Seventh Circuit Review


It has been less than a decade since the Supreme Court reset the landscape of gun rights by recognizing, for the first time, that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms unconnected with any militia service. The Court was notably silent as to which standard of review lower courts should apply to the inevitable wave of Second Amendment challenges to federal, state, and local gun control legislation. In the absence of guidance from the Supreme Court, the majority of the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals have adopted a two-step means-end test similar in many respects to the framework used in the First Amendment context. Under this test, the courts must first determine whether the conduct being regulated falls within the scope of the Second Amendment, and if so they must evaluate the law at issue under some heightened form of means-end scrutiny.

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