WASHINGTON (Feb. 11, 2013) — In a brief filed today at the U.S. Supreme Court, the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) urges the court to hear a case involving New York citizens who say their Second Amendment right to bear arms has been abridged by a state law and a court ruling limiting gun rights to inside the home.
Written by ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara, the brief notes that the Second Circuit Court, in upholding a district court ruling, “failed to follow the plain language of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).” The court “limited the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to within the home. But Heller … explicitly states that the core interest protected by the Second Amendment is self-defense, not limited to the home.
“Similarly, McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) explained Heller as holding ‘that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense,’ noting that was the reason Heller ‘struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home.’ Neither Heller nor McDonald limited the right to self-defense to inside the home.”
The brief further argues that the New York law does not pass the “rational basis” test:
“Any analysis of New York’s restrictive handgun policy, denying handgun licenses to average, law abiding citizens, has to start with this undeniable proposition: Neither the state nor local governments of New York even have the power to deny handguns to criminals…. The gangs of New York do not obey current gun control laws, and neither does anyone else who is violently breaking the law…. Criminals are not going to even apply for handgun licenses.
“All that New York’s governments even have the power to do is deny handguns to the law abiding victims of criminals. Is that even rational? To disarm the victims of crime, but not the criminals?”