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McDonald v. Chicago

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Statement by Wayne LaPierre Executive Vice President, NRA and Chris W. Cox Executive Director, NRA-ILA Regarding U.S. Supreme Court Decision McDonald v. Chicago

Today marks a great moment in American history. This is a landmark decision. It is a vindication for the great majority of American citizens who have always believed the Second Amendment was an individual right and freedom worth defending. Read more


Joint Statement from Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox Regarding Oral Argument Before the U.S. Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago

As a party to the case, NRA argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that the Second Amendment protects the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms no matter in which city or state one resides. We are optimistic the Court will hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment and that handgun bans, like those in the City of Chicago and the Village of Oak Park, are unconstitutional under any standard of judicial review. This view is shared by a bipartisan group of 309 members of Congress from both chambers, 38 state attorneys general and the majority of the American people. We look forward to the decision by the Court later this Term.
Click here for complete transcript of the oral arguments in McDonald V. Chicago.

News and Editorial Coverage of the Case


Supreme Court should overrule Chicago gun ban
Chicago's gun ban ordinance was enacted in 1982 to stem the increasing use of firearms in crimes in the city. From the beginning, the ordinance has been an utter failure in accomplishing that goal.
The Chicago Sun Times


McDonald v. City of Chicago
Two years ago, the Supreme Court heard the hotly controversial Heller case, in which it ultimately recognized a personal right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. That case, which pertained only to federal (and District of Columbia) gun regulations, not state or other local gun regulations, sharply divided activists along partisan lines.
The Weekly Standard


Another guns case: A reason for optimism
In a case involving the Second Amendment right to bear arms, a U.S. Supreme Court majority is leaning toward ruling that the U.S. Constitution's first 10 amendments the Bill of Rights all protect individual rights.
Hallelujah!
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review


Supreme Court appears set to widen gun rights
The Supreme Court majority that two years ago ruled a near total ban on handguns in the District to be unconstitutional seemed equally willing on Tuesday to extend the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms to the states.
The Washington Times


New ammunition for gun rights
The Supreme Court seemed likely to rule for the first time that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom, a move that would give federal judges power to strike down state and local weapons laws for infringing on Second Amendment rights.
The Wall Street Journal


The McDonald Gun Case: Here to Serve You
The second Constitutional bookend corralling the modern American gun control movement is just about in place. The Supreme Court's oral argument Tuesday morning strongly suggests that a majority of the justices intend to extend onto the state and local scene the Second Amendment's individual gun rights. Once such a ruling is in place (bet the house on the last week of June) we'll see a sea change in the way gun ordinances are written, enacted, defended, and judged.
The Atlantic


Chicago's pointless handgun ban
When Chicago passed a ban on handgun ownership in 1982, it was part of a trend. Washington, D.C., had done it in 1976, and a few Chicago suburbs took up the cause in the following years. They all expected to reduce the number of guns and thus curtail bloodshed.
The Chicago Tribune


'Right To Bear Arms' means just that
Gun Rights: Otis McDonald, 76, an Army vet who lives in a high crime area of Chicago, thinks the Constitution gives him the right to bear arms to protect himself and his wife as he protected his country. We think so too.
Investor's Business Daily


2nd Amendment extension likely: McDonald v. Chicago
The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed poised to require state and local governments to obey the Second Amendment guarantee of a personal right to a gun, but with perhaps considerable authority to regulate that right. The dominant sentiment on the Court was to extend the Amendment beyond the federal level, based on the 14th Amendment's guarantee of "due process," since doing so through another part of the 14th Amendment would raise too many questions about what other rights might emerge.
Scotus blog


Justices signal they're ready to make gun ownership a national right
The Supreme Court justices, hearing a 2nd Amendment challenge to Chicago's ban on handguns, signaled Tuesday that they were ready to extend gun rights nationwide, clearing the way for legal attacks on state and local gun restrictions.
The Los Angeles Times


