Defends Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Public Housing
Fairfax, Va. – Yesterday the Delaware Supreme Court found in the case Jane Doe v. Wilmington Housing Authority that the Wilmington Housing Authority’s (WHA) gun ban amongst its tenants, which denied these public housing residents their fundamental Second Amendment rights, is unconstitutional. The National Rifle Association has supported this suit since it was filed in 2010 through two federal courts and the state Supreme Court to defend the Right to Keep and Bear Arms of all Delawareans.
“We are happy to see this common-sense ruling yesterday and are honored to have stood by law-abiding Delaware residents in defending their Second Amendment rights. This was a clear case of discrimination against housing authority residents,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Self-defense is a fundamental, God-given right that belongs to every law-abiding American – no matter their tax bracket, zip code or street address.”
“On its face, the Delaware provision… protects the right to bear arms outside the home, including for hunting and recreation,” wrote Justice Ridgely in the opinion of the Court. “Section 20 specifically provides for the defense of self and family in addition to the home.’” (emphasis original)
In the past, Wilmington Housing Authority leases had contained provisions that prohibit residents from possessing firearms. Thousands of Delaware’s most vulnerable residents live in some of the state’s most dangerous neighborhoods, and this ban had prohibited them from possessing firearms to defend themselves and their families. Those who resided on WHA properties had risked being evicted should they exercise their Second Amendment freedoms, which for many families would mean living on the streets. This suit sought to prohibit such unconstitutional restrictions and regulations.
“This decision is significant because a person shouldn't be forced to give up their Second Amendment rights just to have a place to live," concluded Cox.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates 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 armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalRifleAssociation and on Twitter @NRA.