The National Rifle Association of America today praised the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision in another landmark Second Amendment case. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies not just to Washington, D.C. and other federal enclaves, but protects the rights of all Americans throughout the country. The opinion in McDonald v. City of Chicago brings an end to the nearly 30 year-long handgun ban that the city has imposed on its law-abiding citizens.
“This is a landmark decision,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “The Second Amendment—as every citizen's constitutional right—is now a real part of American constitutional law. The NRA will work to ensure this constitutional victory is not transformed into a practical defeat by activist judges defiant city councils or cynical politicians who seek to pervert, reverse or nullify the Supreme Court's McDonald decision through Byzantine labyrinths of restrictions and regulations that render the Second Amendment inaccessible, unaffordable or otherwise impossible to experience in a practical, reasonable way."
As a party to the case, the NRA participated in oral arguments before the Court in March.
The NRA persuasively argued 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 same view was shared in friend of the court briefs by a bipartisan group of 309 members of Congress from both chambers, 38 state attorneys general, and hundreds of state legislators. Public opinion polls show that it is also shared by the overwhelming majority of the American people.
“This decision makes absolutely clear that the Second Amendment protects the God-given right of self-defense for all law-abiding Americans, period,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “Ironically, while crime in Chicago runs rampant and lawmakers there call on the National Guard for help, Mayor Daley has insisted on leaving the residents of his city defenseless. Today's opinion puts the law back on the side of the law-abiding. We will be watching closely to make sure that Chicago abides by both the letter and the spirit of the Supreme Court's decision.” Following is a statement by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre Regarding U.S. Supreme Court Decision in McDonald v. City of 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.
The Supreme Court said what a majority of the American public believes. The people who wrote the Second Amendment said it was an individual right, and the Court has now confirmed what our founding fathers wrote and intended. The Second Amendment—as every citizen’s constitutional right—is now a real part of American Constitutional law.
But, Supreme Court decisions have to lead to actual consequences or the whole premise of American constitutional authority collapses. Individual freedom must mean you can actually experience it. An incorporated freedom has to be a real freedom.
The intent of the founding fathers—and the Supreme Court—was to provide access. Words must have meaning.
The Supreme Court has now said the Second Amendment is an individual freedom for all. And that must have meaning. This decision must provide relief to law-abiding citizens who are deprived of their Second Amendment rights.
I’m a practical guy. I don’t want to win on philosophy and lose on freedom. The end question is, can law-abiding men and women go out and buy and own a firearm? Today the Supreme Court said yes—anywhere they live!
This decision cannot lead to different measures of freedom, depending on what part of the country you live in. City by city, person by person, this decision must be more than a philosophical victory. An individual right is no right at all if individuals can’t access it. Proof of Heller and McDonald will be law abiding citizens, one by one, purchasing and owning firearms.
The NRA will work to ensure this constitutional victory is not transformed into a practical defeat by activist judges, defiant city councils, or cynical politicians who seek to pervert, reverse, or nullify the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision through Byzantine labyrinths of restrictions and regulations that render the Second Amendment inaccessible, unaffordable, or otherwise impossible to experience in a practical, reasonable way.
What good is a right without the gun? What good is the right if you can’t buy one? Or keep one in your home? Or protect your family with one?
Here’s a piece of paper—protect yourself. That’s no right at all!
Victory is when law abiding men and women can get up, go out, and buy and own a firearm. This is a monumental day. But NRA will not rest until every law-abiding American citizen is able to exercise the individual right to buy and own a firearm for self defense or any other lawful purpose.