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									BSL illegal

Why BSL is Unconstitutional

Breed-specific legislation (BSL), or legislation or
ordinances that single out specific breeds of dog for
banning or strictures, is unconstitutional because it
violates the 14th amendment of the constitution
(commonly referred to as citizens’ civil liberties),
particularly the equal protection and due process
clauses. The 14th amendment states:

    “No State shall…deprive any person of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor
deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws.”

Our dogs are our property and they cannot be taken away
from us legally unless it can be proven that they
constitute a danger to the general public.

Bully breeds and Rottweilers, breeds most often singled
out for breed-specific legislation (BSL), have not been
proven to be inherently any more dangerous than any
other breeds of dog despite what the media would have
you believe. Indeed, bully breeds — American Pit Bull
Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and
Staffordshire Bull Terriers — score higher than Golden
Retrievers on their temperament tests (according to the
American Temperament Test Society’s Dec. 2006
statistics). Because it has not been scientifically
proven that any one breed is more dangerous than
another, BSL infringes on citizens’ equal protection
rights. The equal protection clause of the 14th
amendment states that certain similarly-circumstanced
individuals cannot be deprived of their property, in
this case dogs, while other similarly-circumstanced
individuals are not unless it can be demonstrated that
there is a rational basis, like public safety, for
doing so. Because it has not been proven that bully
breeds or Rottweilers are any more inherently dangerous
than other breeds, banning them would not make the
public safer and it would therefore be a violation of
the equal protection clause to deprive bully or
Rottweiler owners of their dogs.

Further, because it is at this time impossible to
definitively prove breed heredity, BSL also infringes
on citizens’ due process rights. Every citizen has a
right under the due process clause to attempt to affect
the outcome of a municipal or state-imposed deprivation
of property (in this case, citizens’ dogs). When BSL is
imposed and the owner is penalized yet it cannot be
determined that the dog is indeed the banned breed in
question, the dog owner’s due process rights are
infringed upon.

Breed ban proponents and dog owners alike would do well
to know these rights and to have a better understanding
of why BSL is an infringement of them.

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