Justices seem to lean toward extending individual right to own guns
At least five justices appeared poised to expand the scope of the Second Amendment's protection of the right to bear arms on Tuesday, judging from comments at an unusually intense Supreme Court argument.
By its conclusion, it seemed plain that the court would extend a 2008 decision that first identified an individual right to own guns to strike down Chicago's gun control law, widely considered the most restrictive in the nation.
The New York Times


2nd Amendment extension likely: McDonald v. Chicago
The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed poised to require state and local governments to obey the Second Amendment guarantee of a personal right to a gun, but with perhaps considerable authority to regulate that right. The dominant sentiment on the Court was to extend the Amendment beyond the federal level, based on the 14th Amendment's guarantee of "due process," since doing so through another part of the 14th Amendment would raise too many questions about what other rights might emerge.
Scotus blog


Justices signal they're ready to make gun ownership a national right
The Supreme Court justices, hearing a 2nd Amendment challenge to Chicago's ban on handguns, signaled Tuesday that they were ready to extend gun rights nationwide, clearing the way for legal attacks on state and local gun restrictions.
The Los Angeles Times


Justices seem to lean toward extending individual right to own guns
At least five justices appeared poised to expand the scope of the Second Amendment's protection of the right to bear arms on Tuesday, judging from comments at an unusually intense Supreme Court argument.

By its conclusion, it seemed plain that the court would extend a 2008 decision that first identified an individual right to own guns to strike down Chicago's gun control law, widely considered the most restrictive in the nation.
The New York Times


What Do the Supremes Think of Chicago's Gun Ban?
Despite the push by Chicago to make McDonald v. City of Chicago about crime, a majority on the Supreme Court today appeared to want nothing to do that argument. Justice Anthony Kennedy described the right to self defense as being as "fundamental" as the right to freedom of speech. The question the court faces is how many of Chicago's regulations beyond the ban should survive.
Fox News


Will the Supreme Court Recognize the Truth
In the 2008 "Heller" decision, the Supreme Court struck down Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and gunlock requirements. Unsurprisingly, gun control advocates predicted disaster. They were wrong. What actually happened in our nation's capital after the Heller decision ought to be remembered tomorrow as the Supreme Court hears a similar constitutional challenge to the Chicago handgun ban.
Fox News


Guns before the court
Today the Supreme Court will hear argument in a case that is likely to result in a landmark decision. In McDonald v. Chicago, the Court will consider whether the individual right to bear arms it recognized in District of Columbia v. Heller can be enforced against State and local governments. In doing so, it may address more broadly the way in which individual rights are enforced against the States and the extent to which State and local governments can regulate or restrict those rights.
American Spectator


Does the Second Amendment Apply Outside the Home?
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court considered the question of whether the Second Amendment applies outside of jurisdictions controlled by the federal government. The court will almost certainly say yes, and soon it may consider a question that should be equally easy to answer: whether the Second Amendment applies outside of the home.
Townhall


Our most basic rights
The Second Amendment of the Constitution says "a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday as to what that actually means.
The Herald Journal(Spartanburg, S.C.)


Gun rights: High court hears another case
In a 5-4 decision in the summer of 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller held that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for private use.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty was apoplectic. "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence," he predicted, demanding that the City Council promptly enact onerous new gun control rigmarole that would "get around" the Heller decision.

