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McDonald v. City of Chicago

Friday, November 20, 2009

On November 16, the NRA filed its brief with the U.S. Supreme Court as Respondent in Support of Petitioner in McDonald v. City of Chicago. The NRA brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment. 

The McDonald case is one of several that were filed immediately after last year's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court upheld the Second Amendment as an individual right and struck down Washington, D.C.'s ban on handgun possession, as well as the capital city's ban on keeping loaded, operable firearms for self-defense in the home. 

The follow-up cases were filed by NRA and other organizations against Chicago and several of its suburbs.  Each of these suits was aimed at the same goal: establishing that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments as well as the federal government. 

In September, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the McDonald case, on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. That court incorrectly claimed that prior Supreme Court precedent prevented it from holding in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment. As we argued at the time, the Seventh Circuit should have followed the lead of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nordyke v. King, which found that Supreme Court precedent does not prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.

As a party in McDonald, the NRA is actively involved in this case and we believe our brief makes a clear and strong case in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment (to read the brief, please click here). 

The McDonald case will be argued on March 2, 2010.  NRA members should be proud of our efforts to bring this issue to the court's attention through the many lawsuits we brought to overturn local bans on gun ownership and self-defense immediately after Heller.  We are hopeful that McDonald v. Chicago will achieve another major victory for gun owners' rights.


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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.