Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch Answers Questions on Second Amendment

Last week, the President's nominee to replace former Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, answered questions on his views on gun rights litigation in his second day of hearings, last week.

The first to bring up the subject in the 11-hour event was Judiciary Committee Chair, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who asked Gorsuch about the 2008 Heller decision in which the Supreme Court decided 5-4 that a Washington, D.C. law banning handguns and requiring other firearms to be stored unloaded or locked violated the Second Amendment

“If I ask you to tell me whether Heller was rightly decided, could you answer that question for me?”

This was the question posed by Grassley, which Gorsuch answered, stating that he left his personal views “at home” and that Heller was a precedent of the Supreme Court “and as a good judge you don’t approach that question anew as if it had not been decided.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, then continued to press Gorsuch on the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision, in which the justices ruled 5-4 to uphold a federal district court.

When pressed further about his thoughts on the ruling, Gorsuch finally admitted that he personally had praise for both Scalia’s opinion and a dissenting opinion written by since-retired justice John Paul Stevens, but he said he would not pick between either one out of fear he could be signaling a preference.

The current Supreme Court Roster

Instead, Gorsuch said that Heller is the “law of the land,” firmly describing that decision as a binding precedent. This continues with Gorsuch's stances in the hearing of shying away from offering any specific thoughts on particular cases.

In this case, however, Feinstein tried asking about specific aspects of Scalia’s opinion, including the parts about the Second Amendment not being an “unlimited” right. This prompted Gorsuch to respond as openly as the potential Supreme Court Justice had done on the question block. Even still, Gorsuch largely avoided many specifics before returning, as he did before and after, to the supremacy of the law.

“Whatever’s in Heller, that’s the law. It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, respectfully, it’s about the law. My job is to apply and enforce the law.”

Still, most gun-rights advocates note that Gorsuch shares Antonin Scalia's devotion to originalism, and it was Scalia who wrote a landmark opinion holding for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own a handgun.

Although Gorsuch's record on the Second Amendment is sparse, gun control advocates are concerned about one case where he opined that the government should meet a tougher standard before prosecuting felons for possession of firearms.

Citing Scalia's opinion Gorsuch wrote: “the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.”

Are you excited for a potential Gorsuch Supreme Court appointment? Let us know below.

And if you are interested in finding out more about American Gun Law be sure to click on the button below to take a look at Concealed Carry's in-depth discussion with Doug Richards, a former Federal Prosecutor who sat down with us and went over the specifics of the gun laws of this country.

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About Craig Martin

Craig Martin grew up in the unincorporated town of Lewis, Wisconsin. From a young age, Craig was introduced to guns, as he was tasked with defending his backwood home’s wiring from a scourge of red squirrels.

Ever the animal lover, though; Craig couldn’t let these creatures die needlessly. So he would take his kills and leave them for the foxes, coyotes, and bears to eat at a deer feeder his grandfather built around their home.

His lifestyle made Craig understand that guns are a tool and ever since, has spread the word about how firearms are not a menace, like the red squirrel, but an item to help people. He instils this in every article he writes for USA Firearm Training.


  1. Robert WOOD on March 29, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Background check are to long they go back to the you were born .this is not fair
    Like me iam a very good person.i troble when i was young.that was.50 year ago

  2. Robert on April 4, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein has her own personal agenda and should not have a say in this matter. Her intent is to ensure every single law abiding citizen is disarmed. She does not believe you or I have any right to own a firearm of any kind. The only exceptions are her security teams. She would have us hunting deer, elk, and bear with stones and a knife. I personally can’t stand the woman and her one minded agenda!

  3. Jan on April 4, 2017 at 9:49 am

    The 2nd Amendment is a constitutional right, and I for one am THRILLED that Gorsuch will support ot as such, as far as Fienstien, as soon as she ruled with emotion over Law she should have been removed from office!

  4. veteran48 on April 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

    No one has mentioned why our founding fathers wrote the second amendment ? I believe they knew that if the citizen population could own guns for self protection, then dictatorship could rule the land. (Example) Hitler . The German people had no way to defend themselves. Therefore, Hitler ruled as he pleased .

  5. veteran48 on April 12, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Your gun is your freedom! Without the right of the people to bear arms, there will be no freedom from government dictatorship.

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