In a surprising break from the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Nevada state office recently declared its support for an individual's Right to Keep and Bear Arms, apparently making it the first state affiliate to break with the national ACLU's position on the Second Amendment.
ACLU of Nevada decided to change its stance following the Supreme Court's ruling in the Heller case, which correctly interpreted the Second Amendment as an individual right.
A statement on the ACLU of Nevada website reads:
"In light of the United States Supreme Court's decision concerning the D.C. handgun ban (District of Columbia v. Heller), the ACLU of Nevada considers it important to clearly state its position regarding the right to bear arms. The Nevada ACLU respects the individual's right to bear arms subject to constitutionally permissible regulations. The ACLU of Nevada will defend this right as it defends other constitutional rights. This policy was formulated by our affiliate Board in light of both the U.S. Constitution and the clearly-stated individual right to bear arms as set out in the Nevada Constitution's Declaration of Rights."
Commenting on the turn of events, Ben Kieckhefer, a spokesman for pro-gun Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons (R), said, "Obviously, the ACLU in Nevada has seen the light on this issue, and we are happy they have. It adds to the long list of supporters of Second Amendment rights in the state. ... It is a state where the right to bear arms is held close to the heart."
"It's a testament to the rugged Western spirit of Nevada," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said. "We are heartened that there is a chapter of the ACLU that actually believes in the entire Bill of Rights."