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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear FirstSecond Amendment Case Since 1939

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fairfax, Va. - The United States Supreme Court today announced its decision to take up District of Columbia v. Heller-a case in which plaintiffs challenge the unconstitutional gun ban in the nation’s capital. The District of Columbia appealed a lower court’s ruling earlier this year affirming that the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the District’s bans on handguns, carrying firearms within the home, and possession of loaded or operable firearms for self-defense violate that right.

The NRA will participate in this case through briefs as a friend of the court. Oral arguments are likely to take place in early 2008.

In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that “[T]he phrase ‘the right of the people,’ when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.” The D.C. Circuit also rejected the claim that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because D.C. is not a state.

The decision marks the first time a Second Amendment challenge to a firearm law has reached the Supreme Court since 1939.

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Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.

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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.