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APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

NRA And U.S. Lawmakers Join <I>D.C. V. Heller</I> Plaintiffs In Filing Briefs With U.S. Supreme Court

Friday, February 8, 2008

On Thursday, February 7, NRA and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund submitted an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. This "friend of the court" brief supports a lower federal appeals court decision holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and asserts that the D.C. bans on handguns, on carrying firearms within the home, and on possession of loaded or operable firearms for self-defense violate that fundamental right. 

The NRA brief follows Heller's own brief, filed Feb. 4.  Several other pro-Second Amendment individuals and organizations, including an overwhelming majority of state attorneys general, will also be filing briefs today and Monday in favor of affirming the D.C. Circuit's decision.  

"We want to return hope and we want to return freedom to our nation's capital. After this ban was enacted, D.C.'s murder rate tripled, and the city was labeled 'murder capital of the United States'," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. "The irony of this gun ban is that it has resulted in criminals having guns while denying law-abiding citizens their basic right to self defense in their own homes."  

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

"It is beyond unreasonable to prevent law-abiding residents from using a firearm to protect themselves and their loved ones in their own homes, and that is clearly not what our founding fathers intended in crafting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," added Chris W. Cox, NRA's chief lobbyist. "The American people--whether Democrat or Republican, urban or rural--know that the Second Amendment was not written to give a right to the government, but rather to guarantee the fundamental right of individual citizens."  

As stated in the NRA brief:  

"In adopting the Second Amendment, the Framers guaranteed an individual right to keep and bear arms for private purposes, not a collective right to keep and bear arms only in connection with state militia service."  

* * *

"By its terms, the Amendment protects the right 'of the people' to keep and bear arms. The holder of the right is unambiguous: it is not the States, it is 'the people' themselves."  

* * *

"Americans' personal right to possess . . . firearms for hunting or self-defense was part of the essence of the Framers' view of themselves as a free and democratic people. Had Americans in 1787 been told that the federal government could ban the frontiersman in his log cabin, or the city merchant living above his store, from keeping firearms to provide for and protect himself and his family, it is hard to imagine that the Constitution would have been ratified."  

The NRA's counsel of record on the brief is Stephen D. Poss of Goodwin Procter LLP.  

Click here to read NRA's brief.  All the briefs and other filings in the case are available at


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Appropriations Act Signed Into Law With Important Pro-Second Amendment Provisions

On Wednesday, November 25, the President signed S. 1356, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 into law. Included in the bill were some very important pro-gun provisions that represent the culmination of long-term efforts by ...


Friday, May 15, 2015

Obama Administration Opposes CMP Handgun Sales

The House of Representatives has approved Congressman Mike D. Rogers’ amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which—if accepted in ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

“F” Stands for Fail: Gun Turn-in Event Nets a Stack of Paper Pledges and Some Surplus Sporting Goods

Recently, we reported on Hillary Clinton’s praise for local firearm “buyback” events and her view that forcing Americans to participate ...


Friday, November 27, 2015

President Obama Signs NRA-Backed Measures into Law

President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It includes several NRA-backed provisions -- expanding gun rights on stateside military bases; prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from banning traditional ammunition; and saving taxpayer dollars ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

Anti-gun Politicians, Media Exploit Paris Attacks in “Terrorist Gap” Rehash

The Paris terrorist attacks were not easily pinned on America’s supposedly lax gun laws or the NRA, but ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

Brussels Pushes Gun Control in Wake of Paris Attacks

On November 18, the European Commission expedited a plan to overhaul the European Union’s already restrictive gun control laws. The ...


Friday, November 20, 2015

Overwhelming 81 Percent of Current and Former Military have Unfavorable View of Clinton

More bad news for Hillary Clinton. Coming off the heels of survey results that found the former Secretary ...

Washington Times  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

White House to GOP: Worry about gun control

The White House said Monday that Republicans concerned about Syrian refugees waging terrorist attacks in the U.S. should focus their energy instead on banning guns sales to people on the government’s terrorist watch list.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Michigan: Governor Snyder Signs Firearm Inheritance Protection Act

Today, November 24, Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed Senate Bills 225 and 226.


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.