The Constitution’s Second Amendment stresses “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.”
That language is frequently quoted in discussions centered on that cornerstone American protection. And while it is spotlighted, it isn’t routinely tempered by advocates’ acknowledgment of tandem restrictions that state governments and federal authorities liberally impose on the right.
Indeed, regulatory controls over guns are both multi-layered and expansive. We note on our criminal defense website at the Bay Area Law Office of John W. Noonan that they start with government bodies powerfully commanding “the right to regulate who can own a gun.” In California, a threshold prerequisite to gun ownership is licensing, which comes with controls that are comparatively tighter than those imposed in many other states.