PROPOSED BANS OF AR-STYLE RIFLES
F&S: We had a lot of questions from readers about how these proposals from the administration fit within that definition you described. We had several readers point out that in the 2010 Heller decision, the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and carry firearms that are the sorts of weapons that are in common usage at the time. Weapons that are not highly unusual in society or dangerous and unusual weapons, that are used for traditionally lawful purposes.
V.P. BIDEN: Yeah.
F&S: So we have a question from Christopher Snyder from Tucson, Ariz., who says, “How does the administration plan to address the fact that over 4 million AR-15-style rifles have been legally sold and purchased, and are routinely used by sportsmen, hunters, and others for everyday legal activity? Can you explain the administration’s legal rationale for believing that these semiautomatic rifles can be regulated through Congress and now through an amendment to the Constitution?”
V.P. BIDEN: The answer is that there is a clear argument within the definition of the Supreme Court laid out that that particular weapon is not a usual weapon in the sense that you need it for your self-protection or for hunting purposes. If you have to go up into the Poconos and go bear hunting or deer hunting with that weapon, and you need a clip that has 30 rounds in it, then you shouldn’t be hunting. You’re a danger to yourself. If you can’t get the bear or the deer in four or five shots, you’ve got a problem.
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