Mar 18 2008
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) signed on to an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case of the District of Columbia v. Heller. Oral arguments in the case were heard in the Supreme Court earlier today.
The brief was signed by Vice President Dick Cheney, 55 U.S. Senators, and 250 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Graham made these comments on District of Columbia v. Heller.
“This case involves nothing more than the right of law abiding persons to keep common handguns and usable firearms for lawful self-defense in the home.
“Congress has historically viewed the Second Amendment as protecting from infringement the right of the people at large to keep and bear arms. It has further regarded ordinary, commonly-possessed rifles, handguns, and shotguns to be constitutionally protected firearms. It has also passed regulations for engaging in firearms businesses and to require background checks on firearms transferees, and has restricted certain dangerous categories of persons from possession of firearms. None of these laws is called into question by the lower court’s limited holding.
“The Court should affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals.”
The Supreme Court’s consideration of the case marks the first time since 1939 that the Court will rule on a Second Amendment challenge to a firearm law. The Court’s decision is expected to have broad and long-lasting ramifications on gun ownership and Second Amendment rights.
The District of Columbia has some of the most restrictive gun laws of any city in the United States. In 1976, the City Council banned handguns and required rifles and shotguns to be registered, stored unloaded and either locked or unassembled.
Six District of Columbia residents sued the city over this firearms prohibition.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in March 2007 that the District of Columbia’s gun control laws violate individual Second Amendment rights. The majority opinion stated, “Section 7-2507.02, like the bar of carrying a pistol within a home, amounts to a complete prohibition on the lawful use of handguns for self-defense. As such we hold it is unconstitutional.”