Delaware isn't exactly known as being the most pro-RKBA state.
Tongue planted firmly in cheek.
But recently a Delaware Supreme Court decision has made life a bit more interesting for those who are pro-RKBA in the Diamond State.
First, the decision: link (pdf)
In this certified question proceeding, we address whether lease provisions for apartments of a Delaware public housing authority that restrict when residents, their household members, and their guests may carry and possess firearms in the common areas violate the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by Article I, Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution.
The certified questions are:
1. Whether, under Article I, §20 of the Delaware Constitution, a public housing agency such as the WHA may adopt a policy prohibiting its residents, household members, and guests from displaying or carrying a firearm or other weapon in a common area, except when the firearm or other weapon is being transported to or from a resident’s housing unit or is being used in self-defense.
2. Whether, under Article I, §20 of the Delaware Constitution, a public housing agency such as the WHA may require its residents, household members, and guests to have available for inspection a copy of any permit, license, or other documentation required by state, local, or federal law for the ownership, possession, or transportation of any firearm or other weapon, including a license to carry a concealed weapon, as required by Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, §1441, on request, when there is reasonable cause to believe that the law or policies have been violated.
We answer both certified questions in the negative.
Our conclusion that the interpretation of Article I, Section 20 is a source, independent from the Second Amendment, for recognizing and protecting individual rights, is supported by the Hunt factors. The distinctive language of Section 20 and the legislative history demonstrates the General Assembly’s intent to provide a right to keep and bear arms independent of the federal right. Moreover, public attitudes, as reflected in the laws passed by the General Assembly, and Delaware’s long tradition of allowing responsible, law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms outside of the home, favor recognizing an independent right under the Delaware Constitution. Two Hunt factors—the structural differences in constitutional provisions and matters of particular state interest—do not require that Section 20 be interpreted coextensively with the Second Amendment. In summary, Article I, Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution is an independent source for recognizing and protecting the right to keep and bear arms.Well, for those who are in Delaware and pro-RKBA, I hope this warms the cockles of your heart. I haven't seen much (if you have, please put in the comments below) of pro-RKBA measures getting to the Supreme Court of a state and the decision resting on the state Constitution, not the federal one.
What changes do you think will come about from this ruling? Is this something that can be escalated to SCOTUS since it deals with the state Constitution?
I look forward to the discussion below.