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State Legislators File Amicus Brief Supporting NRA's Stance in Pivotal Supreme Court Case

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fairfax, Va. -- A large bipartisan group of state legislators and other elected officials from all 50 states have signed an amicus curiae, or "friend of the court," brief supporting the NRA’s position that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The amicus brief, bearing the signatures of 891 state legislators and other elected officials -- including two governors and three lieutenant governors -- was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court today in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago.

Last week, the NRA filed its brief with the Supreme Court as Respondent in Support of Petitioner in the McDonald case. The NRA brief asks the Court to hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment.

"We are pleased that such a large group of state legislators and other officials agree that our Second Amendment freedoms should apply to all Americans, not only those who reside in federal enclaves. Gun owners across the country should be proud of the stand that their lawmakers are taking on this crucial effort to restore and protect the gun rights of law-abiding Americans everywhere," said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist.

In September, the 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. The NRA believes 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 believes the NRA brief makes a clear and strong case in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment.

Cox concluded, "We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will follow the Constitution’s true meaning and rule in favor of allowing all law-abiding Americans the right to keep and bear arms."

Chicago has had a handgun ban and other restrictive gun laws in place for 27 years. Oral argument is scheduled for March 2, 2010.


To view the amicus brief, click here.



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.