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Statement from NRA on 31 Attys General Signing Pro-Individual Rights Amicus Brief

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fairfax, Va. - The NRA is pleased to note that an overwhelming majority of state Attorneys General filed a significant amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia (D.C.) and Mayor Adrian Fenty v. Dick Anthony Heller.  This brief, supported by 31 state Attorneys General, supports the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and therefore 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 31 state Attorneys General who signed this latest amicus brief are as follows: A.G. Troy King of Alabama, Talis Colberg of Alaska, Dustin McDaniel of Arkansas, John Suthers of Colorado, Bill McCollum of Florida, Thurbert Baker of Georgia, Lawrence Wasden of Idaho, Steve Carter of Indiana, Greg Stumbo of Kentucky, Buddy Caldwell of Louisiana, Mike Cox of Michigan, Lori Swanson of Minnesota, Jim Hood of Mississippi, Jay Nixon of Missouri, Mike McGrath of Montana, Jon Bruning of Nebraska, Steve Six of Kansas, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Gary King of New Mexico, Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota, Marc Dann of Ohio, W.A. Drew Edmundson of Oklahoma, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Larry Long of South Dakota, Greg Abbott of Texas, Mark Shurtleff of Utah, Bob McDonnell of Virgnia, Rob McKenna of Washington, Darrell McGraw of West Virginia, and Patricia Crank of Wyoming.

This brief by the state Attorneys General comes on the heels of last week’s congressional brief, having the largest number of co-signers of a congressional amicus brief in American history, with 250 House Members, 55 Senators and the Vice President of the United States, acting in his capacity as President of the Senate. 

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.  

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 to advocate 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 military.


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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.