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State Attorneys General And Former Senior Officials Of The DOJ File Briefs In D.C. Case

Friday, February 15, 2008

NRA-ILA is pleased to note the recent filings by a majority of state Attorneys General, and by former senior officials of the Department of Justice (DOJ) of significant amicus curiae briefs with the United States Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller.  These briefs support 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 briefs, by 31 state Attorneys General and by former senior officials of the DOJ (including Ed Meese, Robert Bork, and many others) come on the heels of last week’s congressional brief, which had 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.

All the briefs in the case are available at www.nraila.org/heller.

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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.