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NRA Files Second Amendment Lawsuits In Illinois And California Following Supreme Court Ruling

Friday, June 27, 2008

Following up on yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment protects a private right to possess firearms that is not limited to militia service, the NRA today filed five lawsuits challenging local gun bans in San Francisco, and in Chicago and several of its suburbs.

“The Supreme Court held yesterday that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  “These lawsuits will ensure that state and local governments hear those words.”

The San Francisco lawsuit challenges a local ordinance and lease provisions that prohibit possession of guns by residents of public housing in San Francisco.  NRA is joined in that suit by the California Rifle and Pistol Association and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

The Chicago case challenges a handgun ban nearly identical to the law struck down yesterday in Washington, D.C.  The other Illinois suits challenge handgun bans in the suburban towns of Evanston, Morton Grove, and Oak Park.

All five suits raise the issue of the application of the Second Amendment against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, known in constitutional law as “incorporation.”  Because Washington, D.C. is not a state, incorporation was not specifically addressed in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, but the decision did repeatedly equate the Second Amendment to the First and Fourth Amendments, which have applied to the states for 80 years.

“In Washington, D.C. or in any state, whether you live in the housing projects or a high end suburb, you have the right to defend yourself and your family at home,” Cox concluded.  “These laws all deny that right, and NRA will not rest until they are all struck down.”

To view a copy of the San Francisco complaint, please click here.

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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.