University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Jeff Campbell


In District of Columbia v. Heller, 1 the Supreme Court transformed Second Amendment law by adopting an originalist approach in gun-rights cases. Breaking from its previous cases, the Court recognized an individual right to bear arms, at least within the home.2 The Court’s method, while not fully specified, focused on history to determine the meaning of the Second Amendment. 3 But despite the abrupt change in the law, the anticipated revolution never really came. Lower courts turned away nearly every challenge to existing gun laws, sometimes by declining to extend Heller outside the home,4 sometimes by finding that the laws passed means-end scrutiny.5 Originalist Justices were frustrated by what some perceived to be a rebellion of lower-court judges.

First Page