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July 30, 2012

Scalia: Limitations to right to bear arms

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. (UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg)

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Sunday the Constitution allows for limitations to a person's right to bear arms.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Scalia said future cases will have to determine whether the Constitution permits citizens to "keep and bear" semiautomatic weapons or magazines carrying 100 rounds, like those used in the theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., last week.

"Some [limits] undoubtedly are [permissible], because there were some that were acknowledged at the time" the Constitution was written, he said.

He pointed to a law at the time against what was called afrighting, "which, if you carried around a really horrible weapon just to scare people, like a head ax or something, that was, I believe, a misdemeanor," Scalia said.

"So yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed. What they are will depend on what the society understood was reasonable limitation," he added.

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