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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."  

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"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."  

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"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 www.dcguncase.com.
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News  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lawsuit Filed Against California's Assault Weapons Control Act

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control ...

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

Public education’s long-running “zero tolerance” war against anything that suggests the idea of a firearm (including, for example, clothing, gestures, toys, food, computer images, and favorable opinions of self-defense) has claimed another victim. This time ...

Illinois: Senate Passes Legislation that will Close Gun Stores

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Illinois: Senate Passes Legislation that will Close Gun Stores

Today, the Illinois Senate passed an amended version of Senate Bill 1657 by a 30-21 vote.  As amended, SB 1657 would exempt big box stores from its restrictions.

Brace Yourself: ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era Policy on Stabilizing Braces

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Gun Laws  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brace Yourself: ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era Policy on Stabilizing Braces

News broke this week that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reconsidered and “clarified” its Jan. 6, 2015 Open Letter on the use of stabilizing braces as shoulder stocks.

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Monday, April 24, 2017

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to discuss several firearm-related bills, and subcommittee members need to hear from you.

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Friday, April 21, 2017

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Yesterday, the state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 7 by a vote of 44 to 29.   AB 424 was not considered during yesterday’s floor session, however it remains eligible for a vote at any time.  

Rhode Island:  House Committee Will Hear Over a Dozen Gun Bills Tuesday Night

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rhode Island: House Committee Will Hear Over a Dozen Gun Bills Tuesday Night

On Tuesday, April 24, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a marathon hearing on several anti-gun bills.

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

Early this month, members of the gun-control group Prosecutors Against Gun Violence met at a “Manhattan Summit” and took the time to express their dismay and alarm over federal bills proposing national concealed carry reciprocity. ...

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

News  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with representatives of the UCAN organization to make the case for further gun controls to combat the city’s violent crime. Chicago’s WLS reported that Emanuel used the opportunity ...

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators are Attempting to Sneak their Agenda into Unrelated Legislation

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators are Attempting to Sneak their Agenda into Unrelated Legislation

Yesterday, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton proposed Senate Amendment 1 to his shell bill, Senate Bill 233.

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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.