Reaction Of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Supreme Court Decision In District of Columbia v. Heller
"In its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court has recognized the personal right to bear arms, guaranteed in the Second Amendment of the Constitution, and expressly held for the first time that our Bill of Rights includes this right among its guarantees of individual liberty and freedom. That is a good thing. This opinion should usher in a new era in which the constitutionality of government regulations of firearms are reviewed against the backdrop of this important right.
"In its review of the law in the District of Columbia, the Supreme Court did not say that all government efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals are unconstitutional, but that gun regulations must be sensible, reasonable and defensible.
"Since before the nation's founding, Americans have used firearms for protection and sporting purposes. I have enjoyed target shooting since my days at St. Michael's. I know Vermonters will be relieved and encouraged to see their rights recognized, just as they were when the Supreme Court preserved the Great Writ of habeas corpus in its decision earlier this month."