Respondents File Brief In D.C. v. Hellerby Doug Mataconis
If the Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a handgun, then the District’s ban on such arms must be declared unconstitutional, lawyers for the man challenging the “nation’s most draconian gun laws” told the Supreme Court yesterday.
Lawyers for Dick Anthony Heller, a security guard, filed a brief saying that the District’s categorical restrictions are so broad that they cannot comply with the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to bear arms.
“However else [the District] might regulate the possession and use of arms, their complete ban on the home possession of all functional firearms, and their prohibition against home possession and movement of handguns, are unconstitutional,” wrote Alan Gura, one of three lawyers representing those who challenged the District’s 1976 ban.
District of Columbia v. Heller, to be argued before the justices March 18, promises a historic examination of the Second Amendment, which holds that “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.”
As Jason noted earlier today, there was also an amicus brief filed by members of Congress in addition to several other amicus briefs in support of Heller’s position:
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
- Buckeye Firearms Foundation, et al.
- Disabled Veterans for Self-Defense
- Foundation for Free Expression
- Grass Roots of South Carolina
- Major General John D. Altenburg, et al.
- National Rifle Association
- Pink Pistols
- Rutherford Institute
Additionally amicus briefs are expected to be filed before Monday’s deadline.