On Thursday March 11, 2010 in the Administration Building Reception Room, the Harrisburg campus Federalist Society
held a debate on whether the personal right to bear arms recognized in the District of Columbia v. Heller should be incorporated against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society offered opposing viewpoints. Alan Gura, Esq. of Gura & Possessky, P.L.L.C. argued for the Federalist Society. Gura was the lead counsel before the Supreme Court in both District of Columbia v Heller and McDonald v Chicago. Widener Law Associate Professor Wesley M. Oliver
argued for the American Constitution Society.
Each speaker had twenty minutes to present his argument followed by five minutes of rebuttal. One of Professor Oliver’s arguments was that the right to bear arms should be determined on a local level because there are different concerns with a subway in New York City than a mountain top in Montana. Gura rebutted that the states were already given a chance to dictate their laws and failed miserably, hence the Civil War.
Despite their difference of opinion, each speaker received support and cheers at the end of the debate from the 35 attendees.