NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

A Year after <i>Heller</i>, Second Amendment Cases Move Fast

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Year after Heller, Second Amendment Cases Move Fast

As this issue goes to press, we’ve just celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which firmly established that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms. Now, a host of follow-up cases are moving fast, nearly guaranteeing prompt review of key issues related to that right. Here are some of the highlights.

In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit decided the case of NRA v. City of Chicago (consolidated for appeal with a companion case) and rejected challenges to handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill. The cases sought to apply the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. The Chicago cases and a New York case in the 2nd Circuit (Maloney v. Cuomo, which involves New York state’s ban on possession of “nunchaku,” an Asian martial arts weapon) wrongly followed post-Civil War precedent that refused to apply any provisions of the Bill of Rights directly to the states. 

By doing that, the 7th and 2nd Circuits failed to conduct the type of 14th Amendment analysis that the Heller opinion said is “required” by later cases. This creates a split between those circuits’ decisions and the 9th Circuit ruling in Nordyke v. King (see “ILA Report,” July 2009). The NRA and other Chicago plaintiffs, as well as the plaintiff in the Maloney case, have all filed appeals to the Supreme Court, and it’s very likely the Supreme Court will agree this fall to hear one or more of those cases.

Meanwhile, Washington D.C.’s city government keeps moving the goalposts on those who want the city to comply with the Heller decision. (See “Lawyers Take Aim,” March 2009.)  In an NRA-supported case, Dick Heller and other plaintiffs are challenging the District’s burdensome gun registration requirements and its California-style ban on common semi-automatic firearms. 

Both the NRA case and a companion case also attacked the District’s use of the California handgun “roster”--a government-approved list that effectively bans the sale of non-listed handguns in California. Under the District’s version of this scheme, guns that can’t be sold in California also can’t be possessed in D.C. This means D.C. residents can’t possess certain guns just because manufacturers discontinued them before the California roster existed, or because a manufacturer got a black-finished pistol listed on the roster, but not an identical model with a two-tone finish.

Now, the District has issued “emergency” regulations that add guns on the Maryland and Massachusetts handgun rosters to its “approved” list, along with mechanically identical models and all pre-1985 handguns. This move is obviously intended to shut out the roster lawsuits. Even if the ploy is successful, the challenges to other parts of D.C.’s gun laws may survive; watch for more coverage of this and other Second Amendment cases in these pages, and at



Friday, July 24, 2015

Gun Control Group Would Endanger Military by Politicizing Firearm Procurement Process

As if misguided anti-gun policies that leave our fighting men and women defenseless stateside weren’t enough, some gun ...


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Obama's Social Security Administration to Strip Millions of Americans of their Right to Keep and Bear Arms

As the L.A. Times reported on July 18, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is currently developing a program to ...


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

NRA Applauds Congressman Johnson for Swift Action on Social Security Gun Grab

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) lauded Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), Chairman of the House Ways ...


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

No Support for Military Right-to-Carry from Obama, Everytown, and Odierno

Support for allowing military personnel to carry firearms for self-protection following the terrorist attack upon military personnel in Chattanooga ...


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Presidential Candidates, Members of Congress, and Governors Call for Military Right-to-Carry

Following the murder of four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy sailor by a terrorist in Chattanooga, presidential ...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Florida Alert! Appeals Court UPHOLDS NRA Supported "Docs vs. Glocks" Gun Law

In 2011, at the urging of the NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida, the Florida Legislature passed  HB-155 ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered ...


Friday, July 24, 2015

"High Society" Types Sued Over Anti-Gun "Bracelets"

As the saying goes, "you can't make this stuff up." A lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan against ...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

North Carolina: Pro-Gun Omnibus Bill Passes Senate on Bipartisan Vote, Goes to Governor McCrory for Signature

Yesterday, the North Carolina State Senate passed House Bill 562, the NRA-backed omnibus pro-gun reform bill on a bipartisan vote ...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Washington: USFS Hosting Meeting August 4 to Discuss Recreational Shooting in Snoqualmie Ranger District

The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled a second meeting to discuss recreational shooting in the Snoqualmie Ranger District ...


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.