"Armageddon never arrived," John Lott Jr. points out in a March 1 essay for FOXNews.com. Quite to the contrary, murders in Washington plummeted by a whopping 25 percent from 2008 to 2009, Mr. Lott reports. D.C.'s murder rate "is now down to 23.5 per 100,000 people, Washington's lowest since 1967."
The Las Vegas Review Journal


A few thoughts on the McDonald argument
Based on a quick read of the oral argument transcript, a few things stood out:
1.The Privileges or Immunities arguments never really got off the ground. None of the Justices seemed in favor of that approach, at least based on the questions. (Justice Thomas, as is his custom, asked no questions.) Only about 10-12 minutes of the questioning even concerned the P or I route, and the questioning seemed mostly focused on trying to understand the nature of the claim. For my VC co bloggers and many VC commenters who hoped today would signal the beginning of the libertarian constitutional revolution, there doesn't seem to be much room for optimism.
The Volokh Conspiracy


More guns, less crime
The District of Columbia's murder rate plummeted by an astounding 25 percent last year, much faster than for the US as a whole or for similarly sized cities. If you had asked Chicago's Mayor Daley, that wasn't supposed to happen. The Supreme Court's 2008 decision to strike down DC's handgun ban and gunlock requirements should have lead to a surge in murders, with Wild West shootouts. The Supreme Court might keep Daley's predictions in mind today as they hear the oral arguments on Tuesday in the Chicago handgun ban case.
Big Government


Affirm right to own guns
Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the District of Columbia's ban on handguns was unconstitutional. Now, it should take the opportunity to affirm Americans' Second Amendment rights across the nation.
Leaf Chronicle (Clarksville, Tenn.)


Leave the law abiders alone
Cities across the fruited plain prohibit law abiding Americans from owning firearms to protect themselves. It not only ensures that only criminals will be armed, but it's also quite unconstitutional.

One of the principles underlying the U.S. Constitution is that basic human rights don't come from governments they flow from the Divine. And there may be no more fundamental right than that of self defense.
The Augusta Chronicle (Ga.)


Court should toss out Chicago ban
In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a strict handgun ban in the District of Columbia. Now the court is considering a strict gun ban in Chicago. But there's a big difference between the two cases.

The D.C. case covered only federal jurisdictions. According to a McClatchy Newspapers story, "District of Columbia v. Heller applied only to federal jurisdictions, because the Bill of Rights, as originally written, covers federal but not state and local governance."
The El Paso Times (Texas)


Press Releases:

Michigan Attorney General: Confident U.S. Supreme Court will protect right to bear arms
Attorney General Mike Cox today said he is confident the United States Supreme Court will again protect the right to bear arms found in the Second Amendment to the Constitution as they hear oral arguments over Chicago's handgun ban. The local case has national implications because it could put an end to state and local infringement of gun ownership.
Office of the Michigan Attorney General


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott attends landmark Second Amendment argument
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today attended oral argument at the United States Supreme Court, which this morning heard the Second Amendment case, McDonald v. City of Chicago. The landmark case involves a constitutional challenge to the City of Chicago's prohibitions on handgun possession. Attorney General Abbott led a national effort to protect all Americans' right to keep and bear arms by forging a 38 state coalition that defended the Second Amendment and argued that Chicago's handgun ban is unconstitutional.
Attorney General of Texas


Ohio Attorney General: Compelling arguments today in defense of Second Amendment rights
The United States Supreme Court heard arguments today in the case of McDonald v. Chicago and is poised to decide whether the Second Amendment right of people to keep and bear arms applies not only to the federal government, as the court held two years ago, but also to state and local governments.
Ohio Attorney General


Ohio Rep. Space: Supreme Court must stand up and again defend right to bear arms
Anticipating the start of oral arguments in the McDonald v. City of Chicago case, U.S. Rep. Zack Space today called on the Supreme Court to again stand up for the Second Amendment Rights of all Americans. Space has been one of the most vocal advocates in Congress for Second Amendment Rights and Second Amendment issues.

"The Second Amendment is crystal clear: Americans have a Constitutional right to bear arms," Space said. "We've seen this Supreme Court side with Second Amendment advocates before, and we're demanding that they rule again in defense of Americans' Constitutional rights."
Representative Zack Space, U.S. House of Representatives


Florida Senator LeMieux: Right to bear arms is fundamental
U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R FL) today made the following statement after attending the U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments of McDonald v. Chicago. The Supreme Court is weighing whether the Second Amendment protection against government infringement of an individual's right to keep and bear arms should apply to state and local governments. The federal government is already restricted from such an infringement on personal liberties.

