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Update On D.C. Right To Bear Arms Case

Saturday, October 18, 2003

On October 8, a hearing was held on a motion to dismiss in the pending Seegars v. Ashcroft lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought as a result of the extremely restrictive gun laws that have been in effect in Washington, D.C., for more than a quarter of a century. Handguns are effectively banned in the District of Columbia. Before 1976, citizens could possess registered handguns in the District. The city`s law required all firearms to be registered, but that year a law was passed prohibiting the registration of any more handguns, thereby completely banning them! The Seegars lawsuit seeks to allow D.C. residents the right to once again lawfully possess handguns. The case is a narrowly focused effort to encourage the court to recognize the Second Amendment as an individual right and to declare the D.C. handgun ban unconstitutional, so that residents who are threatened daily by criminal violence may keep handguns in their homes to defend themselves.

NRA supports this litigation as a first step toward restoration of Second Amendment rights to law-abiding D.C. citizens. NRA is also in strong support of current legislation introduced in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal not just the handgun ban, but also the requirement that all firearms be registered. The goal is the complete restoration of Second Amendment rights, and NRA will continue vigorously to pursue this objective in the courts and in Congress.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.