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UPDATE: NRA 2d Amendment plea filed

NOTE: The petition discussed in the post below — National Rifle Association, et al, v. City of Chicago, et al. — has now been docketed as 08-1497.  It can be downloaded here.  It raises one question: “Whether the right of the people to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is incorporated into the Due Process Clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment so as to be applicable to the staes, thereby invalidating ordinances prohibiting possession of handguns in the home.”  (The post below was first published at 5:08 p.m. Wednesday.)


One day after losing a major test case in an appeals court on the scope of the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association — the nation’s leading advocate of personal gun rights — asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to apply the Amendment to state, county and city government laws that seek to regulate firearms.  The petition was announced by the NRA in this news release.  The petition will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

The NRA is challenging a ruling on Tuesday by the Seventh Circuit Court, saying it was bound by Supreme Court precedent to find that the Amendment restricts only federal laws, not those enacted by state and local government.  A post discussing the Circuit Court ruling can be read here.

A second petition, from other challengers to a Chicago gun ban, will be filed shortly, and no later than Monday, according to their attorney, Alan Gura, an Alexandria, Va., attorney who argued and won the Second Amendment case at the Supreme Court last Term (District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290).  The other challengers to the Circuit Court ruling are the Second Amendment Foundation, the Illinois State Rifle Association, and four Chicago residents.

The Supreme Court last June established an individual right, under the Amendment, to have a gun for self-defense in one’s home. The Court did not decide, however, whether the Amendment would now be applied to restrict state and local government moves to regulate or ban guns.  That will be the core argument in the new petitions.

The NRA, in its news release about its petition, indicated it would argue that the Seventh Circuit Court should have followed the Ninth Circuit Court in finding a way to “incorporate” Second Amendment rights, through the Fourteenth Amendment, so that those rights would then apply against states, counties and cities.