Senator LeMieux said: "Before our nation's founding, the right to keep and bear arms was accepted as a fundamental individual right. The Framers of the Constitution were careful to assure that this right would not be infringed by expressly preserving it in the Second Amendment.
Senator George LeMieux, U.S. Senate


Kansas Rep. Tiahrt: Supreme Court should bring Chicago back from left
U.S. Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R Kan.) today issued the following statement as the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing opening arguments in a case that challenges whether or not local and state entities can take away the 2nd Amendment rights of American citizens to defend themselves in their own homes. Tiahrt has fought to protect the privacy of every firearm owner in America with the Tiahrt trace data amendment that has been attacked by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and liberal gun control organizations.
Representative Todd Tiahrt, U.S. House of Representatives


Montana Sen. Baucus: Supports 2nd Amendment by attending Supreme Court gun rights arguments
Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus today was present at the Supreme Court to hear oral arguments for a case that may have far reaching affects on gun owners in Montana and across the country. The high court is considering a case that is expected to establish whether or not state and local governments are required to obey the Second Amendment guarantee of a personal right to own a gun.

"I'm extremely interested in the outcome of this case," Baucus said after the hearing. "Oral arguments were compelling. The bottom line is that all law biding citizens have the right to bear arms -- whether it's for hunting in the great outdoors or for protection. It's spelled out right in the Constitution, and we've got to protect it. You can bet I'll be keeping a close eye on this case as it moves forward."
Senator Max Baucus, U.S. Senate


Arkansas Rep. Ross: Upcoming Supreme Court decision critical to protecting Second Amendment
"Banning guns will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but it will keep guns out of the hands of those trying to defend themselves against criminals," said Ross. "As the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court's decision in McDonald v. Chicago will affect every state and every American and could potentially threaten an important part of our way of life and our heritage. That is why I led the efforts in the House to gather congressional support for an historic amicus brief in favor of the Second Amendment."
Representative Mike Ross, U.S. House Of Representatives

NRA's brief for respondents in support of petitioner

Merits Stage

Petitioners’ Brief

Respondents in Support of Petitioners

Respondents’ Brief

Reply Brief

Respondents in Support of Petitioners Reply Brief

Amici Curiae In Support of McDonald

Cato Institute/Pacific Legal Foundation

Constitutional Law Professors / Constitutional Accountability Center

Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence / Atty Genl. Meese, Dean Eastman

Institute for Justice

CalGuns Foundation

Texas and 37 other States

Members of Congress

Goldwater Institute

Law Enforcement Trainers — Failure of Chicago’s gun laws

American Legislative Exchange Council

Professors of Philosophy — Self-defense

Heartland Institute — Failure of Chicago’s gun laws

Nordyke Plaintiffs — Standards of Review

Buckeye Firearms Foundation

Maryland Arms Collectors

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

Safari Club

State Firearms Associations

NSSF

Eagle Forum

Paragon Foundation

Rutherford Institute

Prosecutors

Arms Keepers

Academics for the Second Amendment

ACLJ

ACRU

Women Legislators and Academics

State Legislators

GOA

Amici Curiae in Support of Neither Party

NAACP LDF

Brady Center

Amici Curiae in Support of Chicago

Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

ADL

U.S. Conference of Mayors

“Public Health Organizations”

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, et al.

States of Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey

“Early American History”

“Early English History”

“Historians and Legal Scholars”

Villages of Winnetka & Skokie, et al.

Chicago Bd. of Education, et al.

“Professional Historians”

Criminal Justice Professors

Cities, Cook County, and Police Chiefs

Prosecuting Attorneys

Oak Park Citizens Committee

Law Professor and Student

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NRA ILA

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.