Washington, D.C. -- March 9, 2007
The American Civil Rights Union
Press contact: Hugh C. Newton
The American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) applauds the decision just handed down by the U.S. Circuit Court for the D.C. Circuit concerning the Second Amendment to the Constitution. This 2-1 decision struck down as unconstitutional the D.C. City Council's law which, with few exceptions, made private ownership of guns illegal in the District.
The Court ruled today that the Second Amendment's protection of "the right to keep and bear arms" continues a personal right to own weapons -- not merely a "collective right" solely for the benefit of "militias." The reality of gun crime in D.C. is that law-abiding residents of the District are defenseless against street criminals who can easily purchase illegal weapons.
The one judge who dissented from this decision did so because she concluded that the Second Amendment did not apply to the District because it is not a state.
The ACRU is a non-partisan 501c(3) legal policy organization dedicated to defending all of the rights contained in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Unlike some groups, it does not pick and choose among them, rejecting some as socially or politically inappropriate. Its Policy Board includes former US Attorney General Edwin Meese III; Judge Robert H. Bork; Dean of the Pepperdine Law School Kenneth W. Starr; former Asst. Attorney General for Civil Rights William Bradford Reynolds; Professor Walter E. Williams; Professor James Q. Wilson; and Dean Emeritus of the UCLA Anderson School of Business J. Clayburn Laforce, Jr.
Today's decision represents the first time that a federal court has struck down any "gun control" statute or ordinance for violating the Second Amendment. The US Supreme Court will likely take an appeal of this case since it conflicts with decisions made by some other Circuit Courts.
The ACRU filed an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs in this case. The court's opinion is available here: Court's Opinion for Parker Case (PDF)