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NRA, D.C. Residents Take District of Columbia Back to Court Over Gun Regulations

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fairfax, VA - Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia’s gun ban, the District, Mayor and City Council are being sued again over the District’s thinly veiled attempt to continue its restrictions on firearm ownership. D.C. residents Dick Anthony Heller and Absalom F. Jordan, Jr., in conjunction with lawyers for the National Rifle Association (NRA), filed a complaint against the District of Columbia and Mayor Adrian Fenty challenging D.C.’s Firearms Control Emergency Amendment Act of 2008.

“The District of Columbia’s so-called ‘emergency regulations’ prohibit law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves and their loved ones in their own homes,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “The Mayor and City Council have proposed a list of regulations that violate the Supreme Court’s decision.”

On June 26, 2008, the U. S. Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller, that “the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.” The Supreme Court explicitly articulated that handguns are constitutionally-protected arms because they are in common use at this time, are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, are considered by the American people to be the quintessential self-defense weapon, are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and are the most preferred firearm in the nation to keep and use for protection of one’s home and family.

The District’s Firearms Control Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 bans all semi-automatic handguns and requires any firearm in the home to be disassembled, unloaded and secured by locking devices unless there is an "immediate" threat of violence, even for innocuous purposes such as cleaning.

“The D.C. Council and Mayor are demonstrating their arrogant disregard for the Supreme Court’s decision and the safety and liberty of their own law-abiding constituents,” concluded Cox. “These elitist politicians who live under secured protection are continuing to prevent their residents from keeping a functional firearm in the home for self-defense. NRA will continue to work to restore the rights of D.C. residents. ”


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.