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November 21st, 2007

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Landmark Second Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the much-discussed District of Columbia v. Heller case (Docket 04-7041), previously known as Parker vs. District of Columbia. This means the High Court WILL review the decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the D.C. statute banning residents from owning handguns. The Court of Appeals held that the District of Columbia’s anti-gun law violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In reaching its decision, the Appellate Court found, as a matter of law, that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to keep and bear arms. This was a “breakthrough” finding. Other Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that the Second Amendment merely confers a “collective right” to keep and bear arms. In practical terms, this means that the Second Amendment applies to an organized militia (i.e. the National Guard), but not to individuals.

The High Court’s decision to hear D.C. v. Heller is historically significant. This will represent the first time the Supreme Court rules directly on the meaning of the Second Amendment since the U.S. v. Miller case in 1939. The decision in Miller was poorly reasoned and left many basic issues unresolved, including the key question “Does the Second Amendment confer an individual or collective right?”

The “collective right” interpretation of the Second Amendment is disfavored among legal scholars, despite what anti-gun advocacy groups claim. Many of the nation’s most respected law professors, including Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law School, Akhil Reed Amar of Yale, William Van Alstyne of Duke, and Sanford Levinson of the Univ. of Texas, have strongly argued that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms.

The mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty, filed the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting the stage for the High Court to rule. According to FBI statistics, Washington D.C., despite its gun ban, ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and maintains one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the country.

In March, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in striking down the District’s gun ban, held in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia that “The phrase ‘the right of the people’ . . . leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.” This was the second time in recent history that a Federal Circuit Court upheld the view that the Second Amendment was an individual right. In 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in the case of U.S. v. Emerson that “All of the evidence indicates that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the
Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans.”

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November 21st, 2007

Tikka 595 — "Poor Man's Tactical"?

Think about the features you’d want in a bolt rifle for tactical/practical comps. How about a smooth-feeding, single-column 5-round detachable magazine? Fast, positive, side bolt release? Short, 70-degree bolt throw? Dove-tailed receiver top for secure, low-profile, and perfectly-aligned ring mounting? Smooth factory trigger adjustable to less than 2 pounds? Flat-bottomed receiver with integral recoil lug for secure bedding? Now how would you like to get all that for under $600.00? No, this isn’t a pipe dream. A late-model Tikka 595 offers all those features, plus respectable accuracy with a factory barrel. With the addition of a match-grade barrel, Tikka 595s can approach half-MOA accuracy.

Tikka 595 .308 Tactical

Sadly, the Tikka 595 is no longer in production, but, with patience, you can find used examples on,, and at gunshows. These typically sell for around $500-600 for a bare rifle in a synthetic stock, but there are even better deals to be had if you shop around. Mac Tilton of, just picked up a Tikka 7-08 for $350.00. The gun in the photos, a .308 Win with fluted barrel, recently sold for $650.00 on Gunbroker, including the Leupold 3-9X scope, rings, and four magazines. Sure, eventually you’d want to upgrade the optics, but the point is, for about the same cost as a trued Remington action, you can have a complete rifle that will get you in the game.

Tikka 595s come in a wide variety of calibers, with either .308 or .223 bolt faces. There are three sizes of magazines available–.223, 22-250, and .308-size. And get this — Tikka’s 22-250 magazines even feed 6BR cases reliably. Credit that to the single-stack design and short follower.

Tikka 595 .308 Tactical

If the sporter-style stock isn’t “Tacti-cool” enough for you, Mac Tilton has bare Tikka Master Sporter stocks for sale. These nice walnut stocks offer a vertical pistol grip, deeper, stippled fore-end with rail, and an adjustable cheekpiece. McMillan and Robertson Composites also offer fiberglass stocks that can easily be adapted to the Tikka 595 action. You can find complete Tikka 595 Master Sporters for $850 and up, but the word is out, and prices are rising.

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