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Copyright 2013 Charleston School of Law. All Rights Reserved.
Charleston Law Review

ARTICLE: HOLDING FIRE: WHY LONG WAITING PERIODS TO BUY A GUN VIOLATE THE SECOND AMENDMENT

Spring, 2013

Charleston Law Review

7 Charleston L. Rev. 379

Author

Brian Burns*

Excerpt



I. INTRODUCTION
 
On December 14, 2012, a deranged man burst into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. 2 Armed with a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns, the gunman slaughtered twenty-six people - twenty of them children - before turning one of the handguns on himself. 3 The guns used in the shooting were owned by the man's mother, whom he shot and killed earlier that day. 4

The Newtown massacre has reawakened calls for government-enforced gun control. 5 Recently, President Obama announced twenty-three executive actions designed to combat gun violence while urging Congress to pass a bill banning so-called assault weapons. 6 Because this activity comes just five years after the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects a broad individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, 7 the stage is set for a legal battle over the future of gun rights in this country.

One important aspect of the legal battle over the Second Amendment revolves around waiting periods for the purchase of firearms. 8 These waiting period laws, which mandate a cooling off period before a gun purchaser can take delivery of a firearm, are currently active in eleven states. 9 The waiting periods in these laws range in length from twenty-four hours to ten or fourteen days. 10

This Note examines the constitutionality of waiting period laws as a regulation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. While it recognizes that short, reasonable waiting ...
 
 
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