Statement by Wayne LaPierre Executive Vice President, NRA and Chris W. Cox Executive Director, NRA-ILA Regarding U.S. Supreme Court Decision McDonald v. City of Chicago

Posted on June 28, 2010

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Today marks a great moment in American history. This is a landmark decision. It is a vindication for the great majority of American citizens who have always believed the Second Amendment was an individual right and freedom worth defending.

The Supreme Court said what a majority of the American public believes. The people who wrote the Second Amendment said it was an individual right, and the Court has now confirmed what our founding fathers wrote and intended. The Second Amendment -- as every citizen’s constitutional right -- is now a real part of American Constitutional law.

But, Supreme Court decisions have to lead to actual consequences or the whole premise of American constitutional authority collapses. Individual freedom must mean you can actually experience it. An incorporated freedom has to be a real freedom.

The intent of the founding fathers -- and the Supreme Court -- was to provide access. Words must have meaning.

The Supreme Court has now said the Second Amendment is an individual freedom for all. And that must have meaning. This decision must provide relief to law-abiding citizens who are deprived of their Second Amendment rights.

We are practical guys. We don’t want to win on philosophy and lose on freedom. The end question is, can law-abiding men and women go out and buy and own a firearm? Today the Supreme Court said yes – anywhere they live!

This decision cannot lead to different measures of freedom, depending on what part of the country you live in. City by city, person by person, this decision must be more than a philosophical victory. An individual right is no right at all if individuals can’t access it. Proof of Heller and McDonald will be law abiding citizens, one by one, purchasing and owning firearms.

The NRA will work to ensure this constitutional victory is not transformed into a practical defeat by activist judges, defiant city councils, or cynical politicians who seek to pervert, reverse, or nullify the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision through Byzantine labyrinths of restrictions and regulations that render the Second Amendment inaccessible, unaffordable, or otherwise impossible to experience in a practical, reasonable way.

What good is a right without the gun? What good is the right if you can’t buy one? Or keep one in your home? Or protect your family with one?

Here’s a piece of paper – protect yourself. That’s no right at all!

Victory is when law abiding men and women can get up, go out, and buy and own a firearm. This is a monumental day. But NRA will not rest until every law-abiding American citizen is able to exercise the individual right to buy and own a firearm for self defense or any other lawful purpose.

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