taxes but now he can point to the Supreme Court and say they made it a mandatory tax, (I did not!) and to this day he denies that it is a tax. Socialism is a system when every citizen is working for the government therefore the government becomes a business. In order for business to exist and grow there must be a profit. Socialism denies profit and that denial in its self creates failure.
    GC

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