Brett Kavanaugh on Gun Control



Semiautomatic rifles are not a dangerous and unusual weapon

In 2011, Kavanaugh dissented from a majority opinion of the DC Circuit that upheld a ban that applied to semiautomatic rifles. In his dissent, he wrote that the Supreme Court had previously "held that handguns--the vast majority of which today are semiautomatic--are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens."

Citing a previous high court ruling, Kavanaugh went on to say, "It follows from Heller's protection of semiautomatic handguns that semiautomatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that DC's ban on them is unconstitutional."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) pressed Kavanaugh on his dissent during his confirmation hearings, asking, "What did you base your conclusion on that assault weapons are in common use?"

"I had to follow precedent," Kavanaugh said, adding that "semiautomatic rifles are widely possessed in the US, so that seemed to fit common use in not being a dangerous & unusual weapon."

Source: CNN.com on lead-up to SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings , Jul 9, 2018

Banning semiautomatic rifles & handgun registration unlawful

On the historical and traditional grounds, Kavanaugh argued that the ban on semiautomatic rifles and handgun registration requirements are unconstitutional. He reasoned that semiautomatic rifles "have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense." Similarly, he claimed that the "registration of all lawfully possessed guns--as distinct from licensing of gun owners or mandatory recordkeeping by gun sellers - has not traditionally been required."
Source: Vox.com on lead-up to SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing , Sep 5, 2018

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Other Justices on Gun Control: Brett Kavanaugh on other issues:
Samuel Alito(since 2006)
Amy Coney Barrett(since 2020)
Stephen Breyer(since 1994)
Neil Gorsuch(since 2017)
Ketanji Brown Jackson(nominated 2022)
Elena Kagan(since 2010)
Brett Kavanaugh(since 2018)
John Roberts(since 2005)
Sonia Sotomayor(since 2009)
Clarence Thomas(since 1991)

Former Justices:
Merrick Garland(nominated 2016)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg(1993-2020)
Anthony Kennedy(1988-2018)
Antonin Scalia(1986-2016)
John Paul Stevens(1975-2010)
David Souter(1990-2009)
Sandra Day O'Connor(1981-2006)
William Rehnquist(1975-2005)

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Page last updated: Mar 20, 2022