In Wake of ‘Heller,’ 3rd Circuit OKs Ban on Unnumbered Guns

In an important Second Amendment decision that charts a course for evaluating the validity of gun laws now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared the right to be an individual one, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to strike down a federal law that bans possession of guns with obliterated serial numbers.

Perhaps the most important lesson to be gleaned from U.S. Circuit Judge Anthony J. Scirica’s opinion in United States v. Marzzarella is that courts faced with unanswered questions in the Second Amendment arena should consider looking to the extensive jurisprudence on First Amendment claims for guidance.

"The First Amendment is the natural choice," Scirica wrote, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court’s watershed decision in District of Columbia v. Heller repeatedly invoked the First Amendment in establishing principles governing the Second Amendment.

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