Moore v. Madigan follows student note

I am pleased to observe the the Seventh Circuit’s 2nd Amendment case followed quite closely the position laid out in a note by my former student, the brilliant Owen McGovern. From The Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance and Novel Textual Questions About the Second Amendment (2012), pg. 490-91, which I believe was the first academic treatment of the meaning “bear” could bear:

The right to “bear Arms,” on the other hand, must extend to purposes outside of the home. No application of the history of the Second Amendment to its exercise can possibly warrant limiting the meaning of “bear Arms” to carrying a weapon in one’s home. In Heller, the Court discussed at length the possible motivations for the Amendment, which could be anything from hunting to fighting off invasion to overthrowing a tyrannical central government. None of these uses can be accomplished if the government can restrict the exercise of bearing arms to the confines of one’s home.

Judge Posner ruled:

The right to “bear” as distinct from the right to “keep” arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of “bearing” arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home. And one doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home