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Supreme Court to Hear Monumental Second Amendment Case: <I>McDonald</I> v. <I>Chicago</I>

Friday, October 2, 2009

NRA applauds the Supreme Court's recent decision to hear the landmark Second Amendment case of McDonald v. Chicago.  The case will address the application of the Second Amendment to the states through either the Due Process clause or the Privileges or Immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The case has major implications for the legality of restrictive gun laws not only in Chicago, but also in other cities across the United States.  The decision to hear the case, which will be argued early next year, gives Second Amendment advocates across America hope that this fundamental freedom will not be infringed by unreasonable state and local laws. 

"The Second Amendment applies to every citizen, not just to those living in federal enclaves like Washington, D.C.  In the historic Heller decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed what most Americans have known all alongthat the Second Amendment protects an individual right and that it applies to all Americans.  The government should respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens throughout our country, regardless of where they live, and NRA is determined to make sure that happens," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. 

In the June ruling that the Supreme Court will now review, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the Second Amendment does not apply to state and local governments.  That opinion left in place the current ban on the possession of handguns in Chicago. 

However, the Seventh Circuit incorrectly claimed it was bound by precedent from 19th-century Supreme Court decisions in failing to incorporate the Second Amendment.  Many legal scholars believe that the Seventh Circuit should have followed the lead of the earlier Ninth Circuit panel decision in Nordyke v. Alameda County, which found that those cases don't prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  To the contrary, a proper incorporation analysis supports application of the Second Amendment to the States. 

"It is an injustice that the residents of Chicago continue to have their Second Amendment rights denied," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  "It's time that the fundamental right of self-defense is respected by every jurisdiction throughout the country.  It is our hope that the Supreme Court will find, once and for all, that all law-abiding Americans have the God-given, constitutionally-protected right of self-defense, no matter what city, county or state they call home."
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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.